Uganda Hardens On Vehicles

The ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives recently passed tough resolutions that are targeted at curbing importation of motorcars that do not conform to standards as spelled out in the country’s laws.

The resolutions were as a result of negotiations between trade ministry and Used Motorcar Importers Association who protested the government’s mandatory Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) program that requires that all vehicle’s quality is tested before shipped to Uganda.

In the last four weeks, used car importers have been putting pressure on government to suspend the pre-inspection of motor vehicles program saying it’s too expensive for their business.

The PVoC program was re-introduced in June, 2013 as one of measures to minimize the importation of substandard goods into the country.

The traders also complained that the firms accredited to do the inspection are few (they are three) and lack the expertise to do the inspection thoroughly preferring that they build their own capacity to do the inspection inside Uganda.

The traders furthermore complained of the high 15% surcharge on CIF value for uninspected vehicles, which they said, together with the inspection of $140 raises the final consumer price.

This prompted negotiations which resulted into further punitive resolutions that might see rebellious traders lose their trading license and closed down.

The ministry decided that vehicles currently in the bond and those that will enter the country by 31st May 2014 shall be inspected by Uganda National Bureau of Standards at an inspection fee of $140.

Also government has waived the 15 percent surcharge on CIF value up to 31st may 2014 beyond the deadline, the penalty will be reinstated.

Traders whose cars fail the inspection and not rectified within 3 days will have to destroy the vehicles at their cost.

Similarly any bond found with radioactive vehicles shall be asked to dispose them outside Uganda and banned from doing business in Uganda and starting from 1st June 2014, vehicles without Certificate of Road Worthiness (CRW) from PVoC Service Providers shall not be allowed to enter the country.

The minister also empowered relevant government agencies like UNBS, Uganda Revenue Authority and others to ensure that all vehicles without CRW are stopped at the border points.

In a published press statement, Amelia Kyambadde, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives said that government’s emphasis is to ensure adherence to quality and standards.

Kyambadde cautiously explained that substandard vehicles are a death trap

“This is because they cause accidents, and they are sometimes contaminated with radiations which increase the rate of cancer in this country. The ministry is, therefore, committed to continue supporting the growth of your business and the Ugandan economy, taking into account the health and safety of the consumers,” Kyambadde said.

Source : East African Business Week

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