6 Jul 2016

Vanuatu bans right hand vehicle imports

1:45 pm on 6 July 2016

The Vanuatu government is placing a ban on the importation of right hand drive vehicles.

Vanuatu traditionally has left hand drive cars and people drive on the right side of the road.

The Minister of Infrastructure and Public Utilities, Jotham Napat, has written to the director of the Customs Department to inform him of the decision.

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Photo: 123 RF

Mr Napat said his ministry was reviewing the policy and laws around the usage of right hand vehicles in the country.

Government says RSE workers at fault

The government said workers returning from seasonal work in New Zealand were behind the issues.

Mr Napat said more and more workers returning from the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme were bringing in right hand drive vehicles.

The director of Customs and Inland Revenue Benjamin Malas initially wrote to the Minister to express his concern at the imports.

Mr Napat said he asked the Commissioner of Labour to talk with workers still in New Zealand about the decision.

Vanuatu provides the bulk of the workers on the New Zealand scheme, at around 3,000.