| May 3, 2023

Cayman halts the importation of older vehicles

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

This order sets in motion a new import restriction on some vehicles older than seven years which commenced on Monday, May 1.

This ban from the political executive comes after the approval of the Customs and Border Control Prohibited Goods Amended Order (2023).

Wayne Panton, Cayman’s Premier said, “this is the first in a series of actions to try to help improve road safety issues, try to help manage the traffic congestion issues, and obviously the negative impacts on our quality of life that develop particularly at peak commute times.”

He emphasized that this position was not taken blindly pointing to data used to inform this decision. From 2012 to 2022, 39,267 vehicles were imported into the Cayman Islands with 23,953 cars imported in the last five years, a 30 per cent increase over the first five years.

Wayne Panton, Cayman premier.

Higher importation of older vehicles

Statistics shows that there is a higher importation of vehicles over 10 years old. Cayman Marl Road quoted Panton as saying, “What we are obviously trying to do is slow down the rate of importation of cars.

We will reduce the number of older cars that are coming in. Yes, I know they are cheaper cars but part of the problem is you have a lot of these ‘deportees’ that come from other jurisdictions where they have existing life limits in place on vehicles and they end up getting imported here.”

He contended that many of these vehicles, while relatively inexpensive, pose a challenge to get parts. As a result, they are hard to maintain and keep on the road and become disposable. These vehicles, Premier Panton added end up being abandoned for the Government to dispose of them.

He articulated certain safety issues around some of these vehicles, which are often not checked to ensure they are in good working order.

Vehicle exemptions

There will be exemptions for specific vehicles, such as those used for agriculture, engineering, maintenance, construction, and collectibles.

Persons already in the process of acquiring vehicles older than seven years or whose vehicles are already in transition will be allowed to complete the importation once documentation can be provided to show it was acquired before the new law is implemented.

Panton encouraged carpooling to help reduce traffic pointing out that between 6:00 am and 10:00 am daily, there are approximately 8000 cars going by Grand Habour.

He argued that if this is reduced by 1000, that would make a significant impact.

The Premier stated that work is being done for an expandable and reliable public transport system that will make fewer people, especially those on work permits see the need to buy private vehicles.

“This solution is aimed at reducing traffic congestion and at increasing the fuel efficiency, emission standards, and overall safety of vehicles on our roads. The increase in the number of older cars also increases dangerous emissions as older vehicles are less fuel-efficient and more likely to cause air pollution,” Premier Panton concluded.


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