The issue was examined following a proposal by AKEL MPs Giannakis Gavriil, Kosta Kosta and Valentinou Fakontis
During the debate, there were disagreements as to the effectiveness of this proposal
The immediate examination of the possible importation of used commercial vehicles from third countries was discussed on Thursday by the Parliamentary Transport Committee, following the debate on the matter, which was examined following a proposal by AKEL MPs Giannakis Gavriil, Kosta Kosta and Valentinou Fakontis.
During the debate, there were disagreements as to the effectiveness of the proposal in question, both in terms of financial benefit and improved safety for professionals, and in terms of promoting green transition objectives .
In particular, DISY MP Fotini Tsiridou expressed fear of a setback, as, as she said, the import of used commercial cars does not go hand in hand with the objectives of renewing the fleet of vehicles, upgrading their safety and promoting the objectives of green policy, noting at the same time the need to implement European emission and safety standards for vehicles in circulation.
For his part, the MP of the Environmentalist Movement Stavros Papadouris spoke about the perpetuation of the problem and emphasized that priority should be given to the green transition regardless of the impact of financial interests.
The representatives of the guilds and associations of trade and importers of vehicles spoke of obstruction on the matter, as as they mentioned, there were meetings earlier in the year with the relevant agencies without any progress so far, while the representative of the OEB spoke of a backtracking and repeal of European standards, pollutant targets and air quality if the proposal is adopted.
The representative of the Department of Road Transport, Evangelos Pantelis, said in his statement that the matter was raised with both the former and the current Minister of Transport and that there was a meeting with members of the associations at the end of March, after which directions were given by its Deputy General Director Ministry to prepare a study, which however could not be completed within the interim timetables of May and September, and requested additional time from the committee for further consideration and presentation of the results as soon as possible.
Concluding the debate, the chairman of the Transport Committee, Marinos Mousioutas, said that a relevant question will be put to the Minister of Transport during the debate on the Ministry's budget next Monday, and a letter will then be sent to those interested with a timetable for discussing the matter, which in any case will come back before the committee in January.
In his statements after the end of the debate, AKEL MP Valentinos Fakontis said that the lifting of the ban on the import of commercial vehicles from third countries will contribute to the reduction of pollutant emissions, since the population group that falls into the middle and low income strata and especially those engaged in trade, transport and agriculture sectors will be able to replace their old polluting vehicles with newer generation lower polluting vehicles if they cannot afford to buy new ones.
He added that the current situation results in the recycling and accumulation in the Republic of obsolete commercial vehicles and the creation of a polluting, unsafe environment, against the goals for a green transition.
“We call on the Government to finally be consistent with the timetables and table the amending regulations it promised to consider setting criteria for the import of used commercial vehicles from third countries to facilitate SMEs, the self-employed and other professional groups to replace their old and polluting commercial vehicles”, concluded Mr. Fakontis.