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  • Government is in the process of creating a framework for the possible resumption of the importation of damaged motor vehicles into the country.
  • Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the disclosure, while addressing the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association held on March 18 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.
  • He noted that the Government has been made aware of cases where workers from developing countries, including Jamaicans are taken to Japan to fix vehicles, which are then exported to countries including Jamaica.

Government is in the process of creating a framework for the possible resumption of the importation of damaged motor vehicles into the country.

Minister of Industry, Investment, and Commerce, Hon. Anthony Hylton, made the disclosure, while addressing the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association held on March 18 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

“We have taken into consideration what re-opening this industry will mean, and we have been hard at work creating a framework for the responsible re-opening and development of this industry,” he said.

He noted that the Government has been made aware of cases where workers from developing countries, including Jamaicans are taken to Japan to fix vehicles, which are then exported to countries including Jamaica.

“We believe that the lifting of the ban will allow vehicles to be repaired in licensed Jamaican facilities, in accordance with international best practices, and with due regard to safety standards,”  Mr. Hylton said.

This, he said, will contribute to international trade and introduce greater variety into the domestic transportation market.

“It will also facilitate increased business activities within the entire industry and create jobs for repairers, dealers, transportation services providers, metal fabricators and the distributors of parts and materials,” he noted.

Mr. Hylton said the importation of damaged motor vehicles will potentially benefit consumers, who would be able to avoid the insurance and freight charges since the vehicle would have been transported in bulk to Jamaica.

Some of the policy considerations for the lifting of the ban include: ensuring the safety of the end product for the consumer; full disclosure of the history of the vehicle; protection of the environment, especially through the disposal of hazardous materials associated with the industry; implementation of regulations/standards and requirements that will govern the importation, repair and domestic trade of damaged vehicles; developing the requisite skills/capacity of repairers; and the creation of a clear standard to guide the determination of the degree of damage, which should be allowed.

Mr. Hylton assured that the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association and the wider stakeholder group will be consulted before the finalisation of the framework.

“Let me be clear, the re-opening of the industry does not limit the existing participants in the used car industry from participating as long as they abide by the rules and standards. In this context, the re-opening of the damaged vehicle importation industry will bring new opportunities for stimulating the automotive sector,” he said.