The 2016 Revised Foreign Used Car Policy

The Revised Policy on the Foreign Used Car Industry was approved on Thursday 14th January, 2016 by the Cabinet,and Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon disclosed the details on Friday in Port of Spain.

The revisions are:

1. The age limit of gasoline powered foreign used cars which are allowed for importation be revised to four (4) years from the existing six (6) years with immediate effect;

2. The current age limit of three (3) years for diesel powered cars and four (4) years for CNG powered cars which are allowed for importation be maintained;

3. Individuals be allowed to import foreign used right-hand drive cars for personal use once every four (4) years instead of once every three (3) years. The age limit of such cars imported for personal use will now also be four (4) years;

4. The Ministry of Trade and Industry will temporarily suspend the application process for any new person or business seeking to register as a Foreign Used Car Dealer at the Trade Licence Unit (TLU) as at Thursday 14th January 2016.

The Ministry is currently undertaking a comprehensive review and audit of the existing Policy and Procedures to Regulate the Right-Hand Drive Foreign Used Car Industry in Trinidad and Tobago. The review will include discussions with all relevant stakeholders. Following the conclusion of this review by 31 March 2016, a subsequent submission will be made to the Cabinet on a revised Policy for the period 2016-2020 for its consideration.

The Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago acknowledges the significant contributions the Foreign Used Car Industry has made to the level of economic activity in the country since its inception in the early 1990’s.

In particular, the Industry has positively impacted the economy via increases in employment and income generation, as well as, having made vehicle ownership affordable for many lower and middle income families.

Moreover, the importation of foreign used cars has also contributed considerably to the growth and development of a number of related downstream activities in the Industry, including servicing and repair of cars, trading of spare parts and tyres, tint and graphics and the supply of ancillary accessories for cars such as alarms, audio systems, customizing and auto body works.

Highlighting some of the challenges which were considerations in the Government’s decision, the Minister cited:

1. The increase in traffic congestion on the nation’s roadways;

2. Foreign exchange leakages as the Foreign Used Car Industry is comprised of net importers;

3. Safety and environmental protection considerations for the citizens and the environment.

4. Irregularities associated with the operation of the Foreign Used Car Industry in Trinidad and Tobago.

Letters informing ALL Active registered Dealers of their quota allocations will be available for collection at our Trade Licence Unit – No. 42 Tenth Avenue, Barataria on Monday 18th January, 2016.

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