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By Aabigayle McIntosh
The Department of the Environment in Antigua and Barbuda has proposed a change to the import regulations for motor vehicles.
The department aims to accelerate the shift towards cleaner and more sustainable energy by increasing the maximum age limit for importing various types of vehicles into the country.
The Director of the department, Diann Black Layne, has recommended that the age limit for imported vehicles should be eight years or younger.
The proposed change in the import regulations is motivated by concerns that major countries, such as Japan, are attempting to transition by disposing of older vehicles, which could end up being dumped in developing countries.
This could result in a significant environmental impact in Antigua and Barbuda, which the department is keen to avoid.
Despite the potential financial benefits for many residents in Antigua and Barbuda to purchase used vehicles due to their lower cost compared to new ones, the department emphasizes the significant environmental damage incurred over time.
The proposed change in import regulations reflects the department’s commitment to fostering a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach to transportation. This move is a step towards a greener and cleaner future for the country.
Instead of recycling their technologies, they send them to a developing country, that technology now, maybe the manufacturer stops making them so when you want parts you will not be able to get them. So as people transition from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles in developed countries they will stop making those vehicles, and they will stop making the parts,” Black Layne said.
The department has been conducting extensive research as a part of an incremental rollout of a fleet of electric vehicles for select government departments and the public transportation sector.
“What we are seeing which we did not expect is mechanics popping up all over the place and these cars you bring them to fix and they are unable to fix them. They are now forced to find other cars to use for parts and then you are seeing all of these cards pilling up in villages across Antigua and Barbuda,” she added