The decision on import of used automobiles hasn’t been reviewed

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Although it’s been a year and a half since the Government took office, the decision on import of used automobiles is yet to be reviewed. Media outlets and government’s press releases provide no information whether the decision has been discussed in a government session, and there aren’t any amendments to the Law on Import of Used Automobiles and the Law on Vehicles

 

PROMISE: We shall review the decision on import of used vehicles in order to provide low-level traffic emissions. Together with the local self-government and traffic police, we shall introduce new traffic regimes in major cities, which will reduce air pollution.

[Source: Program of SDSM (2016): “Plan for Life in Macedonia” (page 227), December 2018]

 

EXPLANATION:

SDSM hasn’t fulfilled the promise about reviewing the decision on import of used vehicles in order to provide low-level traffic emissions.

SDSM’s promise is based on analyses on pollution in major cities, particularly in the City of Skopje, having found that the traffic is the second major air pollutant, right after the use of firewood. According to SDSM, additional problem is the car market liberalization from 2010, when the import of used automobiles was approved. From 2010 to 2016, the import of used automobiles with different Euro emissions standards rose to more than 230.000 units, additionally increasing the air pollution levels. In 2013, the decision on banning import of Euro 4 emissions standard non-compliant vehicles was adopted, but it entered into force on 1 July 2016 although the eco-activists and the car dealers demanded the ban to include Euro 4 standard vehicles.

All of that was an additional incentive for SDSM to include this demand in its program “Plan for Life in Macedonia” – Plan 180° urgent reform priorities of the new government in the first 6 months (page 227). In addition, SDSM’s promise is included in Government’s work program on page 49.

Although it’s been a year and a half since the Government took office, the decision on import of used automobiles is yet to be reviewed. Media outlets and government’s press releases provide no information whether the decision has been discussed in a government session, and there aren’t any amendments to the Law on Import of Used Automobiles and the Law on Vehicles.

The Ministry of Economy has confirmed this for Truthmeter:

The decision on banning the import of vehicles below Euro 4 emissions standard, which entered into force in 2016, is still effective.

In order for local self-governments and the Ministry of Environment to undertake measures for lowering the pollution during winter months (when levels reach critical points) the Government has announced that it will amend the Law on Vehicles by introducing environmental stickers in different colors indicating the environmental category of each vehicle. The environmental category will be set according to the ECE or EC regulations on exhaust gas emissions.

Draft amendments have been prepared and delivered to the Government, according to the Ministry of Economy, but they are not adopted. The draft amendments have also been uploaded to the National Electronic Regulations System (ENER).

The Government should comment on the amendments’ text so the procedure for passing them can begin, the Ministry of Economy says.

Furthermore, local authorities still haven’t introduced the new traffic regime, especially in periods when air pollution levels are high, except for the City of Skopje, which banned delivery of goods from 7:30 until 18:00. Also, there was an information that inland vehicles would be left on two locations in Skopje, west and east, while drivers would take public transportation. However, there are no designated parking spaces for inland vehicles and the manner of handling public transportation for inland drivers remains unknown.

Having in mind all of this, SDSM’s promise for reviewing the decision on import of used vehicles and introducing new traffic regimes in major cities, alongside with the local self-government and traffic police, in order to decrease air pollution, is not fulfilled.

 

SOURCES:

 


This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.