The Ceylon Motor Traders’ Association yesterday expressed concern over the recent decision by the Government to allow the assembling of motor vehicles locally by using imported used spare parts.
The association, which is the apex body representing the manufacturers of global automobile brands in Sri Lanka, said this move would jeopardise the safety of motorists and the general public while it also contravenes an existing Customs regulation which only permits the importation of vehicles that have been used for a maximum of three years from the date of first registration.
The move also contradicts the Government’s policy which encourages the re-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 vehicle manufactured 10 years ago could be issued with the latest registration number plates from the RMV.
A 10-year-old vehicle will also not have the relevant spare parts necessary for repairs and maintenance as the guarantee of spare parts from the manufacturer is for only valid between 10-15 years from the date of manufacture.
In the event of a major accident, the engine number and the chassis number would not relate to manufacturers’ records, thereby even causing security concerns. The status of registration will also be ambiguous and will therefore cause further complications legally.
The association also believes such a move would create environmental and safety issues and also contradicts the Government’s long-term policy of standardising vehicles with brand-new vehicle imports.
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, it noted.
The CMTA requests the intervention of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to look into this matter and take appropriate action to rectify the issue.