QCOSTARICA – It is past mid-October and we still do not have, as promised by the current government, a vehicular technical review (RTV) that was until mid-July performed by the Spanish company, Riteve SyC.
Since, the Ministerio de Obras Publicas y Transporte (MOPT) awarded a temporary contract, for a two-year period, to the German company DEKRA, which has been unable to crank up the service given the appeals that have since been resolved.
Also, in the last few months, the regulatory authority, the Autoridad Reguladora de los Servicios Públicos (ARESEP), reduced the inspection rates and eliminated the cost of re-inspection for when DEKRA starts.
MOPT minister, Luis Amador, was very proud of that achievement. He also expressed pride and received public adulation from Costa Rica’s new president Rodrigo Chaves for a “job well done”.
Yet, we are still waiting.
The MOPT is blaming the ARESEP for the “lack of definition”. On Wednesday, during a Governing Council (cabinet) meeting, the MOPT Minister stated that the regulatory agency has not been able to “accept” that the re-inspection is free.
In August, the ARESEP approved a drop in inspection at almost half of what was being paid during the Riteve years. The new rates under the DEKRA administration of the RTV, the maximum rate for inspection was ¢8,125 colones for a light passenger vehicle, ¢8,766 for taxis, ¢10,702 for buses and minivans and ¢5,354 for motorcycles. And no cost for re-inspection.
This was before any one of the eleven contenders to provide the service was chosen.
Yesterday, Wednesday, the regulatory authority approved a new set of rates, even lower than the ones set in August: Between ¢6,445 and ¢7,156, depending on weight class, up to a maximum of 3.5 tons; and a re-inspection fee of between ¢1,277 and ¢1,917, for the same type of vehicle.
Lower rates were also approved for other vehicles, such as motorcycles, trucks (light and heavy), buses, minivans and taxis, among others.
The ARESEP did not offer any real explanation for the reasons behind a new rate structure when the vehicular inspection has yet to start.
With that re-inspection fee issue out of the way, the MOPT Minister pointed out that the cost of the reinspection was the last thing that was missing for the company Dekra to assume the inspection service.
“The Dekra company has everything ready to start work in the country, declared Minister Luis Amador Jiménez,” said Amador, but did not indicate when that, the start date, would be.
In the meantime, there are thousands of drivers/owners of vehicles with license plates ending in 1, 2, 3, and 4 who did not or could have their vehicles inspected prior to the July 15 Riteve closing date, who cannot drive their vehicles without risking a fine and/or confiscation of license plates or vehicles.
For the rest of the vehicular fleet (those vehicles with plates ending in 5 through 0), they have an extension for the RTV, from one month to three months from when DEKRA starts.