Trade and Industry to reconsider imports restrictions

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By Lineo Ramatlapeng

Ministry of Trade and Industry has been forced to consider revising imports permits new guidelines after receipt of criticism that the guidelines are tantamount to banning importation of Japanese pre-owned vehicles older than 8 years.

The Ministry had published guidelines on issuance of import permits for purchase of second-hand vehicles which provides that all vehicles imported will not be older than 8 years for both dealers and individuals.

The move, by the ministry amid being seen as intended to reduce the accumulation of dumped vehicles in Lesotho has been criticised for denying the poor a means to make a living and own a vehicle.

Much of the vehicles are used as 4+1 or cab service across Lesotho and have created a source of employment for many Basotho.

The guidelines also mentioned that the motor dealer license fees will be increased to M150, 000 payable twice per year, and the quota for each motor dealer will be only 250 vehicles imported per year.

Public Relations Officer Liahelo Nkaota said the ministry issued a statement on March 16, however, its legal team is meeting with the minister following uproar over the hefty fees and low quotas for importation by dealers.

Nkaota added that after their meeting they will brief the media on development.

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