Prishtinë, June 29, 2018 – American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo voices its serious concerns regarding the initiative undertaken by the Parliamentary Committee on Economic Development for the amendment of the Law No. 05/L-132 on Vehicles in order to allow for the import of vehicles older than 10 years.
Taking into consideration the alarming average age of the registered vehicles in Kosovo which amounts to more than 18 years old, AmCham strongly calls the members of the Assembly to refrain from amending the Article 44 of the Law No. 05/L-132 on Vehicles which foresees a ban on the imported cars of more than 10 years.
Any positive impact generated by such a policy in Kosovo’s budget would be offset by the detrimental effects on the environment, safety and well-being of the citizens. Consequently, AmCham lines with the European Commissions’ established air quality standards and initiatives to improve the release of gas emissions which is a result of the light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles as well as non-road mobile machinery. Furthermore, we strongly believe that the amendment of the Law no. 05/L-132 would increase the levels of pollution which presently remain at very high rates. Consequently, such action would detrimentally affect the environment and would have major health implications.
The European Union data shows that more than 70.000 deaths are to be attributed to the release of the high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) from old diesel cars. Due to its severe consequences on the environment and health, Germany in general has opened the door for the environmental groups to sue the cities which fail to meet the established standards of the European Union regarding clean air; resulting in Hamburg becoming the first German city to introduce a ban on old diesel vehicles. Nonetheless, the capital of France, Paris, has banned the vehicles which are registered prior to the year 2000, with the main aim to combat air pollution in the city.
Nonetheless, American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo believes that the inefficiency of the old vehicles undermines the short-term profits which might be generated from the import of these cars.
In conclusion, American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo believes that the import of older cars than 10 years negatively affects the environment and it has serious health implications, and consequently calls for the relevant institutions to undertake a more inclusive approach by taking into account the environmental and health impacts of such policy and the practices of the member states of the European Union.