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Pre-shipment inspection of imported used vehicles begins February 1

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — The Government's pre-shipment inspection regime for imported used motor vehicles, which will provide greater protection for consumers, comes into effect on February 1.

Under the regime, the Government has employed the services of a company out of Japan, which will examine all used vehicles before they are shipped to Jamaica.

Making the announcement today at the ministry in Kingston, Portfolio Minister, Karl Samuda, said the move is necessary, given reports of tampering of motor-vehicle odometers to reflect lower mileages, and other irregularities.

“Importation is based on information given to us by the people who are importing the vehicles, but we found that there were discrepancies, at times, between the age of the vehicle stated and the mileage. The odometers would reflect a hardly used vehicle and, therefore, it attracted a much higher price,” the minister said.

He noted that upon “inspection and careful examination”, the Trade Board Limited (TBL) came to the conclusion that due to the number of such incidents, “we (the Government) had to do something about it”.

“In an effort to ensure that the consumers of Jamaica get the best possible deal, we felt it necessary to step up the pace and to get it introduced no later than the 1st of February,” the minister said.

In the meantime, providing further details on how the pre-shipment inspection exercise will be conducted, the minister informed that the company will examine the vehicle to determine the accuracy of its condition. The exporter would then have no access to the vehicle, which would be isolated and shipped directly to Jamaica. “So, there is no likelihood of contamination after the inspection,” the minister assured.

Ultimately, this new regime aims to provide a transparent motor-vehicle importation policy that safeguards consumers. This pre-shipment inspection aspect is already contained in the current Motor Vehicle Import Policy, which was adopted on April 3, 2014.

It entails the physical inspection of goods being carried out in the country of export prior to shipping, so as to establish the exact nature of the goods.

It will seek to ascertain the history of the vehicle (accidents, major repairs), conformity to age limit (model year), roadworthiness, radioactive/microbial contamination and odometer reading.

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