First registration tax, following German model

Publish date: 08-02-2007
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Bucharest - PM Calin Popescu Tariceanu justified the first registration charge by taking over the recent example of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who decided to protect the local automotive constructors against the European Commission’s request to impose a limit concerning vehicle emissions. “Soon after Brussels made this intention public, the five German constructors sent a notification to Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying the enforcement of this measure might lead to thousands of people losing their jobs. The second day, Merkel said the standpoint of the German producers was correct and that she would support it,” PM Tariceanu told a press conference following the weekly cabinet sitting yesterday.

The PM added that Merkel chose to defend the automotive industry, although the environment protection is included on the agenda of the German presidency of the European Union and she expressed her support for drastic measures against pollution.

European Commission, an interlocutor

Calin Popescu Tariceanu sees in European Commission an interlocutor which listens and accepts arguments. Thus, “it doesn’t mean that everything the European Commission says is unquestionable,” underlined the PM, who added that “each country defends its interests when it comes to jobs, to economic implications.” According to Calin Popescu Tariceanu, the introduction of the first registration charge will have contribution in environment protection, in assuring jobs within local automotive production industry and in attracting supplementary budgetary revenues. On February 19, a team of experts from the European Commission will visit Romania to discuss with the representatives of the Finance Ministry on the registration charge applied by Romania to second-hand cars imported from EU member states. Finance Minister Sebastian Vladescu said the amount of the registration charge will be reduced following the talks with the European Commission’s representatives. The first registration charge was introduced early this year by the authorities from Bucharest, which claimed they wanted to limit the import of polluting cars, after Romania’s accession to EU. The tax however was criticised by the European Commission, which thinks the high amount for old imported cars represents a discrimination. The charge varies depending on the car’s production date, on pollution degree and cylindrical capacity, between EUR 160 and EUR 9,000, according to the Finance Ministry’s website calculator. By mid January, the charge brought to state budget RON 522,143 from 28 counties across the country.

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