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How end-of-live vehicles are ‘resurrected’ in Vietnam

Saturday, September 24, 2016, 12:03 GMT+7

Several facilities in Vietnam have secretly transformed decommissioned vehicles into new ones which will be put back into operation without competent agencies’ knowledge.

According to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters’ observation on Friday afternoon, a large number of damaged trucks filled an over 1,000 square meter area of a facility on Ha Huy Giap Street, District 12.

Lanh, a worker with several years of experience, was cutting open the vehicles for evaluation and classification, based on the quality of each one.

If no one wants to buy the entire trucks, their parts will be sold separately and installed on other vehicles, Lanh said, affirming that they would run “smoothly” even with those used components.

With a well-planned and comprehensive advertisement, the man offered his client, who was looking for a vehicle for goods transport in his hometown in the Central Highlands, a broken-down Kamaz truck at VND400 million (US$17,928).

“You should pick this one,” Lanh said, pointing at the damaged Kamaz. “Despite its scratchy appearance, the internal parts are still in good shape.”

He added that the buyer would need to pay an extra fee to complete necessary paperwork for the truck’s legitimate operations.

For more options, Lanh introduced a used tipper truck, selling at VND170 million ($7,619) and being able to carry 30 metric tons of goods.

With just a few repairs, the vehicle will be good to use, he said.

The facility has just bought about 30 out-of-service trucks from a reputable transport company, whose price tags are between VND100 million ($4,482) and VND300 million ($13,446), the man stated, adding their documents could also be prepared with just a few simple procedures.

At a similar venue of a man named Canh in Binh Chanh District, many types of trailers and passenger buses of 29 to 50 seats were available for sale.

A truck and a coach bought from the Mekong Delta were worth VND150 million ($6,723) each, Canh said, adding that they could be used for transporting goods and students after minor renovations.

Regarding their legitimacy, the vehicles could operate for a few more years with fabricated documents.

Legal, safety concern

Most end-of-life vehicles are sold to local recycling facilities, where the operators attempt to sell them, or their parts, back to others instead of collecting scrap metal.

According to the owner of such a venue in the southern province of Binh Duong, it takes approximately two months and between VND70 million ($3,137) to VND100 million ($4,482) to “revive” a used vehicle.

Regarding their relating paperwork and license plates, S., a veteran insider of the ‘business,’ stated that they could be purchased from some individuals at VND30 million ($1,344) to VND50 million ($2,241).

These second-hand vehicles have been linked to several accidents after they were used for transporting merchandise and passengers.

In one case, nine people were killed and five others wounded in the collision between a car and an out-of-service passenger bus.

In accordance with regulations set by the Ministry of Public Security, owners have to return license plates and registration papers to authorities within 15 days after their vehicles expire, Tran Ky Hinh, head of the Vietnam Register.

Meanwhile, the out-of-date vehicles still tend to be stored at the owners’ houses, Hinh continued.

“There needs to be a policy that encourages the owners to bring their vehicles to certain junkyards where they would be dismantled for scrap,” the official said.

According to Colonel Huynh Trung Phong, deputy chief of Ho Chi Minh City traffic police, stern penalties have been imposed on the operators of end-of-life vehicles.

Such means of transport will be confiscated if detected, Col. Phong said.

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