x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Ministry tightens emissions standards in war on smog

Vehicles will face tougher pollution tests after the Government tightened the rules for next year.

The Ministry of Interior aims to cut pollution by tightening rules, such as banning the sales of cars older than 10 years.
The Ministry of Interior aims to cut pollution by tightening rules, such as banning the sales of cars older than 10 years.

Abu Dhabi // Drivers were told yesterday their vehicles will face tougher pollution tests after the Government tightened the rules for next year. The Ministry of Interior has targeted inefficient engines which produce smog-causing particles and contribute to climate change. Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, the Minister of Interior, said vehicles must produce fewer than 500 hydrocarbon emission parts per million (ppm) in their exhausts when they are tested for registration renewal.

By 2010, that figure will fall to 300 ppm. The current level is 800 ppm. Any car which fails must remain off the road until it passes. The minister also made the formal decision to ban sales of cars older than 10 years, along with other restrictions on the age of vehicles. Carbon monoxide exhaust emissions will also be reduced from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent next year, and 2.5 per cent by 2010. Vehicles will also be tested for nitrogen oxides from next year, the minister said.

Motorists whose vehicles fail the tests will have to get their emissions reduced. Hydrocarbons are molecules of fuel that have been inefficiently burnt by an engine. The more inefficient the engine, the more hydrocarbons are produced. The minister also said there would be no change to the ministry's intention to impose strict regulations to limit the number of older cars on the roads. From December, vehicles more than 20 years old will be banned completely. By 2010, vehicles older than 15 years will not have their licences renewed.

Also by December, taxis will not be renewed if they are older than five years. Car dealers will not be allowed to import second-hand cars older than five years from January next year, while heavy vehicles and buses older than seven years will also be removed. Transfer of ownership inside the UAE is also being banned by January 2010 for cars older than 10 years. More than 600 vehicles a day were registered in the emirate last year - twice as high as the population growth, according to a report by the Ministry of Planning and Economy issued in June.

There will be one million vehicles on Abu Dhabi's roads in four years, the report said. mchung@thenational.ae