New exhaust emission control problem for Serbian car owners

As 5 July approaches, the date when exhaust emission tests for cars in Serbia will be necessary when registering a car, rumours are circulating that the Interior Ministry may postpone this requirement by at least a year. The reason for this decision is the fact that more than 100,000 vehicle owners are reportedly struggling to register their four-wheelers.

The new regulation on MOT (motor vehicle test) came into force on 5 July 2018, and both the MOT stations and vehicle owners have had a period of 3 years to prepare for the exhaust emission inspection. Although this change has been announced for 3 years, it is clear that a large number of drivers do not have a vehicle that conforms to the prescribed amount of exhaust gases. It is estimated that at least 100,000 vehicle owners will not be able to register their cars as of 5 July.

Therefore, the Interior Ministry is considering amending the decision and giving vehicle owners more time to comply with the new regulation. Therefore, the exhaust gas check during the technical inspection could only start on 5 July next year and not before. On the other hand, the vast majority of MOT stations are ready for this novelty because, according to the latest information, 90% of them have purchased devices to measure the amount of exhaust emission.

Still, the possibility that the Interior Ministry will stick to its decision to require exhaust emission tests as of 5 July is not yet ruled out. Some media have reported that all vehicles that do not have a factory-installed catalytic converter to pass the technical inspection even after 5 July. Some vehicle owners go as far as to rent a catalytic converter for 15 euro just to pass MOT.

“Can’t pass the MOT because your car doesn’t have a catalytic converter? Is the option of installing a new one expensive for you? Rent a catalytic converter for MOT purposes. Price: 15 euro (the rent period is 48 hours which is the time required for the converter to be installed and for the car to pass MOT)”, reads one of the online ads.

A functioning catalytic converter, however, is no guarantee that the car will pass MOT. “At least 100,000 vehicles in Serbia have problems with exhaust emissions. These are cars in which the catalytic converter is clogged, has been removed or replaced with a pan or tube. Many vehicle owners remove the catalytic converter to save fuel. However, the exhaust problem is not just a matter of catalytic converters. According to the latest information, the average age of a car in Serbia is 14 years old. These are alarming figures, if we bear in mind that vehicles are now produced in such a way that they last eight years,” warns Damir Okanovic of the Road Safety Committee.

“This shows the purchasing power of our citizens. There are municipalities in Serbia where vehicles under eight years old can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Such vehicles are mostly driven by mayors or municipal officials,” Okanovic points out.

(Blic, 07.06.2021)



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