Emissions tax on double cab vehicles will only be applied from March 1, 2011, the treasury said on Thursday.
“To allow manufacturers and importers sufficient time to test and determine the CO² vehicle emissions of all double cabs, the tax on double cabs will only be applied from March 1, 2011,” it said in a statement.
The decision followed a meeting between Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on August 19 and CEOs of the seven motor vehicle manufacturers in South Africa, as well as a delegation from Business Unity SA.
“One of the industry’s concerns about the inclusion of light commercial vehicles was based on the fact that reliable data on CO² emissions by light commercial vehicles (including double cabs) was not available, and that there was no internationally applied test method to measure the emissions of light commercial vehicles.”
The treasury said that the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) had, however, confirmed that its testing facility in East London measured CO² emissions for all vehicles tested there, including light commercial vehicles.
The industry responded that not all vehicles were tested at the NRCS facility.
The CO² emissions tax on passenger vehicles will come into effect next Wednesday.
The meeting also agreed on the need to expedite the availability of cleaner fuels in South Africa.
“Emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India have made significant progress with the introduction of cleaner fuels, which are especially necessary to help improve local air quality.”
The treasury said although cleaner fuels did not directly reduce CO² emissions, the need for cleaner fuels to improve fuel efficiency was important.
The meeting further agreed that industry and the treasury would encourage motor dealers to show the CO² vehicle emissions tax separately on invoices.
“Environmental taxes are based on ‘the polluter pays’ principle and they seek to influence and change behaviour. Transparency of the tax to the polluter is therefore important.”
[Sapa and Fin24.com]