Temas Especiales

22 de Oct de 2020

Nacional

Panama not a scrap-heap

PANAMA. Second-hand cars that are imported into Panama may soon have to be accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing that they are mech...

PANAMA. Second-hand cars that are imported into Panama may soon have to be accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing that they are mechanically sound and road-worthy.

This is the principal aim of a proposed law that is now being studied in the National Assembly by the Commercial, Industrial and Economic Affairs Commission.

The law was drawn up after the Consumer Protection Authority (Acodeco) received in this year alone 56 complaints from purchasers of second hand cars who said that their vehicles were not satisfactory.

The president of the Commission, Alcibiades Vasquez, said that some sort of legislation of the second-hand car industry is necessary if Panama is not to turn into a “scrap-heap destination” for cars that are not fit to be imported into developed countries.

The idea is backed up by the Distributors Association of Panama who were involved in negotiating the proposed law.

“As distributors of recognized brands we have to be able to provide the necessary spare parts to people who buy second hand cars,” said their president, Javier Diaz.

He said that in the United States “there is a process similar to the one we have in Panama when we go to get a new license plate and have to have the car checked over.”

The idea is to insist that whichever individual or company imports a used vehicle must ensure that it is accompanied by this kind of documentation from the country of origin guaranteeing the road-worthiness and mechanical condition of the car.”

Some 40 used-car distributors operate out of the capital city, mostly in the sector of Vista Hermosa.

Many of these companies have been adversely affected by the recent economic decline.

Banks are only willing to make second hand car loans on vehicles dating from 2003 or later and to those who can show an income of at least $700 per month.

The proposed law is thought likely to be endorsed by the National Assembly.