New car importers warned on Friday that Cyprus risked becoming the dumping ground of old, polluting vehicles from abroad, as they backed a bill imposing higher road tax on used imports.
In a statement, Semo said the situation has worsened in recent days after the government announced its intention to submit a bill to parliament that provides for a higher road tax on imported used vehicles according to their age and engine capacity. The bill was meant to come into force this year but reactions have caused delays.
“A sharp rise in used car imports has been observed, most of which are old and highly polluting,” Semo said.
The association warned that Cyprus risked becoming the dumping ground of ageing vehicles that other countries did not want.
Semo said it supported the government bill because Cyprus deserved a modern, safe fleet of vehicles on its roads, taking advantage of the constant development of emission technologies that aim at protecting public health.
The bill, which has been introduced by the government, is opposed by used car importers who argue that it was designed to help the new car dealerships.
The changes will see a rise in the road tax of passenger vehicles with high CO2 emissions and a rise in the road tax of newly registered passenger vehicles and vans according to their age.
According to the bill, road tax for those two vehicle categories will take into consideration the combined cycle CO2 emissions – euros per gramme per kilometre.
For 120 gr/km the tax will €0.50 per gr/km, or €60; between 120 and 150, €3; 150 to 180, €6; over 180, €12.
Annual road tax cannot exceed €1,500.
On top of this, road tax charged on used vehicles imported after the law comes into force will also include additional charges based on their age.
No charges will be imposed on used cars, petrol or diesel, up to one-year-old; between one and two, zero for petrol and €100 for diesel; two to three, €50 for petrol and €200 for diesel; three to four €100 and €300; four to five, €250 and €500; five to eight, €500 to €1,000; eight to 10, €750 and €1,500; over 10, €1,000 and €2,000.