T&T moves to regulate foreign used car industry

(Trinidad Express) Government is moving to regulate the foreign used car industry by early next year, Trade Minister Stephen Cadiz said on Thursday.

Foreign used dealers will be allowed to import only 13,500 vehicles a year until 2015, he said.

Speaking at the post-Cabinet press conference at the Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s, he said the draft policy for the regulation of the industry will come soon.

He said foreign used dealers will be required to re-register their business and ensure that their place of business is up to standard. The re-registration will allow the State to efficiently collect taxes from the industry.

From next year, dealers must ensure that they have proper garages to repair vehicles, carry our warranty claims and provide a minimum level of service.

Cadiz said foreign used dealers will also be required to have spare parts for the vehicles they import.

He said: “When you buy a foreign used vehicle, after this policy and the new Act is proclaimed early next year the consumers will not be buying as you say in Trinidad ‘cat in bag’.”

“When they (consumers) go to buy a vehicle from these dealers, they will be provided with a warranty, these dealers will be legitimate, these dealers will not have any issues, for instance, falsification of the age of the vehicles,” he added.

He said when a vehicle is seized because of falsified documents, it is the consumer who loses.

Cadiz said there were cases where consumers bought a foreign used vehicle and could not find the dealer afterward.

Cabinet agreed that the quota of foreign used vehicles imported into the country will be limited to 13,500 each year, up to 2015.

He said this was in keeping with the figures over the past couple of years.
The traffic congestion and issues with respect to the environment were the two main reasons for the limitation. “Dealers have to understand, you can’t just be a retailer and accept no responsibility for the goods you are selling,” said Cadiz.
Monitoring mechanisms will be in place to ensure that dealers follow the regulations.

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