Guyana’s Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan has rejected calls by used tyre importers and sellers for government to scrap plans to ban used tyres from April 1, 2017.
“This mass importation of used tyres- I don’t think will change. Guyana is a dumping ground for these,” he said whenasked by Demerara Waves Online News.
He said government would, however, be will willing to “flex” with tyres on recently imported vehicles once they pass the test by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards “or they will have to change it.”
The Finance Minister remarked that a lot of used tyres are being imported from unknown places. Unofficial estimates put the number of used tyres being imported annually at 20,000.
While the announcement was made in the 2017 National Budget that was presented in late November, 2016 to the National Assembly, the new measure comes into effect from April 1, 2017 after government allowed a three-month grace period for used tyre stocks to be sold.
From April 1, the customs duty on new tyres would be reduced from 30 to 15 percent.
The Guyana Used Tyres Association (GUTA) is opposed to the ban on the grounds that at least 5,000 persons will lose their jobs if used tyres are banned. The association warned that the ban would trigger cross-border smuggling of the items. They said the properly tested and verified used tyres are safe.
The group said the GNBS could not test the quality of used or new tyres and warned that new tyres do guarantee the effectiveness of a tyre since many so-called new products are of an inferior quality to many used-tyres.