The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association (CMTA) yesterday said the decision by the government to allow the assembling of motor vehicles locally with used imported spare parts violates the Customs regulations and endangers the lives of the buyers of such vehicles.
The CMTA is the apex body representing the manufacturers of the global automobile brands in Sri Lanka.
“This move by the authorities will jeopardize the safety of motorists, the public and also contravenes an existing Customs regulation, which only permits the importation of vehicles that have been used up to a maximum of three years, from the date of first registration,” the CMTA said in a statement. The association also pointed out that the move contradicts the government’s policy, which encourages the export of motor vehicles that have been used for a period of maximum of five years in Sri Lanka, to reduce the impact to the environment.
“The danger of allowing this to go ahead is that the unsuspecting motor vehicle buyer would not know the year of manufacture of these so-called assembled vehicles and a car manufactured 10 years ago can be issued with the latest registration number plates from the RMV.
A 10-year-old car will also not have the relevant spare parts necessary for repairs and the maintenance of a vehicle as the guarantee of spare parts from the manufacturer is only valid for 10 to 15 years from the date of manufacture.
In the event of a major accident, the engine number and chassis number would not be able to be related to the manufacturers’ records, thereby even causing security concerns. The status of registration will also be ambiguous and will therefore, cause further complications legally,” the CMTA statement noted.
The association also believes such a move would create environmental and safety issues and also contradicts the government’s long-term policy of standardizing vehicles with brand-new vehicle imports.
The CMTA further pointed out that any decision taken in extending the life of obsolete vehicles assembled from used spare parts could be a strain on the country’s balance sheet and therefore, all citizens will have to bear the negative effects of this action.
Therefore, the CMTA requested the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to look into this matter and take appropriate actions to rectify the issue.