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News | Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Car importation from Japan ‘back in business’

Charlot Zahra

After a month of discussions with the authorities, the Used Vehicles Importers Association (UVIA) and the Government reached an agreement on the registration values of used cars imported from Japan.
“This is an important day for the country, and I have some important news to give you,” said lawyer Emanuel Mallia, the legal representative of the UVIA, told journalists during a press conference yesterday morning. “We’re back in business.”
Under the agreement, cars imported from Japan will be paying a registration tax which is “substantially cheaper”. But when asked to quantify by how much, Mallia could not specify.
Mallia said that since the beginning of this year, business in Japan-originating used cars had “gone to a standstill” in view of the uncertainty surrounding the implementation of the new registration regime for second-hand cars.
He claimed that in 2007, UVIA members accounted for 40 per cent of the total number of cars registered in Malta.
Under the agreement, the carbon dioxide emissions figures for the used cars imported from Japan were converted into corresponding figures which are compatible with the measurement system used in the EU.
Mallia said that under the Japanese system, private cars are scrapped after only two years and that used cars are then sold abroad on a mass auction basis.
He claimed that speedometers were checked and re-sealed prior to the cars being shipped abroad and a certificate stating the mileage of that vehicle would then be issued.
Moreover, the UK’s Central Vehicle Authority (CVA) had an office in Japan, which certified the vehicle prior to it being shipped abroad.
Mallia explained that in the past few days, UVIA committee members went to the CVA office in the UK to get the necessary data about the used cars imported from Japan.
He thanked the various stakeholders involved in the agreement, such as the Malta Standards Authority, the Malta Transport Authority, the Ministry for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications, and the Finance Ministry for their contribution in reaching the agreement.

czahra@mediatoday.com.mt

 

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11 February 2009
ISSUE NO. 569

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