NASSAU, BAHAMAS – Labour Minister Dion Foulkes yesterday confirmed a total of 13,751 vehicles have been pre-inspected under the Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme, with 382 vehicles rejected for import.
Foulkes said the programme is on target with achieving its key target indicators and objectives.
The Ministry of Labour and the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) entered into a Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) agreement with EAA Company Ltd. of Japan in 2019 to establish parameters for road-worthiness of all vehicles imported from Japan into The Bahamas.
Foulkes said: “This Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme for ALL used vehicles being imported from Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom and the United Emirates has been extremely successful up until the closing of our borders due to Covid-19.
“However, we anticipate the resumption of operations by September 2020.”
He continued: “To date, this PVoC programme has proven to play a significant role in the detection and prevention of sub-standard used vehicles being imported into our country.
“It has also proven to be a significant source of income for the Bureau of Standards and Quality. Since the implementation of the programme the PVoC programme detected a 12-15 per cent failure rate at the first pre-shipment inspection point.”
He noted that vehicles fail inspection because of insufficient tire tread, cracked windscreen, lights not working, insufficient braking force or adverse exhaust emissions and other defects.
“We are very pleased that these vehicles are not on our Bahamian roads. To date, a total of 13,751 vehicles have been pre-inspected, with 382 vehicles rejected for import,” Foulkes said. ‘
“The programme has generated a total of US$308,560 in administration fees to the Bureau. This inspection programme has generated more for the BBSQ than its annual budget allocation in 2019/2020. With its allocation being reduced in the 2020/2021 period from $300,000 to $200,000 (33.3 percent), we feel that when fully functional again, the revenues generated from vehicle inspection will more than cover the growth and development needs of the Bureau.”
Foulkes also noted that during the COVID-19 crises, the Prices Commission witnessed a drastic increase in the cost of household items such as Lysol, Alcohol Hand sanitizers, and other disinfectants and cleaners.
He said that price inspectors did their investigations which revealed that the prices of those particular items were largely driven by increases by the US suppliers.
“Also during this Covid19, breaches were reported and investigated for gasoline, particularly in the Family islands, and there was a significant increase in the price of eggs,” Foulkes said.
“With respect to eggs, our Price Control investigators were able to advise that U.S. suppliers had marked up the prices before exporting them.
“There is an ongoing investigation with respect to gasoline prices in one of the Family Islands. We hope to bring this matter to the attention of the courts very soon,” he said.