Serbia tightens rules for older, high-emission vehicles

May 10, 2018

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Serbia tightens rules for older, high-emission vehicles

A new vehicle inspection rulebook, which takes effect on July 5, will introduce new obligations and costs for owners of vehicles over 15 years old, including cars, buses, and trucks, in line with the authorities’ announcements of a crackdown on emissions from road transport, the second-biggest polluter after the energy sector.

In Serbia, where around 30% of automobiles are over 15 years of age, many have so far not paid for inspection services, as they have been covered by insurance policies. Under the new rulebook, however, the authorities will from now on put the price tag on these services, which have so far been required once annually, and will now be mandatory twice a year for the older vehicles.

According to the Vehicle Inspection Association, the fee for a check could be around EUR 30 plus fees charged by the Road Traffic Safety Agency.

Vehicle inspections will focus on roadworthiness, but also emissions, which will have to be at least at the level in effect on the day of manufacture. Moreover, vehicles without a catalytic converter will have to have this exhaust emission control device reinstalled, RTS reported.

Minister of Environmental Protection Goran Trivan has vowed continued efforts to avert imports of diesel cars a court in Germany has ruled can be banned by cities to tackle pollution, also announcing stricter inspections to control emissions.

“We will exert pressure on the automotive industry to become more environmentally acceptable,” he said.

At the same time, Trivan has announced that the environmental protection fee would be charged on pre-owned imported vehicles, also noting that the goal is to encourage imports of electric and hybrid cars.

Alarming data on vehicle imports

According to recently cited data, Serbia registered 6,306 new passenger and light commercial vehicles for the first time in the first quarter of 2018, up 14% year-on-year. At the same time, 31,309 used vehicles were registered for the first time in Serbia in Q1, representing an increase of 17% compared to the same period a year earlier.

According to the Association of Vehicle and Parts Importers, what is alarming is the number of models fitted with high-emissions Euro 3 engines imported into Serbia so far this year. The number tops 17,000, out of which those over 17 years old exceed the number of new cars sold in Serbia in the same period by 3,136 to 2,952.