Georgetown, Guyana; – After more than a year since the administration has placed a ban on the importation of used tyres, dealers in the vehicular demanding commodity is still doing business as usual; thanks to the Guyana – Suriname back track route.
According to one East Coast used tyre dealer, the ban on the importation of the tyres has placed a financial burden on vehicle owners, most of whom are unable to pay the cost for a new tyre.
As such, they urged him and other dealers to find a way around the used tyre ban in a bid to “help poor people out”.
He added that after several weeks of careful thought he decided to do what the other importers are doing to maintain their supply of use tyres, and income. And that is importing the tyres into neighboring Suriname and simply shuttle hundreds of pieces across the border in boats.
The Guyana Guardian was made to understand that the boats with use tyres do not only go over to Molsen Creek; but would also dock at about six other coastal locations, including Hope Beach, Mon Repos, and the Better Hope foreshore, where the cargo is offloaded at night and shuttled to their respective locations.
The coastal offloading is said to be a preferred method since it practically helps tyre smugglers to avoid the number of police road blocks and other potential traffic stops between Springlands and Georgetown.
And even so, one dealer is maintaining that used tyres are not numerically labeled for fixed shipment identification by the GRA. Hence it will be practically impossible for anyone to know whether the tyres are new stock or the old stock that Government is allowing them to sell off.
To this, dealers are sarcastically maintaining that “their batches of used tyres will never done”, even though it is a little more costly to import them via the back track.
As a matter of fact, checks by the Guyana Guardian has revealed that the cost of used tyres have gone up by as much as $,1000; an increase which dealers say is quite reasonable considering the additional cost that is associated with them having to now smuggle the used tyres across the border.
The ban on the importation of used tyres by Government has been one of the most unpopular and hardest pill for vehicle owners to swallow, since many are arguing that Guyana’s current economic circumstances has made it almost impossible for them to consider buying new tyres.
For obvious quality reasons, the price of a new tyre in Guyana is about six to eight times more than the price of a used tyre.
However, while the new tyres can last for as much as two to three years (or more), used tyres only have a life span of between one to six months, and is often of a very poor quality.
The disposal frequency of these used tyres have also been an environmental headache for the government, since it is not ozone friendly when being burnt, compounded by the absence of a used rubber disposal facility in Guyana.
Prior to the ban, Guyana and Haiti were the largest importers of used tyres in the Caribbean.