Friday, July 18, 2008

Measures to prohibit old cars' imports ready in two months

(Inside Costa Rica) - The government announced that the decree that sets the guidelines for the importation of used vehicles starting in 2009 will be ready in two months.

The governments plan is to slowly prohibit the importation of old automobiles with strict measure that will be applied to the importation of motor cars older than five years.

Officials of the Environment and Finance ministries are in charge of establishing the measure, whose intent is to slowly eliminate all the old cars off the road.

The measures form part of the governments plan for fuel consumption and to eliminate pollution.

"It is important to have a new vehicular fleet in the country, as much as automobiles, trucks and buses", said Environment minister, Roberto Dobles.

Dobles assured that the new measures will be ready in two months and will go into effect in 2009 so as to give time to vehicle importers to adjust.

Costa Rican authorities believe that the tough vehicular inspection regulations will force owners of older vehicles into getting newer vehicles.

For now the age limit of imports has yet to be defined, although seven years is a number that seems to be to everyone's satisfaction.

Jose Carballo, of the Costarican Automotive Chamber, is proposing that the age limit of the vehicle be ten years and not seven. He assures that the new measures will affect not only importers of passenger vehicles, but importers of heavy trucks and buses and will mean the end for many importers of used vehicles.

Carballo added that many used car importers will disappear as Costa Ricans will not be able to afford the used automobiles imported.

Last year some 120 importers in the country were responsible for the import of 48.000 used vehicles.

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