The import of cars produced before 2013 will be restricted in Georgia, and the export of catalytic converters from the country will be banned. Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili explains these decisions of the government with the problem of air pollution caused by defective cars.
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“We discussed the matter and made a decision to introduce the Euro 5 standard for cars in the country. This means that the import of cars manufactured before 2013 will become subject to restrictions.
Our desire is that the regulation will come into force for passenger cars from January 1, 2024, and for buses and trucks from January 1, 2025. This is still under discussion. There are some matters to be ironed out so we wanted to give ourselves some time for consideration.
From said dates, it will no longer be possible to register a car that falls short of the Euro 5 standard. Of course, this decision will not cover cars already in the country or cars that enter for the purposes of re-export,” said Garibashvili at today’s government meeting.
According to the Prime Minister, solid particles and nitrogen dioxide are the two main contributors to air pollution in the country, and the main source of nitrogen dioxide air pollution is outdated and malfunctioning motor vehicles.
“The highest rates of this pollutant are recorded in the largest cities like Tbilisi, Batumi, Kutaisi, Rustavi, Zestafoni, Marneuli, Khashuri, Akhaltsikhe, and Chiatura. This problem is most acute in the capital city, where the largest number of cars move every day. Exceeding the norms in Tbilisi is recorded in 13 out of 25 locations, and in some of these locations, the excess is twice the permissible norm. We measured the air quality last year and found a significant increase in the concentration of harmful substances. This called for a timely response.
We also looked at the experience of other countries. There is not a single country left in the region that has not transferred the entire car park to the Euro 5 standard, and some countries have already introduced these regulations, including our neighbors in Armenia and Azerbaijan, not to mention Europe. In Europe, this standard has been in place for quite a while. I repeat this will not apply to cars that are already registered. We are talking about cars that will be purchased from January 1, 2024. In practice, these will be cars released in 2013 and newer,” said Garibashvili.
According to the prime minister, removing and selling catalytic converters has turned into a whole business.
“We studied the issue and decided to ban the export of catalytic converters. That is why we are issuing a separate decree that will prohibit the practice because it is an unfortunate reality that people are stripping their cars of catalytic convertors and selling them abroad.
This is the main cause of the problem, so I think we will start to see results from this change very soon. The air quality will improve as a result of this new standard. At the same time, the National Environmental Agency will start systematically checking the quality of cars as well. From this year on, we will start to flag vehicles with excessive emissions on the roads in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Batumi, and Kutaisi, using specialized equipment,” added Garibashvili
According to the prime minister, the fuel quality is being regularly monitored, and only Euro 5 standard petrol enters the country.