Pretoria — Police investigations have revealed that there has been an increase in the number of illegally imported used vehicles in South Africa.
The Divisional Commissioner of Detective Services in the South African Police Service (SAPS), Johan de Beer said Tuesday that a large number of second-hand vehicles were being imported from Japan.
Importing used cars without a permit issued by the International Trade and Administration Commission (ITAC) is prohibited by the regulations promulgated in terms of the International Trade and Administration Act number 71 of 2002.
"Unscrupulous dealers in South Africa are acquiring these vehicles and importing them to South Africa on the pretext that these vehicles are in transit and destined for neighbouring countries that do not prohibit the importation of second-hand vehicles," said Commissioner De Beer.
As a result, he explained, these vehicles either remain in the country or are taken to neighbouring countries where they get registered and returned to South Africa.
He said after being returned to the country, the vehicles would then be registered in the country and subsequently sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Most of these imported vehicles do not conform to the safety and roadworthy requirements in the country, and were usually declared unroadworthy in their country of origin.
"These alleged transit vehicles are no longer permitted to be driven on South Africa's roads. Registration of these vehicles in South Africa is illegal," said Commissioner De Beer.
He urged the public not to purchase such vehicles they would later be impounded by the police.
"If you are in possession of such a vehicle or intend purchasing one, take note that the police will impound such vehicle. It will thereafter be disposed of in terms of the Customs and Excise Act, 1964 (Act 91 of 1964). You will not be reimbursed for such vehicle, so be aware," he said.
However, Commissioner De Beer noted that only under exceptional circumstances would certain imported vehicles be allowed in the country.
In this regard, the vehicles should have the following documents:
* ITAC - import permits
* Letter of authority from the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) that the vehicle conforms to South African standards
* Registering Authority - RPI (Request for Police Clearance)
* Country of Origin - Deregistration certificate
* Proof of purchase (in country of purchase)
* SARS Customs - Bill of entry form
* Vehicle Clearance - From the country of origin
* Certificate of registration (M/V) - Letter of manufacturer
Commissioner De Beer said people intending to buy used vehicles and experience some uncertainties about the origin of the car should verify by checking with the TransUnion - International Vehicle Identification Desk on (012) 365 9540 or email: email@example.com