The NZ Transport Agency is seeking the views of the motor vehicle industry about planned improvements to the procedures for inspecting used vehicles entering New Zealand.
Don Hutchinson, NZTA’s National Manager Vehicles, says the withdrawal of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) from inspecting vehicles at the border next year has provided an opportunity to look at new options.
“New Zealand has a long history of importing large numbers of used vehicles, and this has given the public a high level of confidence that imported vehicles can be safely purchased and are of a high standard. It’s important that we continue to improve on our inspection standards as well as look for further opportunities to be more customer focussed and reduce the costs of compliance.”
Mr Hutchinson said the NZTA’s preferred option is to recognise and appoint approved independent assessors that will be able to provide inspection services both in New Zealand and in Japan.
“The proposed change will open up the provision of border inspection services to a range of service providers, ensuring a market driven competitive model. As part of this, we expect that we will be able to look at future opportunities for streamlining the procedure to make it quicker and easier to import vehicles as well as keeping compliance costs down. We will continue a robust but well targeted auditing procedure so that consumers can continue to have confidence in the quality of used imported vehicles.”
Used vehicle industry research has indicated that there will be 90,000 used imported vehicles entering New Zealand this year and a similar or slightly larger number the following year before a significant decrease in importation the following year.
Each of those imported vehicles is subject to inspection either at the port in Japan before shipment or on arrival at the port in New Zealand.
“We will be talking to the industry over the coming months and we hope to be able to approve new inspection organisations before the middle of next year,” Mr Hutchison said.