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Authorized motor vehicle dealer guidelines

Published:Monday | January 11, 2016 | 1:07 PM

The Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce's Motor Vehicle Import Policy of February 2014 gives clear guidelines for the commercial trading of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, within Jamaica.

According to the policy, an "authorised motor vehicle dealer" is a business entity registered with the Companies Office of Jamaica and certified by the relevant government minister to import motor vehicles.

Motor vehicles are classified by the ministry as "any self-propelled, wheeled vehicle that does not operate on rails and for which propulsion is provided by an internal combustion engine, an electric motor, or a combination of the two" and includes motor cars, trucks, trailers, tractors, and motorcycles.

"All duly registered companies desirous of participating in the motor vehicle trade as dealers or brokers will be required to undergo background checks so as to ensure that they are fit and proper to conduct business," the policy document stated.

According to the policy, in order to receive certification and merit annual recertification as importers of and/or traders in motor vehicles, all certified motor vehicle dealers and brokers must, among other things, be registered under the Companies Act; have a valid taxpayer registration number; have a current tax compliance certificate or evidence of registration with the National Insurance Scheme, National Housing Trust, and Tax Administration Jamaica.

EXPRESSED WARRANTY

Another requirement is that traders offer an expressed warranty on each unit sold and be compliant with their obligations under the Consumer Protection Act, Sale of Goods Act, and Fair Competition Act. Each entity should also have a permanent address and location of operation, be easily accessible from the public roadway, and be identified as a motor vehicle dealership via a sign displaying the exact name of the entity as it appears on the registration documents.

The location is also required to have basic infrastructure, including a display lot to accommodate at least three motor vehicles and should "not accommodate any other business activity unless of like nature".

The policy also says that the entity's office must include at a minimum a desk, two chairs, a filing cabinet, a telephone, and "space under roof" for the service or repair of at least two motor vehicles and be equipped with lift/ramp, fire extinguisher, and other tools relevant to the servicing of modern vehicles.

Other prerequisites include documentary evidence from the National Environmental Planning Agency to indicate that the entity is equipped with adequate

facilities to address the proper disposal of waste oil, old batteries, old tires, and other material that may be environmentally hazardous. The operators are also obligated to provide evidence to substantiate the employment of at least one trained mechanic/technician certified by a recognised organisation as having the technical competency to work on modern vehicles.

- C.G.