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Azerbaijan’s car imports cut in half

19 August 2015 13:01 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan’s car imports cut in half

By Amina Nazarli

The number of cars imported in Azerbaijan declined from the beginning of the year.

According to the Azerbaijani State Customs Committee, from January to July Azerbaijan imported 19,476 cars compared to the 38,300 vehicles imported during the same period in 2014. This figure shows that the imports dropped by 49.2 percent.

Overall, 63,368 cars were brought into Azerbaijan in 2014 compared to the 41,017 units imported in 2013, showing that imports decreased by more than 1.64 times.

The report said 17,345 vehicles of the total number imported were cars and motor vehicles, while 1,275 were trucks. Other types of vehicles accounted for the rest of the imports.

The drop in imports is caused by the introduction of the the Euro-4 ecological standard in April 2014.

Azerbaijan, with a population of 9.6 million is now saturated with over 1.2 million cars, and in 10 years, the number of cars is expected to reach 3 million. Such a large number of vehicles negatively affects the environment, which is why Azerbaijan switched to European standard; to reduce emissions of harmful substances from automobiles and improve the ecological situation in the country.

According to the Euro-4, cars imported from the EU manufactured prior to 2005, 2004 in the U.S., 2011 in China and Japan, 2006 in Korea, and 2009 in Turkey are forbidden.

The shift to the Euro-4 also affected private dealers, who usually brought older, cheaper vehicles from the neighboring countries.

In January-May 2015, Azerbaijan imported 2,019 cars from Georgia, representing an 82 percent drop from the same period of 2014.

Earlier in April, Chairman of the State Customs Committee Aydin Aliyev said that some people still manage to bring cars and spare parts for these vehicles that do not meet standards in Azerbaijan from other countries to sell illegally in the country.

”We will take serious measures not only in respect of those who import old cars that do not meet the standards, but also against those who are engaged in the import of spare parts for them,” he said.

The shift to Euro-4 has also influenced taxes on imported cars. Prices for cars meeting Euro-4 standards are higher than the price Euro-2 standard cars. Depending on the size of the engine, the amount of taxes on cars imported into the country varies.

Another possible reason for the sharp decline in car demand is the devaluation of the national currency in early 2015, which lead to a rise in car prices. Earlier, economist Vugar Bayramov told AzerNews that the prices of new cars changed only in manats, but remained the same in dollars.

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Amina Nazarli is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @amina_nazarli

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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