'Dumping Ground' Fear On Used Autos


Tribune Business Reporter


The Chamber of Commerce's chief executive yesterday warned that the Bahamas is serving as a "dumping ground" for vehicles that have been rejected as unsafe by other nations.

Edison Sumner said more than 17,000 vehicles are being exported to the Bahamas from Japan on an annual basis, despite concern over their "roadworthiness" and possible "radioactive contamination".

Mr Sumner, who also serves as deputy chair of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ), told the Rotary Club of South East Nassau that the agency's trip to Japan in January had assessed pre-export inspection processes for used vehicles shipped to the Bahamas. It focused on one vehicle testing company, EAA Company, to determine whether its facilities were compliant with International Standards Organisation (ISO) 1725 certification.

That trip sparked claims of a "conspiracy" to "squeeze the small man"' and force Bahamians to purchase more expensive vehicles, claims Mr Sumner again sought to dispel yesterday. The delegation's findings have never been publicised.

Mr Sumner argued that the Bahamas must improve its standards and "not just take anything pushed at us". He explained: "We took a trip to Japan last year to examine the exporters of Japanese vehicles who send their vehicles to the Bahamas. We found out then there were over 17,000 vehicles being exported to the Bahamas on an annual basis.

"We went on an assembly line and were given the opportunity to see how they inspect these vehicles. One of the things we saw, that few people talk about, was that these vehicles - apart form their roadworthiness - are being tested for radio active contamination.

"A lot of people in this country, unfortunately, are driving around in cars with radio active contaminants in them because of the earthquake they had in Japan a few years ago near the industrial and nuclear plants," said Mr Sumner. He was referring to the Japanese earthquake and tsunami that resulted in a series of meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March 2011.

"A lot of that chemical got into these metals in these vehicles and is still there, and those cars are now driving on our streets because someone didn't go through the proper channels to get them properly inspected, and some of the people who were inspecting the vehicles in Japan were not inspecting them for these kinds of elements," the Chamber chief added.

"We saw some cars being pulled off the line that just didn't meet the standard we would like to see in the Bahamas. We came back and said we need to improve our standards, and not just take everything pushed at us."

Presently, the Bahamas has nothing to certify the roadworthiness of used vehicle imports, creating potential health and safety problems for consumers, and a potential environmental hazard from the wrecks dumped on New Providence's roadside.

Buyers in such instances do not receive 'value for money', and the 'saturated' market created by the influx of used auto imports also depresses sales/prices and government revenue.


Well_mudda_take_sic 1 year, 6 months ago

Our dumb-arse politicians don't appreciate that all it takes is the inhalation or ingestion of a microscopic speck of highly radioactive material to end one's life prematurely in a most horrible way. Our dingbat politicians are clueless as to what's going on here with the dumping of unsafe Japanese vehicles in third world countries like the Bahamas. Yet they all know about the unusually high incidence of many types of cancer in our country and many other third world countries today. You would think Hubert Minnis as PM (and as a past Minister of Health under the last Ingaham-led administration) and Duane Sands as Minister of Health, who are both medical doctors, would have long ago done something about this most dangerous matter. These two politicians (supposedly medical doctors) should be ashamed of themselves! Perhaps one of them or one of their loved ones may be so unlucky as to inhale or ingest the radioactive poison that they are allowing to come to our shores.


The_Oracle 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe if the cars glowed in the dark they'd see and stop crashing into each other? Seriously, Cesium radioactivity is deadly, so we better get Bahamas Customs some geiger counters. But wait, wasn't this in the press a year or two ago and we were assured radioactive cars were screened out and not shipped? But now they have been?


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