State Minister in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, Hon. Floyd Green has lauded the Pre-Shipment Inspection (PSI) process for used vehicles entering the country which was implemented in February 2018.
According to the Minister, vehicle inspections have doubled since the implementation of the PSI programme. “During the period January to July 2018, approximately 15,000 inspections were conducted while some 25,000 inspections were done in the corresponding period for 2019. To date, some 83,000 inspections have been undertaken since the inception of PSI,” Minister Green said.
He noted that in spite of the challenges in the used car industry, the industry continues to grow, which, he said, is evident in the growth of business spaces and more modern and relevant motor vehicle offerings across the length and breadth of Jamaica.
The State Minister was speaking at the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association Annual General Meeting held at the Terra Nova All-Suite hotel on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
Minister Green stated that not only has the programme helped the Government but has also helped the used car industry significantly.
“This is because we partnered. We spoke about the challenges. We worked together through those challenges and we can now say that the Pre-Shipment Inspection programme is a very good programme and has been a success. This is a crucial programme as it prevents undervaluation of vehicle invoices, entry of stolen vehicles into the national fleet, odometer fraud, faulty vehicles, and pests and diseases being imported,” he added.
Meanwhile, President of the Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association, Lynvalle Hamilton, said that despite the many challenges in the industry, January to December 2019 saw the highest number of used motor vehicles imported into the country in the last decade.
“Just over 41,000 used vehicles were imported, representing a 13.9% increase over the previous year, which saw just over 36,000 used vehicles imported,” Mr. Hamilton informed.
Mr. Hamilton said the high importation figure was attributable to low interest rates by the banks and flexible lending terms, certification of many new dealers, reopening of the Singapore market and increasing demand for certain left-hand drive vehicles coming out of the United States of America.
“However, the main contributor to the increase was the special policy permiting the importation of 8-year-old vehicles for taxi,” he said.
The PSI entails the physical inspection of goods being carried out in the country of export prior to shipping so as to establish the nature of the goods. It also seeks to ascertain the history of the vehicle (accidents, major repairs), conformity to age limit (model, year), roadworthiness, radioactive/microbial contamination and odometer reading.