Vanuatu Vehicle Emission Standard Policy Brief

This document provides policy recommendations and an implementation timeline for the introduction of vehicle emission standards in Vanuatu. The absence of local car manufacturing industry and quality requirements for newly imported vehicles risks Vanuatu becoming a dumping ground for inefficient and polluting vehicles. This makes the adoption of vehicle emission standards a viable first step. The proposed approach suggests restricting the import of older, high-polluting vehicles without requiring additional testing equipment or new procedures for roadworthiness inspections. The implementation of vehicle emission standards will gradually reduce the average emission rates in the fleet over time. It is recommended to introduce phased requirements for imported vehicles to adhere to specific European ‘Euro’ emission standards, which are widely recognized and used by many countries and manufacturers worldwide. The adoption of the Euro standards eliminates the need for extensive research to establish a new global norm and allows for future upgrades to higher Euro standards. A balanced approach emphasizes the importance of positive re-enforcement, including public awareness campaigns, education, and potentially considering special provisions for lower-income groups. The implementation timeline proposes a staggered timeline for the introduction of Euro 4/IV, Euro 5/V, and Euro 6/VI standards. It suggests a minimum one-year gap/transition period between the announcement and restriction to of Euro 4/IV vehicle standards, subsequently also a minimum one-year gap between the Euro 5/V fuel standard adoption and the requirement of adherence to Euro 5/V vehicle emission standards, and a similar staggered timeline for Euro 6/VI and future standards, to accommodate stakeholders’ concerns and adjust supply chains. Harmonization between fuel and vehicle standards is also recommended to expedite the phasing out of high-emitting vehicles, reduce air pollution, and improve public health. Additionally, an initial age limit of 10 years from the date of manufacture, to be further reduced to five years together with Euro 6/VI standards is suggested for used vehicles to ensure compliance with emission standards over the vehicle lifetime and promote higher safety standards and potentially better fuel economy.

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