Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green, is imploring persons who are desirous of getting into the used car business, to get certified.
Addressing the annual general meeting of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA), on February 27, at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, he noted that he is aware of the ongoing issue that the association is facing with rogue dealers and other challenges.
“We believe that for the industry to do well and grow, it has to be an industry that is based on certified dealers, and as a Government, we are impressing upon anyone who wants to get involved to be certified,” he said.
“Clearly, there is a significant challenge in relation to rogue dealers, people who just set up shop and operate anywhere they feel like. They don’t approach the Trade Board in relation to certification, and they don’t approach the parish council for signage or anything,” the State Minister added.
Mr. Green said this type of behaviour is a threat not just to the industry, but a threat to the Government.
“It is a threat to our resources, it is a threat to our income and it is something we all want to see brought under control,” he emphasised.
The State Minister pointed out that the Trade Board does not have the enforcement capacity to shut down all the rogue dealers.
However, he said the situation presents an opportunity for a broad-based strategic approach to be taken by all the relevant stakeholders, including Local Government and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, to address the matter.
“We have to sit down and put in place strategies to treat with those rogue dealers,” Mr. Green said.
“I am willing, as the State Minister who has direct responsibility for the industry and commerce side of the Ministry, to lead that charge, to bring in the police, bring in the Ministry of Local Government and to have you at the table and let us hammer out concrete initiatives that can be taken to treat with the problem. It is everybody’s problem,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Green urged members of the association to bring specific allegations to his attention and he will have them addressed.
For his part, President of JUCDA, Lynvalle Hamilton, charged that the used car industry is becoming a free from all, and listed a number of recommendations for the Ministry to consider in regulating the industry.
“There is irrefutable proof that some dealers are certified without meeting and/or maintaining the stipulated requirements concerning certification found in the Motor Vehicle Import Policy. Newly imported vehicles are continuously being advertised for sale at people’s homes, on sidewalks, gas stations, and other unacceptable places,” Mr. Hamilton said.
“These people do not pay the annual fee for signs to the Kingston and St. Andrew Municipal Corporation, because they do not subscribe to the use of the proper sign to advertise. They do not have to pay rent, lease or mortgage, but they are selling newly imported cars,” he added.
Among the recommendations Mr. Hamilton listed were: implementation of regulations prohibiting unregistered newly imported vehicles from being advertised and offered for sale at places other than a certified used car dealer’s lot; for proper background checks to be done on people seeking to enter the industry, and for used car dealers applying for an entry level certificate to obtain a source of funds authentication letter from the Financial Investigation Division, before they are certified.