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UNBS should build capacity to inspect vehicles in Uganda

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th November 2010 03:00 AM

EDITOR: The Uganda Motor Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (UMIDA) has read Jevic Japan's press release about the necessity of vehicle pre-shipment inspection in Japan.

EDITOR: The Uganda Motor Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (UMIDA) has read Jevic Japan's press release about the necessity of vehicle pre-shipment inspection in Japan.

Nelson Tugume Owaarwe 

Chairman, UMIDA


EDITOR: The Uganda Motor Vehicles Importers and Dealers Association (UMIDA) has read Jevic Japan's press release about the necessity of vehicle pre-shipment inspection in Japan.

Pre-shipment inspection of used vehicles cannot be relevant when we have no age limit for cars imported into the country. The release lacks objectivity. Instead of biasing the public, Jevic and other contracted companies should tell the public the criteria used to inspect cars.

We agree Uganda should not be reduced to a dumping ground and therefore we support the idea that the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) should build capacity for inspection.

By inspecting the cars in Japan, UNBS is denying about 200 skilled Ugandans access to jobs that would be created at internal inspection points within Uganda. In addition, Ugandans are losing jobs to mechanics and fabricators in Japan. Every vehicle that is found to be defective is repaired in Japan where the costs of labour for car repair are extremely high.

A commercial truck found to have a defective body could cost up to $3,000 to repair in Japan yet the same repair task could be easily accomplished by Ugandan mechanics and fabricators for $500. Inspection in Japan increases costs of doing business for importers and denies Ugandans employment in favour of more costly Japanese fabricators and mechanics.

By transferring $13.5m out of our economy, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to build internal capacity. Every year we import nearly 40,000 used cars and pay $225 for the inspection of each car. This means every year, Ugandans spend $9m on road worthiness inspection.

If a Ugandan firm did the inspections internally at a more affordable rate of $30 per car, it would collect $1.2m every year to contribute to the consolidated fund and to build national inspection capacity. That money is enough to construct four vehicle inspection points at the entry points that would directly imply lower costs for Ugandans because there would be no need to transport the cars to Japan.

The scheme is further undermining our competitiveness in the East African Community contrary to the Government vision of building a competitive Ugandan private sector that will harness the opportunities in the EAC Common Market.

The abnormally high cost of inspection has discouraged Ugandans from trading in used cars and this is significantly reducing national revenue.

UNBS should build capacity to inspect vehicles in Uganda

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