Gov't to keep small buses out

By Balford Henry Senior Observer reporter balfordh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, April 07, 2014    

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THE government says it will continue to block buses with seating capacity of fewer than 15 from entering the public-passenger transport sector, and that the importation of these units will be closely monitored by Customs.

The announcement was made in a Ministry paper tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday by Minister of industry, Investment and Commerce, Anthony Hylton, and titled "Motor Vehicle Import Policy".

According to the Ministry Paper, "In an effort to reduce congestion on the roads, maintain safety standards and to keep buses with seating capacity less than fifteen (15) from entering the public-passenger transport sector, the importation of these units is closely monitored.

"A concessional rate of duty is applied to buses with seating capacity fifteen (15) and over, imported for use in the public transportation sector. Applications for import permits for buses to be used in the public transportation sector must be accompanied by a letter from the Transport Authority indicating the status of the importer's road licence.

"The Trade Board Limited will not approve applications for the importation of buses to be used in the public transportation sector at the concessional rate of duty, unless such applications are accompanied by the relevant letter from the Transport Authority".

Under the new policy a concessional rate of duty is also applicable to vehicles with seating capacity ten (10) and over, imported for use in the Tourism Ground Transportation Sector. Applications for import permits for such vehicles must be accompanied by support letters from the Ministry of Tourism".

The Ministry Paper also pointed out that a all vehicles imported under the concessional duty structure, for use in the Public Transportation Sector or the Tourism Ground Transportation Sector, will be subject to a clause for a period of

three years, prohibiting their sale, transfer or pledging within the stipulated period, without prior approval from the Trade Board Limited.

If the vehicle is to be sold or disposed of outside the respective sector before the restrictive period expires, arrangements must be made with the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service, to address the outstanding duties prior to the application to the Trade Board Limited for removal of the restriction, along with payment of the associated fee to the Trade Board limited.

If the prospective purchaser is an approved operator in the Tourism Ground Transportation Sector or Public Transportation Sector the remaining period of the restriction can be transferred to the purchaser after payment of the associated fee to the Trade Board Limited.

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