The Motor Vehicles Insurance Third Party Risk Amendment Bill was passed by the National Assembly Thursday evening after a short presentation by Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan. The minister explained that the “rather short Bill seeks to amend the Principal Act, so as to remedy a defect”.
The Bill seeks to ensure that Brazilians, in particular, are now mandated to have at least Third-Party vehicle insurance when travelling within Guyana’s territory.
This follows a similar agreement made between Guyana and Suriname ‘Cross border protocol’ for vehicle and goods transportation, some years ago.
The minister explained that locally, it is mandatory that all motorists possess at least ‘Third Party Insurance’. But in the context of the rapid progress being made through trans-national trade and travel between Brazil and Suriname, measures must be taken to ensure that foreigners are also certified. The Bill stipulates that drivers ‘coming into Guyana’ are in accordance with several international agreements.
The minister recalled that an agreement was signed with Brazil in 2003. This ‘International transport agreement’ called for a legal instrument to regularise the transport of goods and vehicles between the two countries, “and set the basic principles of reciprocity, and integrating and legitimate interests in these areas of activities.”
He added that Article 15 states, “Carriers shall be obligated to ensure the transportation risk, in respect of third parties and of the crew. Each contracting party shall adopt internal legislative measures that permit the issuance of internationally valid insurance policy certificates. The insurance for the firms, of any of the parties could be contracted in the country in which the vehicle is temporarily domiciled or the country of origin of the vehicle, in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”
Minister Ramjattan emphasised the need to make legislative arrangements, so that Guyana can “take care of the international obligations that we have.” He spoke of the need to amend Section 3 of the Principal Act, by doing an insertion 3A, which gives the minister the “power to order that an international agreement can be in accordance with some schedule…
“The minister, may by order, in pursuance with any international agreement provide for the issuance of insurance coverage for third party risk in accordance with that international agreement to cover liability caused by, or arising out of the use of a motor vehicle, in respect of two things–the death or bodily injury, or the damage to the property of any person.”
Opposition Member of Parliament, Clement Rohee, supporting the Bill, made a call for the raising of the current Third-Party limit to be expedited eventually. He stated that education was needed to inform Guyanese travelling to Brazil, as to their various benefits and vice versa.
The Bill had been sent to the Special Select Committee, read for a second and third time, then passed with the full support of those present.
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