Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Donovan Stanberry (left), in discussion with Deputy Chairman of the Trade Board Limited and Motor Vehicle Import Committee Chairman, Danville Walker, at a used-car dealer consultation, held at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, in New Kingston, on August 29.
The Government is moving to implement the Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) process for used vehicles entering the island.
Permanent Secretary in the Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry, Donovan Stanberry, provided details at a consultation with used-car dealers, on August 29 at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) in New Kingston to outline the process.
The Permanent Secretary explained that the aim of the PSI is to ensure “consumer protection and fair trade”.
Mr. Stanberry cited allegations made of the possible tampering of motor-vehicle odometers to reflect lower mileages, and discrepancies in model year indicating vehicles being older than the supporting documentation provides, which necessitated the move.
He indicated that eight per cent of complaints received by the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) relate to motor vehicles.
“We cannot be scientific (enough) to quantify the extent of these breaches, but there are sufficient complaints to warrant some action on the part of the Ministry in terms of our duty and mandate for consumer protection,” he said.
Mr. Stanberry urged the dealers to view the situation as one of collaboration with the Ministry in achieving the overall objective that consumers deserve what they pay for.
He assured the dealers that the move is not to accuse anyone of wrongdoing or anything nefarious with the PSI process.
“We’re not saying that you (the dealers) are involved in collusion. We’re simply providing our consumers with a level of assurance and a level of confidence,” he insisted.
In May, portfolio Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, made the announcement to introduce PSI during his 2017/18 Sectoral Debate presentation in the House of Representatives.
The PSI element is already contained in the current Motor Vehicle Import Policy (MVIP) (Ministry Paper 36/14), 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.
The consultation was led by the Trade Board Limited (TBL), which is a regulatory agency of the Government. It is Jamaica’s certifying authority for goods exported under various trade agreements.
In his presentation, Deputy Chairman of the TBL and Motor Vehicle Import Committee Chairman, Danville Walker, informed that the PSI process is important as it is a recommendation of the World Bank to combat corruption, especially in developing countries.
“The PSI must be performed by the company designated by the country,” Mr. Walker said.
A company in Japan has been chosen by the Government to conduct the pre-shipment inspection of vehicles.
During the meeting, a number of used-car dealers expressed several concerns of the PSI process, which Mr. Walker informed needed to be taken into consideration before proceeding.
Approximately $100 billion a year is spent to import used cars into Jamaica.
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