Bulgaria: What Will Change after Eco-Stickers for Vehicles Are Mandated
Since September last year, the Ordinance on annual technical inspections of road vehicles has an addendum, which must enter into force from July 2021.
A mandatory sticker on the windshield will indicate which eco-group the given car will belong to, it shows how environmentally friendly the vehicle is). How will these groups be determined, what will this mean for car owners and how will they be tracked? Damian Voynovski, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Agency "Automotive Administration" commented on the topic in "Our Day" radio talk show.
"For the definition of the eco-groups we have provided – once the environmental category of the vehicle will be taken into account, if it does not have a category – it will be the date of initial registration. And a second time the measurement made during the technical examination itself. Depending on these two factors, the environmental category of the vehicle will be determined.'
"In any case, the exhaust gases will be measured. Depending on the environmental category, producers will set standards which are to be complied with during the technical examination. First we check that these standards are not below the thresholds specified by the manufacturer, second, if they are better than those admitted, we the vehicle passes into a higher environmental category.
The same applies to cars that are equipped with liquefied petroleum gas system, they will go into a higher category if the exhaust gas check shows better results than the vehicle needs to show."
"We have divided them into five categories, as the fifth category is reserved for electric cars that do not emit exhaust gases. The rest are already given according to the eco-category and the readings of the vehicle during the examination. In the fourth category there are – Euro 5 and 6 and below are Euro 4, Euro 3, 2.
The car may be Euro 1 or Euro 2, but be in good roadworthy condition and well maintained by the owner, then it can go into a higher category – Euro 2."
"The mayors of the municipalities will have the final say. We give them the opportunity to categorize vehicles. From there on, how they will use this categorization is left to the judgement of the mayors."
"In different Member States, the problem is solved differently. In some of them it is solved with a similar sticker. Elsewhere, the information is encoded on the license plate of the vehicle. The methods are different. Overall, the trend in the EU is towards more environmentally friendly cars, ones that do not pollute so much."
Isn’t the measure too restrictive for our country?
"This is a natural result of the fact that for years in Bulgaria there was no clear-cut policy to encourage people to buy new cars. Unfortunately, no one has yet answered this question about what is specifically on offer. As far as I know, there has never been a working group of financial and transport experts to think together about incentivizing citizens."
"The Bulgarian does not like to be restricted. But we have made some commitments becoming a member of the EU. Such as environmental protection. And the other thing is that in the Union's priorities adopted in the last few years, a working document has appeared encouraging Member States to renovate their road vehicles fleet with more modern cars, and this is a step towards more road safety.
Four are the priorities, one is safe road infrastructure, the second is just that – more modern vehicles, with which people are more protected and the likelihood of making a mistake is less. From this point of view, we have something to work on and we seem to be well behind in complying with this requirement for this EU regulation."
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