In an effort to lower the percentage of radioactive vehicles entering the Bahamas, the governing body of this Caribbean country has signed a contract with Japanese car inspection company, EAA Company Limited. According to Labor Minister Dion Foulkes, this contract is a ‘milestone achievement’ for the country, making the Bahamas the second nation in the region to enforce pre-shipment inspection of used cars for road safety.
What Does the Contract Entail?
According to Foulkes, the contract with EAA Company Limited will help establish the necessary regulations for roadworthiness of all used vehicles coming from Japan. Reports from the Arawak Port Development (APD) illustrated that more than 11,000 units of passenger and commercial vehicles were imported in 2016. The following years, the figures increased to 18,469 units.
Foulkes said that most of these imported vehicles came from Japan. Moreover, the government anticipates that the figures for 2019 will be similar to those of the previous year. He mentioned that the Bahamian government wanted to prevent the country from becoming a ‘dumping ground’ of hazardous motor vehicles.
Because of the nuclear accidents in Japan, the Bahamian government wanted to ensure that no potentially radiated used vehicles will enter the country. So, when importing used cars to the Bahamas, the units have to go through the pre-inspection of verification to conformity (PVoC) program. Every vehicle inspected under this regulation must go through radiation check.
The Bahamian government signed the contract with EAA Company Limited, entrusting them with the responsibility of inspecting all used cars for radiation and other issues. The company will check for deficiencies on braking force, steering wheel alignment, gas and pipe emissions, exhaust, cooling and fuel systems, mileage meter, the engine, warning lights, and the vehicle body. There will be a 90-day period from the time of contract signing, dedicated for public education and for finalizing the implementation process.
Will the PVoC Additional Become Another Tax Burden to Bahamians?
According to Foulkes, the contract does not include any clause requiring the Bahamian government to pay for the PVoC program. So, the country’s taxpayers do not have to worry about it becoming a financial burden. That said, the pre-inspection requirement will become a source of revenue for the government. The exporter in Japan will be charged $150 for the inspection. He added that the Bureau of Standards will get $20 back for every inspection that they will have to conduct in the Bahamas.
How Does the Pre-Inspection Process Work?
According to Bahamas Motor Deals Association president Lionel Frederick Albury, the inspection process is put in place to ensure that consumers will get the best value for their money. EEA Company Limited vice-president and director Lee Sayer explained that the process will take place after the unit has been bought from an exporter.
Before shipping the vehicle, it must be brought to one of the inspection sites of EEA Company Limited. If the unit does not meet the quality standards, it will be rejected. In this case, the exporter will renegotiate with the importer whether they will bring the unit to the standards or replace it.
If the used car passes the inspection, it will be given a certificate of compliance, indicated by a window sticker. In general, the inspection process will only take about 20 to 30 minutes. Moreover, consumers can visit the EEA Company Limited’s website to verify the validity of their inspection certificate.
Importing Used Cars to the Bahamas?
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