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May 31, 2019

Truck Rebuilders Seek Change in Government Ruling on Emissions Test

The Used Trucks Rebuilders and Importers Association of the Philippines or UTRIP is urging the government to reconsider a DTI-FTEB (Department of Trade and Industry – Fair Trade and Enforcement Bureau) ruling requiring that imported trucks be certified from the country of their origin as Euro 4 before having a Certificate of Authority to Import or CAI issued.

In response to the new requirement, a series of dialogues were held between UTRIP and the DTI-FTEB, and it was determined that obtaining an emissions test from a rebuilt or used truck from their country of origin, especially those in Completely Knocked Down (CKD) form if extremely difficult, if not impossible. In lieu of it, DTI-FTEB said that the only alternative is to accept an Emission Test conducted by a domestic testing center duly accredited by the Land Transportation Office (LTO).

Unfortunately, this alternative can only be availed of by truck rebuilders operating inside freeport zones since their CKD trucks can be unloaded without a CAI; because a freeport zone is still considered as foreign territory.

“The requisite submission of emission test results before the issuance of CAIs puts the rebuilding program of the Government in a curious quandary: If rebuilders are required to import only CKD trucks that have passed Government standards, then what is there for us to rebuild?” asks UTRIP president Jaime Vicente.

Despite costing anywhere between 30 to 50 percent less than a brand-new truck, members of UTRIP is reiterating that they are responsible and safety-conscious. As such, they import only CKD trucks from Japan, Europe, and the US, assembling them in the Philippines. In the process, truck parts and components that require replacing in the engine, transmission, suspension, brakes, as well as electrically-controlled components such as headlights, signal lights, tail lights, wipers, horns, and GPS are replaced with new parts and components.

With 25 companies under its umbrella, UTRIP counts G-Technica, GLC, Solid Machineries, Pioneer Trucks, Megaton, Mana Diesel, Firewolf, and Max Edge Industrial Corp. as some of its members. Under the umbrella of the Confederation of Truck Rebuilders and Importers Association of the Philippines (CTRIP), they employ more than 50,000 production line workers.

Vicente hopes that the government will consider bestowing upon rebuilt trucks their own classification which is distinct from either a brand-new or used units, and that it would give this due consideration in every policy decision made in the future. They also request that the DTI-FTEB resume the issuance of CAIs applied for by duly accredited rebuilders, regardless of whether their rebuilding sites are inside or outside of freeport zones. UTRIP cautions that the operations of some of their members may only run up to June 30, 2019.

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