Cars that poison the air
Over the past three years, the number of imported cars that have expired in Azerbaijan has increased 2.5-3 times, head of the department of the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources Mirsalam Ganbarov told Trend. According to him, due to the non-compliance of these vehicles with environmental requirements, their operation was prohibited in the country in which they were made.
Ganbarov noted that after a certain time, 40 percent of such cars will turn into complete junk. He said that according to calculations, in the period 1991-1992, 85-90 percent of harmful emissions into the atmosphere in Azerbaijan accounted for stationary sources, that is, industrial enterprises, and only a small part - for vehicles. Today, the opposite happens: up to 75 percent of poisonous gases emitted into the atmosphere are accounted for by automobiles.
"Due to the use of more modern technologies at industrial enterprises, their share in environmental pollution has significantly decreased. Therefore, the main problem is toxic gases generated by cars. There are various reasons for such heavy air pollution by vehicles,” said the head of the department.
According to him, with the growth of citizens' welfare in Azerbaijan, the number of people buying cars is growing, but more than 80 percent of imports are used cars that are banned in the countries from which they are imported, due to the expiration of the service life. "In other countries, the movement of such cars in the central part of the city has been restricted or completely banned, the corresponding technical inspection dates and price limits are set. For example, a new car passes a technical inspection once every five years and an old one annually. Also, the state duty on a new vehicle is usually lower than on the old one. Therefore, today, taking into account our realities, it is necessary to make certain decisions and hold discussions on how to solve the problem. When buying cars, people must take into account the environmental performance of the car, and not just economic benefits," said Ganbarov.
But is it possible that such cars will be withdrawn from circulation? How can this problem be solved?
Car expert Eldaniz Jafarov also confirmed a considerable number of ecologically harmful cars in Azerbaijan in recent years. "These cars are a serious threat to human health. But that does not mean that every day a huge amount of unusable car enters the country. As you know, the cars that are produced before 2005 are not allowed to Azerbaijan. The main purpose of this decision was to update the country's car park, that is to prevent the flow of old and useless cars. Some vendors were engaged in bringing in useless cars sold in Georgian markets and selling them here. Ten years ago, a huge number of unusable and ecologically harmful cars hit the country. These cars were mainly imported from Europe and the US to the Georgian markets. After the aforementioned decision, this issue was somewhat slow. Within a few years there has been a considerable decline in the entry of unusable cars into the country. But the ability of the population to buy a new car is considerably lower. As you know, after the high customs duties and excise taxes increased, the prices of new cars increased. After devaluation, citizens are struggling to buy a new car. Therefore, the old cars are currently being sold in the domestic market. Although produced after 2005, ecologically harmful vehicles are still imported.
According to the expert, no one drives these cars in Europe. "That is, their expiration date has come to an end. There was a ban on the exploitation of these cars. These cars are sold at 1000-2000 Euros. While the vast majority of these cars have expired, they are taken and sold here. To prevent this, a decision was made to renew the Azerbaijan car park a few years ago. Unfortunately, there is no progress yet. Import duties and excise taxes should be lowered for importing new cars. Also, banks should lower interest rates. As you know, banks currently require 40 per cent of the car to initiate auto lending. So if you want to buy a car around $ 30,000, you have to pay more than $ 10,000 as an initial payment. 15 percent will be required for next years. In fact, this is a very high figure. Therefore, the initial payment of auto lending should be reduced. Also, if the annual fee is about 9-10 percent, everyone will buy a new car. Citizens are forced to buy and exploit old and ecologically harmful cars because they can not afford a new car," Jafarov noted.
Transport expert Ilgar Huseynli said cars expired become the property of everyone. "It is impossible to apply any administrative rule on this issue. This is a very difficult and complicated issue. It is impossible to take away someone’s personal property. The population is unable to hand over these cars and to buy new ones. Such cars are mostly used in the regions. There may be certain concessional loans for solving the issue. By paying a certain amount of money to old cars, it can be bought from citizens, letting them to buy a new car. In fact, this problem can be solved in some way. People who are already in good financial condition are getting a new car. That is, getting a car out of the hands of a citizen is not the solution. Citizens can not be said that their cars have expired and they can not drive it anymore. Different solutions should be offered for this," noted the expert.