BAN ENFORCED: Law restricts importation of vehicles older than 8 years

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  • cars older than 8 years will be seized and disposed of if imported after May 1, 2016

The Guyana Revenue Authority  (GRA) wishes to remind Motor Vehicle dealers and other importers that the recent legislative changes to the Customs Act restricts motor vehicles that are eight years and older, from the date of manufacture to the date of importation, from entering Guyana. This new Law took effect from May 01, 2016.

 The GRA, in a statement, said it had already issued Notices to this effect in the media and therefore urges vehicle importers to desist from purchasing such vehicles and attempting to import same since vehicles in contravention will be forfeited and disposed thereof, in accordance with the provisions of the Customs Laws. Other fines and penalties may also be imposed.

Importers should note that the restriction excludes heavy-duty vehicles, namely trucks, lorries, vehicles used in the agricultural and industrial sector and special purpose vehicles.

Meanwhile, in light of thousands of Guyanese from the lower middle class and poor strata in society being directly affected from the government’s restriction of importation of used and/or re-conditioned vehicles to under eight years old from the date of manufacture to the date of importation, Former President and now Opposition Leader Dr Bharrat Jagdeo had, on several occasions earlier this year, urged the APNU/AFC administration to instead extend this period to vehicles 12 years old.

Jagdeo had indicated that there is a “huge market among poor people, ordinary people” for these types of vehicles and some of them cannot even afford the purchase prices with one payment hence they buy them “on terms”.

“It is a certain group of people who purchase these vehicles so they will have to find at least 30 per cent more to buy that vehicle, so I am asking the Minister of Finance and President David Granger to extend this eight-year restriction to 12 years, so that this group of people can continue to drive a vehicle and not have the additional burden of finding $1M and more for the acquisition of a vehicle,” Jagdeo had appealed, but the government paid no heed.

Dr Bharrat Jagdeo
Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The Opposition Leader explained that while this may have been one measure in supporting the concept of a “green economy” which has been announced by the government of the day he had always sought to have a balance in the strong push from a “green economy” with the need to improve people’s lifestyles while not bringing additional burdens on the citizens.

“Of course there would be more cost for importation of some of the spare parts but you have to balance it against poor people’s desires to own something and drive it and therefore I am urging the increase from eight to 12 years for the ban,” Jagdeo had told a news conference earlier this year.

A number of the auto dealers in the country have also opined that the eight-year stipulation will have a negative impact on a large number of people since most of the vehicles being imported to date are over eight years old.

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