ATTT says Imported used cars pose threat

The National Assembly has discussed a bill that would regulate the importation of used or salvaged cars.

The director of the Transit and Land Transportation Authority (ATTT), Julio González, asked the Trade and Economic Affairs Committee of the National Assembly to move forward with bill 580, which seeks to regulate and control the importation of used vehicles.

In a letter addressed to the president of the commission, Nelson Jackson Palma, González says that in the last eight years an average of 14,600 used vehicles have entered the country, of which a significant percentage are vehicles "with a prohibition of registration and circulation in their countries of origin for not complying with the required security conditions ".

In the note, the official explained that the Unique Registration Department of Motor Vehicles of the ATTT keeps a record of said vehicles and have realized that they are "salvages" from other countries, based on the documents presented. 

"Documentation used for their registration, which identifies them as salvage vehicles and vehicles with certificates of destruction," the letter says.

He adds that, according to the documents, these vehicles have been declared as "total loss due to natural disasters, floods and the like; for serious injuries, dismantling or cut into parts ".

Gonzalez added: "undoubtedly that vehicles such as the ones described above represent a threat to safety, both for the occupants and others on the road’.

The ATTT is also concerned about the level of pollution they generate. "In many cases, they far exceed the limits established by the existing standard in the matter," the entity said.

"The ATTT, as guarantor and safeguard road of the Republic of Panama, greatly supports the initiative, as it requires a rule to regulate the imports of used cars,"  added  Gonzalez.

Article 15 of Law 51 of June 28, 2017, which regulates road transport, indicates that "to provide cargo transport ... it is prohibited to import vehicles with 10 years or more of the date of manufacturing’’.

The Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition Authority also endorse the approval of the document, although it requested that some changes be made.

The initiative, which was presented by the panameñista José Antonio Domínguez seeks, among other aspects, that the "salvage" cars be discharged in the Vehicular Registry and in the corresponding municipality, for its subsequent withdrawal from circulation.  It was sent to a subcommittee.