Bridgetown, Barbados - The Jamaica Used Car Dealers Association (JUCDA) is crying fowl that Japanese dealers are trading directly with consumers in Jamaica.
"Our members have expressed concerns about how easy it is for used car suppliers from Japan to be granted dealership certification in Jamaica," Lynvalle Hamilton, president of JUCDA, said. (guardian)
Apparently Jamaicans are now benefiting by purchasing vehicles from the suppliers which has cut into the profits of JUCDA. But why can't this be replicated in Barbados?
Barbadians import about 400 vehicles per month, or about 5000 per year in a population of about 280,000 persons.
It has been stated that Governments' efforts to collect millions of dollars in taxes has been prevented from entering the treasury because many persons are under-invoicing the cost of these vehicle.
Under-invoicing most likely occurs because Government's rate of duty of cars is 200 percent. The used car dealers then have add the cost of the vehicle from the Japanese, shipping cost, the taxes from the Government, and their profits, and yet be able to sell a vehicle at a reasonable price.
If, however, consumers were allowed to trade easily with Japanese suppliers then Government should be able to claim on its taxes because there will no longer be a "middle man" whose profits must also be set aside.
Don't be fooled, however, because if this is not managed properly and the Japanese were to take over the market completely with no competitors around, they too might try to improve upon their profits.