Labour Minister Signs Contract With EAA Company Ltd For PVoC Programme For Used Vehicles Exported From Japan

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Pictured is the Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes at center addressing the contract signing with EAA Company Limited from Japan for the development and implementation of a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme that would inspect all used vehicles being shipped from Japan prior to importation into The Bahamas. Also pictured from left to right are Dr. Renae F. Bufford, Director of BBSQ; Ms. Cecilia Strachan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Mr. Lee Sayer, Vice President and Director of EAA Company Ltd.

The Minister of Labour, Senator the Hon. Dion Foulkes along with Government officials signed a contract with EAA Company Limited from Japan on Monday, January 21, 2019 for the development and implementation of a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme that would inspect all used vehicles being shipped from
Japan prior to importation into The Bahamas. Minister Foulkes explained that in early 2018, The Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality (BBSQ) decided to invite motor vehicle inspection specialists to provide an ‘Expression of Interest’ in working with them on the development and implementation of such a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme for used vehicles prior to importation into The Bahamas.

He disclosed that after careful scrutiny and consideration of the replying Inspection Companies, BBSQ, along with its reporting relationship to the Ministry of Labour, established that EAA Company Limited from Japan, was the most qualified of such companies. Their
appointment was recommended to the Bahamian Government and approved by Cabinet in November 2018.

Minister Foulkes commented, “With the introduction of this PVoC programme to The Bahamas, we take a positive and responsible step toward the protection of our citizens through ensuring only roadworthy vehicles enter our country, and our environment by enforcing internationally recognised emissions and radiation conformance on vehicle imports. As a Small Island State, we can no longer allow the growing practice of dumping end of life vehicles on the side of our
roads, or having un-roadworthy vehicles endangering the lives of Bahamians.”

He continued, “The Government of The Bahamas, along with all of its relative working agencies, that is (Customs Department, the Department of Road Traffic, the Department of Public Works,
and the Arawak Port Development, The Bahamas Motor Dealers’ Association, and many of our Private Used Car Companies and Rental Companies), proudly stand behind this PVoC programme and the working relationship being forged with our chosen partner, EAA Company Limited, in ensuring the compliance at our borders of all used vehicles imported.” Minister Foulkes said that many countries around the world have moved and are moving toward the introduction of import regulations that require the pre-shipment inspection of used motor vehicle imports. He said that there is strong evidence to support that such a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme serves to keep the roads of the countries free of potentially unsafe vehicles.  

Minister Foulkes disclosed that according to the Arawak Port Development (APD), more than11,000 units (both passenger and commercial) were imported in 2016. In 2017, the total units increased significantly to 18,469 and fell slightly in 2018 to 17,191, the vast majority of which were from Japan. He said that it is anticipated that 2019 import numbers will be similar to that of 2017 and 2018.
“From these statistics, the need to ensure these imports are ‘roadworthy’, prior to leaving the countries of origin, is essential to protect The Bahamas from continuing to be a ‘dumping ground’ for unsafe motor vehicles,” the Labour Minister said. Minister Foulkes said that Japan as a country, has suffered several nuclear accidents; (the latest in 2011 in Fukushima), and it is imperative that potentially radiated used vehicles, are not allowed to enter our country. “This Pre-Inspection of Verification to Conformity programme, specifically addresses this risk by including a mandatory requirement for radiation inspection on every inspected vehicle. There is evidence that even 6 years after the last nuclear accident in Japan, highly radiated vehicles are being detected prior to export, where such vehicles are
subjected to a pre-shipment inspection.

In addition to radiation inspections, EAA will also check for the following:-Steering Wheel Alignment, Breaking Force, Level of noise, Exhaust gas and pipe emissions, Brightness of Headlamps, Horn sound level, Engine, Cooling System, Fuel System, Transmission System, Propeller Shaft, Final Drive System, Axel Housing, Suspension System, Axles, wheels and tyres, Mileage meter, Warning lights, Frame and vehicle body.”The contract will commence with an initial pilot programme of one year. After the signing therewill be a 90 day period to finalize the implementation process and public education. The cost of
the inspections is $150.00 which will be paid by the exporters in Japan.

EAA headquarters is in Yokohama, Japan. It is a used vehicle inspection specialist. Established in 2007, EAA is an independent company that has no conflicts of interest. It is accredited by the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO Standard 17020); in 2012; by the Japanese Accreditation Board, and a member of CITA (the International Association of Public and Private Sector Organisations actively practising Compulsory Inspection of Motor Vehicles). EAA CO. Ltd is also contracted and approved by the Regulatory Standards Bodies and Agencies in Singapore, Mauritius, Tanzania, Zambia and Zanzibar, to conduct such used vehicle inspections.

EAA officials represented at the contract signing included Mr. Prosper Sugai, Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Lee Sayer, Vice President and Director and Mr. Toyohiko Hashino, General Manager. Also in attendance at the meeting was Ms. Cecilia Strachan, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour; Mr. William Pratt, Senior Undersecretary in the Ministry of Labour; Mr. Aaron Brice,
Chairman of The Bahamas Bureau of Standards & Quality (BBSQ); Dr. Renae F. Bufford, Director of BBSQ and Mr. L. Fred Albury of The Bahamas Motor Dealers Association.

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