The Government’s proposed motor-vehicle pre-shipment inspection programme is slated for implementation on July 1, 2017.
It aims to provide a transparent motor-vehicle importation policy that safeguards consumers.
Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, says there are discrepancies that have “adversely affected” several purchasers in recent years as it relates to the model year of vehicles being older than supporting documentation, and tampered odometers.
The Minister was making his 2017/18 Sectoral Debate presentation on the theme ‘Advancing Sustainable Growth’, in the House of Representatives on May 9.
Mr. Samuda said the inspection programme, which would be one aspect of the existing Motor Vehicle Import Policy, entailed a due-diligence exercise based on specific criteria.
These include the vehicle’s history; age limit conformity (model year); roadworthiness; radioactive contamination; and odometer reading.
The benefits to be derived, the Minister outlined, include raising the standard of the national fleet; improved road safety; prevention of undervalued vehicle invoices, stolen automobiles entering Jamaica; odometer and documentation fraud; detection of radioactive contamination of vehicles; and minimising the risks of pests and diseases being imported.
“Moreover, from a revenue perspective, accurate motor-vehicle valuations will redound to the benefit of the public purse and better facilitate Government spending in the national interest,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mr. Samuda advised that the Government’s special economic zone/free zone arrangements would facilitate the entry and trans-shipment of motor vehicles to other external markets.
This, he noted, would be consistent with the logistics hub initiative, particularly Jamaica’s positioning as a major trans-shipment point.
“However, motor vehicles that will leave the special economic zone and enter the Jamaican domestic territory will require an import licence from the Trade Board Limited and will be subject to the applicable border duties and charges prior to entry,” he indicated.
Mr. Samuda also announced that special regimes would be pursued to facilitate the importation of vehicles up to eight years old for use by taxi operators and farmers.
He added that the provision would be available to taxi operators only through associations representing them.
Additionally, the Minister indicated that provisions were being made to facilitate the importation of used tyres for heavy-duty equipment, such as tractors and harvesters in the agricultural sector.