Polish green tax to hit imports of polluting cars

Poland is introducing an eco-tax that will tie the cost of registering a car to the toxicity of the fumes it produces.

Like many Eastern European countries, Poland is plagued by imports of old polluting cars

Like many Eastern European countries, Poland is plagued by imports of old polluting cars

The new tax will hit the import of old polluting cars from Western Europe, which began on a massive scale after the country's entry into the European Union.

In the two years following EU accession, Poland imported a record number of 1,8m used cars from Germany and other Western European countries.

The new tax will increase the cost of registering an imported used car tenfold in many cases. It will apply to cars weighing over 3,5 tonnes and rise with engine capacity and fume toxicity measured against European standards.

The Polish finance ministry hopes the new eco-tax will cut the import of used cars four-fold, down to 200,000 a year.

The EU is planning to phase out registration taxes, which apply in some other European countries, and replace them with an annual tariff that will reflect CO2 emissions.

But these plans are not well adapted to Poland, where the average car is 11 years old and falls outside of European toxicity standards, according to the Polish finance ministry.

Goska Romanowicz

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