‘No license extension for foreign used cars’ | Local company

The Ministry of Trade and Industry yesterday reminded all foreign used car dealers and individual importers of used cars that the expiration date of used motor vehicle import licenses with right hand drive is December 31, 2021.

In a press release yesterday, the Commerce Department said it would not revalidate import licenses issued in 2021 to a date in 2022 for used motor vehicles with right-hand drive (sedans, station wagons and vehicles sport utility vehicles) arriving after December 31. , 2021.

The ministry reminded foreign used car dealers that, as of January 2021, the age allowed for importing used motor vehicles with right-hand drive is three years from the year of manufacture.

However, this does not suit the Trinidad and Tobago Automobile Dealers Association (TTADA), as its chairman, Visham Babwah, accused the government of being determined to destroy the foreign used car industry.

Babwah said it is unfortunate that Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon did not extend the deadline knowing full well that there are several delays of cars arriving in the country, due to of the pandemic.

“It is all over the news that there is congestion in international ports and we would have thought that the minister would have granted an extension, knowing the situation, because car dealers have ordered vehicles since October and he could not not arrive until January, as a result of the delays Shipments that used to take a month now take up to three months.

Babwah argued that the ministry has made it easier for all other groups in the country by providing grants to keep their businesses operational, but the same treatment is not given to the foreign used car industry.

“The government is determined to shut down our industry because all of these measures that the administration continues to impose on us are aimed at putting pressure on car dealerships to go bankrupt. Even bringing a three-year-old car into this country is a big problem and the minister has to revise that and give us back the imported cars that are five to six years old. The current measures are forcing homeowners to close their doors. “

Babwah said the announcement would only cause anxiety and panic within the industry and asked where the quota is on the new auto industry, which the government said it would also have. imposed two budgets ago.

“We haven’t heard anything about it, yet severe measures are being imposed on us. I call on the minister to deliberate on her position and to include us in her discussions, because we have not had any meetings with her, ”lamented Babwah.