Report on EAC vehicle age limit position due this month
A new study on government’s position on the age limit of vehicle imports into the East African region is due for release at the end of this month, State Minister in charge of Transport, Dr Alex Nzahabwanimana, has said.
A recent consultative meeting to limit the age of motor vehicles held in Nairobi, Kenya, failed to reach a consensus. Participants instead agreed to conduct separate studies at country level of each EAC member states on the final proposals of the age of vehicles to be imported into the region.
The region has no regulations to determine the importation of motor vehicles which means that anybody is free to purchase any vehicle of any age.
“We hope the study will be done by the end of this month and the resolutions tabled before government to scrutinise it before we send it to the EAC secretariat,” the minister said in an interview.
Subsequent to all the partner states submitting their studies at the secretariat, member countries would then meet to reach a final agreement.
Recently, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority raised concerns over the issue calling for fast-tracking of the harmonisation of the age limit of imported cars into the region, stressing that old cars pose a danger to human health.
Environmentalists said that older vehicles cause air pollution through emission of fatal gases like hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide, which are all harmful to human health.
Health reports indicate that more than half of the cancers traced to air pollution are caused by hazardous pollutants from motor vehicles.
“It’s not important to have different procedures and standards yet we are in the same region. However, we are concerned with the impact of air pollution caused by these old vehicles”, The Director of Environmental Regulation and Pollution Control Unit at REMA, Remy Norbert Duhuze, disclosed during an earlier interview with The New Times.
Western countries have in the past come under criticism for using developing countries as a dumping ground for derelict materials, especially vehicles and machinery.
In 2007, the Council of Ministers decided to harmonise the age limit for vehicles imported into the region. However, to date, the East African Standards Committee (EASC) is yet to reach a consensus on the issue.