Minister Keita ( At head of table, reading the new Administrative Regulation to Importers of Vehicles)
Minister Keita ( At head of table, reading the new Administrative Regulation to Importers of Vehicles)
Photo Credit: Public Affairs

Wednesday, September 28, 2016: In an effort to ensure the full implementation of the recent Administrative Regulation Regarding Car Dealership and Importers of Moving Vehicles, the Administration of the Ministry of Transport on Wednesday, September 28, 2016, met with the Leadership of Vehicle Importers in the Conference Room of the Ministry.

Addressing the Importers, Acting Transport Minister, Bushuben M. Keita officially informed them about the promulgation of a new Administrative Regulation by the Ministry dated August 18, 2016 signed by the Minister of Transport, Honorable Angela Cassell Bush and approved by the President on August 23, 2016 and now printed into handbills. According to Minister Keita, the Regulation, among other things stipulates that beginning October 1, 2016, all Car Dealers, Three wheelers and Motorbike Sellers are to ensure that that Vehicles sold are fully registered and insured before leaving their premises. He said the Regulation also stipulates that beginning October 1, 2016, all importers of Vehicles, Three wheelers and Motorbikes who are not registered and licensed to deal in the sale of vehicles in Liberia will be required to register and insure the vehicles they import upon their arrival in Liberia and before clearing from the port of entry in Liberia. Subsequent sale of such vehicles in Liberia shall be prohibited unless the vendor is authorized by the Ministry of Transport to engage in the sale of vehicles.

Regarding penalties for violations of any provisions of the Regulation, Acting Minister Keita said fines of US$500.00 And US$1000.00 are prescribed for first and second violations respectively while the suspension of Dealership’s operation certificate is prescribed for any subsequent violation. It finally stipulates that any person found operating a motor vehicle, three wheelers or Motorbikes without valid registration and insurance shall have their operator’s license confiscated in keeping with section 4.7(1) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law Volume 6.VI Title 38 Liberia Code of Law Revised Chapter Four.

The Acting Minister who earlier wholeheartedly welcomed the importers to the meeting called for very frank exchange of views for the successful implementation for the new Administrative Regulation.

Deputy Transport Minister for Land & Rail, Juanita T. Bropleh who attended the meeting told the importers that the process for vehicles registration are now automated and considerably improved and that each one was at liberty to test the system if he/she wishes. For the purpose of implementing the Administrative Regulation especially fast tracking the process, Deputy Minister Bropleh informed the Importers that a “Dedicated Window” will be opened at the Ministry of Transport into which payments will be made by Dealerships.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, Mr. Augustine Vandii, an executive of the leadership commended the Ministry for the initiative of the Regulation and other achievements over a period of time and pledged their full cooperation and support. A number of concerns were however raised by him and others at the meeting including a request for a grace period, huge taxes being paid by them at the Freeport of Monrovia while others who are not even licensed by the Ministry to import cars paid far lesser custom duties which they termed as very unfair and appealed to the Ministry to deal with these issues which have undermined their businesses over the years.

Responding, Minister Keita told the importers that the Regulation was now in force and must be complied with accordingly. He however said that the concerns raised were legitimate and assured them that the Ministry will hold discussions with authorities of the Liberia Revenue Authority to appropriately address these concerns as soon as possible.