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'Dont rollback vehicle import age limits'

Published:Monday | March 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM

The Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUDCA) is hoping to have dialogue with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce next week as it continues advocating against a proposal to rollback the import age limits for cars and light commercial vehicles.

A revised Government policy allows the importation of cars up to the age of five years and light commercial vehicles up to six years. But the Automobile Dealers Association (ADA), which represents new car dealer, has proposed those be reverted to three years and four years respectively.

Lynvalle Hamilton, president of JUDCA told Sunday Business he was uncertain about the precise date of the meeting, but "the Ministry has agreed to meet with us one day next week."

The JUDCA has been very vocal in recent weeks as it tries to defend the current age import limits.

The used car dealers also want to discuss the reintroduction of the damaged car trade, discrepancies surrounding the year of manufacture and the age stated on documents for the vehicles, as well as the streamlining of duty concession.

The JUDCA president also said the group has intentions to present a proposal to Parliaments tax reform committee in "two to three weeks time", but the contents of this document would be dependent on the discussions with the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce next week.

However, earlier this week Finance Minister Dr. Peter Phillips said they have concluded the public hearings on tax reform and that the tax reform committee is now considering the recommendations to make a report to the full house.

Phillips also said a white paper on tax reform is to be tabled in Parliament at the same time that the estimates of expenditure for fiscal year 2012-2013 are presented in April.

Hamilton said JUDCA's overall stance on tax reform is that "the status quo should remain as is now" and the Government should focus on collection.

"I strongly believe that the government should get the collection right, he said. The point is that we need to enforce the law. There was a change (in the common external tariff from 40 per cent to 20 per cent) last year and I believe that this should stay in place."

marcella.scarlett@gleanerjm.com