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Officials reviewing emissions rule

Industry association hopes end to uncertainty over amended legislation for imports is only days away.
Posted on 08 March, 2024
Officials reviewing emissions rule

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is revisiting an amendment made to the Vehicle Exhaust Emissions Rule last year over concerns about the impact it will have on the used import industry.

The agency says the legislation was amended on December 1, 2023, to introduce better standards to reduce harmful emissions from new and used vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet.

One of the changes was a requirement that a vehicle needs to be registered within four months from the date it is inspected at the border.

The Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association (VIA) has warned this would have potential practical and financial impacts for its members and it has been working with officials for several weeks to address the problem.

The NZTA issued a press release on March 7 saying it understands the uncertainty created by the current requirement in the amended rule and it will soon share a solution with businesses.

“The Ministry of Transport and NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi understand the impact that this requirement has on the used imported vehicle industry,” it adds. “The Ministry of Transport is working with us to develop a solution.

“We are working closely with industry representatives on solutions that will eliminate financial pressure on importers and dealers to register vehicles.”

Greig Epps, pictured, VIA’s chief executive, says he’s pleased to see the government has acknowledged the need to tackle the issue. 

“There is a great deal of frustration at both the delay in doing this and the fact that the problem arose in the first place,” he told Autofile Online.

“As the NZTA message identifies, the current wording of the rule creates a strong risk of traders needing to sell vehicles or register to themselves within four months of a border check. This is practically and financially burdensome on the industry.

“We want to think there were good intentions in providing a buffer for vehicles checked in Japan but not yet landed due to shipping and compliance timing. However, the wording used was not consulted on and so the problem was slow to be identified.

“Work on this has been ongoing for several weeks now and we are pressing the agency to announce the solution very soon, hopefully next week. 

“We expect there will need to be work on the details but announcing a solution will give industry more certainty.”

Anyone with queries about the emissions rule changes can contact the NZTA by email at