Business

Used car importers body to set up local vehicles testing facility

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Managing director Al-Malik Group Azhar Malik (L) with Mr Kassim Omar, the national chairman of Uganda Clearing and Import Forwarders Association, address journalists in Kampala on Monday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA 

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Friday, March 14  2014 at  15:10

In Summary

Cost. Importers claim the inspection fee of about Shs756,000 raises the cost of doing business.

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Kampala.
Just days after protesting Uganda Bureau of Standards’ decision to re-inspect imported used cars before being shipped here, Used Car Dealers Association has issued a statement saying it is prepared to invest any amount of money to set up a vehicles-testing facility in Uganda.

The Used Car Dealers Association leadership says it is willing to work with the government through the public-private partnership arrangement to establish modern vehicle-testing facilities that could also be used for testing road worthiness of vehicles that are already on the road.

“We cannot wait to discuss this arrangement (investing in a vehicle testing facility) with government,” Mr Siddiq Mushtaq, a senior member of the Used Car Dealers Association, told the Daily Monitor earlier in the week.
A statement issued by the Used Car Dealers Association further recommended that government suspends mandatory inspection at the ports of export (before the vehicles are shipped here) as consensus and modalities on its implementation is being agreed.

Although some of them support the move to have vehicles inspected before being shipped into the country, importers of used cars say the decision was unilaterally imposed on them.
The importers of used vehicles also claim the inspection fee of about $300 (about Shs756,000) raises the cost of doing business given that the cost is passed over to the consumer, making the cost of a used vehicle increase by nearly a million shillings.

But the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) says the importers of used cars, particularly from Japan, are aware of the fee whose enforcement is already due. UNBS adds that it is not true that the inspection has been arbitrarily imposed on them.

In an interview with the Daily Monitor last week, Ms Patriccia Bageine Ejalu, the UNBS deputy executive director, the institution is inspecting their vehicles this to safeguard the interests of consumers.

reasons for the inspection
Ms Patricia Bageine Ejalu, the UNBS deputy executive director, said the pre-export verification of conformity (PVOC) programme is being enforced because of the potential dangers of radiation. Some of its effects include causing cancer, among others. Therefore, it is supposed to ensure all used vehicles in Uganda are fit to be on the road.

views
Standards body: In a meeting with the importers of used cars earlier in the week, the enforcing agency, UNBS reminded the importers of their obligations to comply with the inspection which is already due.
Japan Export Vehicle Inspection Center (JEVIC) is one of the three firms that was contracted by UNBS to inspect all vehicles destined to Uganda for radiation and road worthiness among others.

Dealers’ views. The used car dealers however object to this initiative saying the inspection should be done here in Uganda and that money should be paid to government (UNBS) directly rather than a foreign firm that keeps the largest percentage.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com