– Minister Prashad
Consequent to an announcement by the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) of a proposal to ban the importation of used tyres into Guyana, Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad, has assured that no such action will be taken.
Briefing the media recently, the Minister stated that contrary to reports emanating from the GNBS there is no evidence that used tyres are the cause of road accidents.
“The consumers association and other non-governmental organisations are saying to me that the used tyres are substandard and defective and they cause accidents on the road but, I have not gotten any scientific evidence either from the police or any organisation to show if the used tyres are actually causing more accidents,” the Minister stated.
He noted that the Ministry has received numerous complaints from private individuals and the various Mini-bus Associations expressing concerns with the recent statements by the GNBS to ban the importation of used tyres.
The Minister said that importers of tyres have been lobbying for a ban on the importation of used tyres, while importers of the latter are claiming that they provide a much needed service.
The Minister stated that there is concern at all ends, including from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which is concerned with the dumping of used tyres from Europe and North America into countries like Guyana, but restated that he is unaware of any accidents caused as a result of using them.
“I don’t know if that is happening. So you have a series of people lobbying at the same time for different things. So that is the situation as it is. I propose having a meeting with the Guyana National Bureau of Standards to address these concerns,” he added.
The GNBS in recent statements to the media noted that used tyres are one of the primary causes of road accidents, hence its proposal of a ban on its importation.
The agency also called on the Guyana Police Force’s traffic department to ensure that tyres are meeting the necessary requirements for road use.
According to tyre dealers, the used-tyre industry is highly regulated whereby it is compulsory for importers of used tyres to be licensed and registered with the GNBS. He said when a shipment of used tyres arrives in the country GNBS inspectors would physically check each tyre for certain specifications and those which are found to be defective are destroyed. Surveillance exercises are carried out at storage facilities to ascertain the quality of used tyres being sold.
The tyre dealers further said that some time ago used tyres arriving at various ports of entry were destroyed by the hundreds. At present this figure has been reduced to 10 to 15 being destroyed on arrival. In addition, he said that when consumers approach used-tyre distributors, they are afforded the opportunity to determine whether the tyre is good or defective.
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