Thursday August 10 2017

Used vehicles to undergo new inspection standards

Imported cars ready for sale at a bond in Kampala.

The car business in Uganda mainly depends on old cars imported from Japan. File photo 


KAMPALA. Importers of used motor vehicles will now have to subject their cargo to new inspection standards before importing them into the country, Daily Monitor has learnt.
The reviewed and updated standard on motor vehicle inspection has, however, not impressed the dealers, who described the development as untimely and a barrier to trade.
But Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), in a statement it issued on Tuesday, said the move is aimed at promoting standards and good practices in inspection of second hand motor vehicles.
If this is well-implemented, only used motor vehicles that pass the road worthiness inspection will be allowed in the country.
“The standard was developed by the technical committee on Transport and Communications and it specifies safety related performance characteristics of used motor vehicles and their inspection and testing for roadworthiness,” reads part of the UNBS statement.
The statement further says: “The Standard (US845) is available for public review and comments until September 05, 2017, after which the technical committee will review comments from the public including industry stakeholders before recommending the standard for approval and declaration as a National Standards by the National Standards Council.”
According to UNBS executive director Ben Manyindo, the reviewed standards are as a result of growing demand for standard procedures in inspecting used motor vehicles.
The UNBS requires that second hand vehicles are inspected for conformity to Uganda Standards before being exported from the country of origin in what is known as Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC).
After that, cars that pass the inspection will be issued with a certificate of roadworthiness to allow them in the country during importation.
However, the certificate is only valid for a period of one year and thereafter another inspection for road worthiness will be required.
“The standards provide guidelines to streamline the process and procedures used in inspection of motor vehicles. Motor vehicle inspectors, garages and mechanics will find the standards useful for carrying out routine checks and inspections of second hand motor vehicles,” Dr Manyindo quoted as having said.
Last financial year, the UNBS developed 357 standards which were approved by the National Standards Council as Uganda Standards.
When contacted about the new development on Tuesday, the managing director Al-Malik Group, Azhar Malik, said: “This will not help business.”
He continued: “Inspection should be done here because it will create jobs for our people and the government will get revenue.”
A section of the used motor vehicle industry players are also opposed to the inspection fee, saying it increases the cost of doing business, making it difficult for the consumer to easily afford the product.
The standards body, however, insists that its aim is to promote trade, enhance competitiveness of local industries and protect the health and safety of consumers.
Within its mandate, UNBS has the duty to inspect goods imported into the country to ensure that they conform to mandatory standards.
To improve the quality of imported goods, UNBS started the implementation of PVoC.
The inspection is being done by three companies namely: -Bureau Veritas, Intertek and SGS. They carry out inspections on behalf of UNBS in the countries where the imports originate from.
Pre-Export Verification of Conformity to standards ensure that the safety hazards inherent to the specific product (such as mechanical, electrical, thermal, fire or explosion, chemical, biological or radiation hazards) are contained before they get out of control.
It also checks the severity of the hazard, homogeneity of the consignment; ensures goods in a container are of consistent quality all through to the final buyer and end user with respect to value for money.