SINGAPORE — A tighter emissions standard for new motorcycles and scooters has kicked in as part of efforts to improve and maintain good air quality, said the National Environment Agency (NEA) in a statement issued yesterday.
The new emissions standard, starting yesterday, will be raised from the Euro I to Euro III as part of the NEA’s measures to achieve higher air quality targets by 2020 and lower ground-level ozone levels to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
The NEA reiterated that strict enforcement action will be taken against smoke-emitting vehicles, which are usually the result of engine problems, a clogged exhaust system or excessive levels of lubricant oil dispensed into the engine.
Drivers and owners of such vehicles are liable for a fine of up to S$5,000.
Figures provided by the NEA showed that about 1,800 motorcyclists were fined for smoke emission each year, from 2011 to last year.
Between January and August this year, that number dropped about 30 per cent to 824 motorcyclists, compared with the same period a year ago.
When it was announced last year that the emissions standard here would be tightened, motorcycle dealers were worried about compliance.
The new emissions standard means dealers will no longer be able to register their motorcycles below the Euro III standard for Certificate of Entitlements (COEs), and this was their primary concern.
This prompted then president of Singapore Motor Cycle Traders Association (SMCTA) to call for a three-month grace period — a proposal that was rejected.
Smaller motorcycle dealers whom TODAY recently spoke to said they were able to clear most of their pre-Euro III stock.
However, larger motorcycle distributors that ordered their stock in bigger quantities to supply dealers have found clearing their stock to be more challenging.
“We were actually aware of the due date to register bikes that were below the Euro III standard, so we basically stopped stocking brand new bikes below the Euro III standard and we sold off what we had,” said Mr Ang Xiao Chuan, director of Heng Motor Enterprise.
“We gave ourselves a time frame. (For) those that were not saleable, we stopped ordering too many to prevent not being able to sell them in time.”
General manager of Mah Pte Ltd, Mr Eugene Mah, said his company still has a few unregistered motorcycles in stock and he intends to find a way to sell those units to countries that still accept them.
But, Mr Lee Kwan Meng, vice-president of SMCTA, said the time frame given to shift from Euro I to Euro III within a year was insufficient.
In addition to the new emissions standard, Mr Lee, who also works at a Yamaha motorcycle distributor company, said the smaller COE quotas for motorcycles this year has made dealers more cautious in their buying habits and resulted in more unsold motorcycles for distributors.
On whether the NEA intends to help motorcycle traders with their unsold stock, an NEA spokesperson said the agency had consulted the traders since 2012, “so as to give them ample time to make the necessary preparations for the implementation of the Euro III standard”.