3 Jul 2003

Samoa tightens car import laws

7:16 pm on 3 July 2003

Stricter car importation laws have come into effect in Samoa.

The new laws ban the importation of vehicles manufactured before 1995 and also ban all right-hand drive vehicles.

The changes are aimed at controlling the flow of vehicles into Samoa, many of which are older vehicles being sent by relatives in New Zealand.

Samoan car numbers have escalated over the past seven years, since import duties were cut.

The ban on right-hand drive vehicles means an end to the importation of New Zealand cars.

The Transport Control Board says it's a safety issue, with right-hand drive vehicles involved in more accidents.

The only exemptions are for large trucks with ten or more wheels, which may still be right hand drive.

The Samoa Ports Authority reported a rush of motor vehicles arriving in the country before the ban came into effect, with three hundred cars arriving in the country last week, most of which were right hand drive.