On 22 March, FIA Region I and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) co-organised a dialogue on used vehicle trade between representatives of importing and exporting countries.

FIA Region I, UNEP, used vehicles

The meeting comes as the EU End-of-Life Vehicles Directive is being reviewed by the European Commission. This legislation regulates how European vehicles are treated, recycled or disposed at their end of life. Europe is the largest exporter of used vehicles to Africa, making up 49% of used vehicles export globally.

All stakeholders acknowledged the importance of shared responsibility when it comes to improving the quality of used vehicles trade. Both exporting and importing countries should implement minimum requirements and regulations on used vehicles. Requiring a roadworthiness certificate at the time of export for European vehicles was seen by participants as a good first step.

UNEP Head of the Sustainability Unit Rob de Jong emphasised that, “If the vehicles are not allowed on EU roads, they should not be allowed on African roads either.”

Countries with requirements on importing used vehicles have a safer and cleaner vehicle fleet. Kenyan Head of Mission to the EU Evans Maturu explained that Kenya’s legislation forbade used vehicles imports of more than eight years. The ECOWAS region in Africa has also recently harmonised used vehicles regulation and is only allowing vehicles with a minimum Euro 4 standard to enter the region.

Representatives from the European Commission acknowledged the convergence of needs and goals to meet climate targets, and recognised the importance of regulation in ensuring only roadworthy vehicles are exported to Africa.

This stakeholder dialogue was the first in Brussels and is part of the Safer and Cleaner Used Vehicles Project. The project aims to harmonise regulations on the used vehicles trade to improve air quality, road safety, and to contribute to sustainable development.

The project is funded by the UN Road Safety Fund and is implemented in partnership with UNEP, the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the FIA, and the International Motor Vehicles Inspection Committee (CITA).

Learn more about the project here: