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Cry of used car dealers

Maria Bradshaw

Cry of used car dealers

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Used car?dealers say they have hit a brick wall in finding a resolution to their long-running dispute with the Customs Department.
Judy Forde, of Trading Advisory Services which represents the Consortium of Used Vehicle Importers, told the SUNDAY?SUN she had been trying unsuccessfully for several months to have an audience with Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Acting Comptroller of Customs Annette Weekes to discuss claims that members’ vehicles were constantly being seized by the Customs Department, and in some cases held for as long as two years.
She said there had been no responses to her letters, emails and telephone calls.
In many cases, the items were seized due to a suspicion of under-invoicing, she said, but countered that Customs had no proof. Yet, she added, the department was still holding on to the items even though the dealers had paid the required duties and other costs up front.
Forde claimed that there were even instances where Customs had increased the duties, which were then paid without the vehicles being released.