EURO-4 standard might be introduced in Georgia
26 June, 2014
EURO-4 standard might be introduced in Georgia
It has been almost two months since our neighbor Azerbaijan banned the import of old cars: from now on, only cars that meet the “Euro-4” ecological standard and were manufactured in 2005 or later are allowed to be imported. This is a very hard hit not only for our car dealerships but for the economy as well, since re-export of cars has occupied a significant place in Georgian economy till today. This is exacerbated by the fact that June 27
is approaching – the day Georgia will sign the European Union Association Agreement. With the date drawing ever closer, certain questions surface in our society, such as “Does getting closer to the European Union mean that the “Euro-4” standard will be applied to our cars and fuel as well?” or “Will the renewal of our auto park become mandatory as well?” Naturally, such questions are important and attention-worthy for a country which owns a rather outdated auto park. As Vano Mtvralashvili, Chairman of Petroleum Products Importers’ Union, says, changes in this field are necessary, but everything requires time.

Vano Mtvralashvili:

“As we try to become members of the EU, the quality of cars and fuel will become a major question. I think that matching our numbers and statistics with those of the EU should be done gradually. It should happen step by step, not instantly. Currently, no one obliges us to immediately switch to the standards that are currently active in Europe. In the future, however, we will be obliged to do so, and we will be ready to slowly start matching the requirements. Wanting to be part of the EU automatically implies that we should accept its norms.
Let’s ask a different question: how ready is Georgia to implement such regulations now? There are a lot of drivers who use outdated cars; what are we going to tell them? Of course, if Georgia becomes a member of the EU, the government will have no choice but to implement certain limitations on the import and sale of cars. The newer the auto park is, the less it pollutes the environment, but as I have already told you, everything depends on the country’s current development and the financial condition of the population… Our social background is quite bleak, the country is not ready for this and thus the government will not be able to take such radical measures. All we can do at this stage is to stimulate the import of newer vehicles – this will be the best way of making sure that the country will get an influx of new cars while avoiding financial damage to the citizens.”

This opinion is shared by Soso Archvadze, an expert economist:

“What matters the most is how our government is going to regulate the quality of vehicles and fuel. How did Azerbaijan manage to do this, then? Don’t forget the enormous income of this country.”
Azerbaijan is a country of oil and gas, and there is no way we are able to compete with them. The population of this country possesses adequate financial resources - Renewing one’s auto park and reducing the amount of ecologically damaging cars is a very good move for the country that possesses necessary resources for that. In our case, however, care is necessary – renewal of the auto park should happen gradually and painlessly.

Author: Khatuna Chigogidze
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