Motor vehicles with environment polluting emissions will not be allowed to operate in Rwanda effective the new year, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (Rema), has warned.
This will mark the beginning of the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Order issued earlier this year that aims at curbing air pollution caused by vehicular emissions and machines using petroleum products.
The order gave motorists 12 months to comply before emission testing on motor vehicles would commence and punishment meted out on the non-compliant.
It further gives traffic police officers authority to stop any vehicle and conduct impromptu spot verification of emissions.
Rema director general Rose Mukankomeje, in a statement, said all vehicles undergoing technical control at a motor vehicle inspection centre shall also undergo an emissions test.
“Vehicles that do not meet applicable emissions standards shall not be awarded the technical control certificate and will not be permitted to operate in Rwanda,” Mukankomeje said.
She urged the public to familiarise themselves with the requirements for emissions testing and comply with the standards.
The environment body, together with the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Rwanda National Police and the Rwanda Standards Board are responsible for enforcing the law.
The agencies are calling upon owners of vehicles and machines using petroleum products to only use fuels compliant with the national standards.
Under the law, vehicle importers will also be required to comply with the standards and will be required to have certificates to prove compliance from the country of origin.
The law comes into effect as importers and retailers of petroleum products are expected to comply with the new East African Community standards, which stipulates that only low sulphur fuels–containing less than 50 PPM (parts per million)– will be allowed on the regional market from January 2015.
Other requirements under the law include installation of catalytic converters as well as emission inspection every six months for commercial vehicles while passenger vehicles shall be inspected once a year.
In a recent interview with The New Times, Traffic and Road Safety department spokesperson CIP Emmanuel Kabanda said traffic police officers were currently undergoing training on the enforcement of the rules and had, in their procession, some of the equipment to be used for testing emissions.