The Electric Vehicle Act wasn't the only legislation that recently lapsed into law. One of the latest regulations in the Philippines is Republic Act No. 11698, better known as the Vintage Vehicle Regulation Act. The new R.A. will regulate the use and other activities related to vintage automobiles and other historical, classical, or collector vehicles.

Under the new law, registered vintage vehicles will not be required to meet the clean-air, anti-pollution, safety, road-use, and other standards that were not enforced at the time of a vehicle's manufacturing. This exemption is in recognition of the fact that vintage vehicles at the time of their manufacture do not have the technologies that will allow them to meet modern safety standards.

However, vehicles built after December 31, 1967, must be fitted with seatbelts as mandated by R.A. 8750, or the Seat Belts Use Act of 1999.

PH now has a law protecting vintage vehicles image

As for vintage vehicles that are Concours (aka show cars), resto-mods, and/or for repair or restoration, they may be imported into the country by any person or entity under the new law. The law will even allow the importation of authentic components, original or replica body shells, engines, transmissions, and other spare parts and accessories.

But what about customs duties when importing vintage vehicles or parts? The Bureau of Customs (BOC) will be tasked with differentiating Concours, resto-mods, and restoring vintage vehicles. This is for the purpose of valuation of tariffs, import duties, and other taxes on imported vintage vehicles. On the other hand, restoration shops and companies importing and exporting vintage vehicles will be eligible to avail of fiscal and tax incentives under R.A. 11594.

If you've been thinking of getting a classic right-hand drive (RHD) vehicle, you're in luck. Under R.A. 11698, the prohibition on the importation, registration, and use of RHD vehicles will not apply to vintage vehicles. However, this exemption will only apply to vehicles manufactured on or before December 31, 1970, as well as to vehicles intended principally for racing or motorsport.

PH now has a law protecting vintage vehicles image

When it comes to registration, all vintage vehicles imported after the effectivity of this Act shall be registered as a vintage vehicle with the LTO. This will give owners the benefits from the provisions of R.A. 11698 and a registration that is valid for 3 years. As for vintage vehicles which are not regularly used, on permanent exhibit, or in museums, the LTO will provide a system for onsite registration or where the vintage vehicle is parked or exhibited. If the vehicle exhibited is no longer in running condition, it's up to the owner or museum if they want to register it with the LTO.

Aside from registering with the LTO as a vintage vehicle, the agency will also issue vintage vehicle license plates to registered owners. Each plate will contain the words “vintage vehicle” in addition to the usual letters and numbers appearing on license plates.

As for the implementing rules and regulations (IRRs), the LTO, after public hearings and consultations with concerned sectors, including at least 5 vintage vehicle owners or representatives from owners' groups or associations, shall formulate and issue the necessary IRRs for the effective implementation of the new Act within 60 days of its effectivity. In addition, the LTO will also consult with vintage vehicle owners or representatives from owners' groups in the development of other relevant policies and issuances.

PH now has a law protecting vintage vehicles image

With the Vintage Vehicle Regulations Act now passed, owners of classic cars can now breathe a sigh of relief that their vintage cars can still be used. Moreover, those that are in the business of restoring vintage vehicles (as well as those that plan to import older cars) will be able to do so under the new law.

Hopefully, the IRRs will finally set the minimum age requirement for a vehicle to be classified as vintage. This is because earlier this year, LTO Asec. Galvante mentioned that he wants to increase the minimum age of vintage cars as there are still old vehicles being used as dailies in the country.