China Lifts Import Freeze on Tesla Model 3 EVs

March 14, 2019 at 2:47 PM

China has removed a temporary ban on Tesla Model 3 electric sedans that began last week over a lack of certain Chinese-language labels.

The suspension by customs officials temporarily blocked delivery of hundreds of cars. Tesla says the disruption had no impact on sales or deliveries of cars that had been processed earlier.

The shipment was aimed at beating a March 1 deadline, after which China had threatened to hike import duties on cars from the U.S. to 40% from the previous 15%. But that scheduled increase remains suspended as the U.S. and China continue to pursue an agreement end their trade war.

Tesla has begun work on an assembly plant in Shanghai that would avert such tariff concerns. The company hopes to begin limited production by year-end, with full-scale production to begin in 2020. The factory will make Model 3s and Tesla’s midsize Model Y electric crossover vehicle, which is being formally unveiled in California later today.