(This content is a translation of the original article in Macedonian, published on the 6th of December 2022)
The statement of Kreshnik Bekteshi, the Minister of Economy of North Macedonia, given at the end of January 2021 that by the end of the last year the import of vehicles below the EURO 5 gas emissions standard would be banned, is untruthful. The criteria for import of used vehicles into the country were not tightened in 2021, nor has that happened up to date.
„The standards for imports of vehicles in our country should be increased this year. When speaking about measures, we have already implemented several measures for installation of gas appliances in the vehicles”, announced the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi at the conference “Vision for Energy Transition 2040”, reported Deutsche Welle – Service in Macedonian language on the 27th of January 2021, along with the announcement that in 2021 the import of vehicles below the EURO 5 standard will be banned.
This announcement was also broadcasted by the TV stations Sitel and Аlsat-М a day before, on the 26th of January 2021, transmitting the statement of the Minister of Economy, Kreshnik Bekteshi.
This promise by minister Bekteshi was not fulfilled by the end of 2021, nor did the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM) implement it during 2022, up to the date of writing of this article.
On the 9th of April 2021, Meta.mk published a text with an announcement from the Ministry of Economy that in the beginning of May 2021 the ministry will start with the preparation of an analysis that should provide the data for the amendment of the rulebooks, which will increase the imported vehicles standards, i.e. will abolish the EURO 4 standard.
“Once the analysis is done, the amendment of the rulebooks will be done according to that data,” informed the Ministry of Economy for Meta.mk (9th of April 2021).
Later on, in June 2021, Meta.mk reported that the Ministry of Economy stated that the analysis was in progress and that it should provide the data for amendment of the rulebooks in order to increase the standards for imports of vehicles from abroad, i.e., to abolish the imports of used vehicles below the EURO 4 standard.
“Once the analysis is done, the amendment of the rulebooks will be done according to that data”, the Ministry of Economy briefly answered Meta.mk (10th of July 2021).
In October last year, the competent authorities informed that Minister Bekteshi’s promise to ban imports of used vehicles below EURO 5 standards will not come to realization in 2021.
“The Ministry of Economy is in the final stage of the analysis of the regulations stemming from the Law on vehicles that cover the import of vehicles. At the same time, the technical specifications for the imported vehicles are being determined, so that the EURO 5 standard will be the minimum requirement. It is expected that the rulebooks will adopted at the beginning of the next year”, informed the Ministry of Economy (1st of October 2021).
In the beginning of 2022, on the 12th of January, to be exact, the Ministry of Economy replied to Meta.mk that the Decision to change the level of gas emissions for imported vehicles should be adopted by the government of the RNM, while the ministry should amend the rulebooks.
“The rulebooks stemming from the Law on Vehicles regulating the import of vehicles are analyzed at the moment. At the same time, the technical specifications which must be met by the vehicles to fulfill at least the EURO 5 standard are defined”, said the Ministry of Economy in January 2022.
This spring, the government of the RNM said for Meta.mk that the Decision to amend the rulebooks for imports of used vehicles, with the aim to ban the import of vehicles below EURO 5 emissions standard, was not yet penned.
“When the item will be put on the agenda for a government session and a decision is produced, we will inform the public,” said briefly the government of the RNM (11th of May 2022).
Both, the Government of the RNM and the Ministry of Economy informed Meta.mk this summer that the Macedonian public will be notified in a timely fashion when the executive government will adopt such a ban, as well as the enforcement date. (27th August 2022).
On the 1st of November, Meta.mk sent the following two questions to the Ministry of Economy via e-mail:
*When can the Decision to tighten the criteria for import of used vehicles from abroad be expected, which will ban the import of the vehicles below EURO 5 standard in the country? Is such a decision planned for the current year?
*On which date would the ban to import vehicles below EURO 5 standard in the country go into force?
We did not receive an answer to our questions from the Ministry of Economy up to the moment of writing this article.
Based on all the arguments mentioned above, we can assess that the statement of the Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi that in 2021 the standard for import of used vehicles will be raised is untruthful, i.e., the Macedonian government has not adopted a decision up to date, nor has a date for banning the import of used vehicles below EURO 5 standard been set.
Deutsche Welle – Service in Macedonian language (27th January 2021): End of the import of old vehicles, viewed 01.12.2022.
Sitel TV (26th January 2021): The Ministry of Economy announces amendments to the rules for import of used vehicles, viewed 01.12.2022.
Alsat-M TV (26.1.2021): Vehicles under EURO 5 standard in future will not be imported in Macedonia, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (9.4.2021): Import of used vehicles below EURO 5 standard into North Macedonia continues, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (10.7.2021): We work on the changes, but there is no date when the ban on imports of vehicles below EURO 5 standards will go into force, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (1.10.2021): The ban on imports of used vehicles under the EURO 5 standard is postponed until 2022, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (12.1.2022): New government of North Macedonia will have to ban imports of sub-EURO 5 vehicles, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (11.5.2022): Over 400.000 used vehicles imported in North Macedonia since 2009, stil no ban of sub-EURO 5 ones, viewed 01.12.2022.
Meta.mk (27.8.2022): We drive junk – the average age of cars and buses has risen to 19.5 years [infographic], viewed 01.12.2022.