The government by two gazette notifications has called on vehicle importers to ensure the permissible vehicular exhaust emission limits of every motor vehicle imported or assembled or manufactured locally are adhered to with effect from last Sunday (15).
The extraordinary gazette notifications were issued by the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment and the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade on July 12 and 13 under the National Environmental Act and the Imports and Exports Control Act, respectively.
According to the gazette notifications that were issued, motor vehicles which do not comply with the emission standards and safety measures required will be re-exported at the cost of the importer(s) and it shall be included as a condition in the Letter of Credit (LC), estimation of motor vehicles.
The importing of vehicles which were equipped with safety features such as air-bags, seat belts and specified emission levels or their equivalent as prescribed by Euro IV was to be implemented by from July 1.
However, it was not implemented on that day due to the absence of the relevant Gazette notification, the Ministry said.
The emission standards and safety measures specified should be included in the LC as a mandatory requirement to be complied with during the importation process.
However, these regulations would not be applicable for the importation of motor vehicles based on LCs raised on or before July 12.
In the case of seat belts, the driver and the person in the passenger seat should have the three-point seat belts for use while in the case of passengers in the rear of the vehicle they should have two-point seat belts where applicable. Vehicles should be equipped with standard air-bags while all vehicles should be manufactured with an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for safety.
Importation of all motor vehicles other than brand new motor vehicles should carry a pre-shipment certificate with the required standards mentioned and it should only be issued by the authorised inspector. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)