gossip lanka

Tyre Import Restrictions Set to Constrict Economic Activity says Asia Tyre Importers Association

Sri Lankan tyre dealers, traders and buyers are faced with a looming tyre scarcity in the country owing to the prevailing restrictions on importation. Raising this concern, Asia Tyre Importers Association has extended a plea to the government to safeguard this industry that powers economic activity across sectors and help avoid an impending calamity.

The government had classified 156 groups of products, including tyres, as non-essential imports and imposed restrictions on their importation in April 2020 with the aim of controlling foreign exchange outflows. The Government further relaxed imports for a few tire sizes in July 2020. However, several sizes of tires are still classified as restricted items.

Going beyond safeguarding the interests of tyre importers and the innumerable other stakeholders who are part of this indispensable industry, the Association seeks to raise awareness around the possible issues resulting from this crisis and protect all Sri Lankans.

This includes a string of complications that could result caused by old, second-hand, or substandard tyres such as poor road grip, loss of control, sub-optimal air pressure levels, extended braking distances, etc. This in turn could lead to greater risk of accidents that would put passengers, road users and other bystanders in harm’s way.

Fleet-owners would be particularly affected as their vehicles need tyre changes every few months to ensure safe, uninterrupted operations. These fleets manage the distribution of highly essential goods around the island and any disruptions they face would affect consumers as well as traders and manufacturers across several industries. It would also cause loss of employment both within the sector and across all connected industries, putting further pressure on the economy.

There is also an increased dependence on limited public transport infrastructure and issues faced by vehicle owners due to the non-availability of tyres recommended by vehicle manufacturers.