Environmental Policy prioritizes minimizing air pollution in Georgia, says Otar Shamugia

Tbilisi: The Minister of environmental protection and Agriculture of Georgia, Otar Shamugia, highlighted the efforts towards reducing air pollution in Georgia and the significance of recent legislation on administrative offences and industrial emissions.

“One of the priorities of Environmental Policy is to minimize air pollution in Georgia. “In this regard, the Ministry, together with the Georgian Parliament, has adopted important regulations, and their implementation process is actively underway,” Otar Shamugia said after the end of the government session.

As the minister noted, the National Agency for Environment and Agriculture SCIP of the Ministry of Environment regularly implements air quality monitoring.

In addition, the Ministry continued to work towards the full implementation of continuous self-monitoring systems for the release of harmful substances from industrial plants.

At this stage, about 20 large enterprises from around 50 active enterprises are registered in the electronic system, while the majority of the remaining enterprises are in the process of installing filters and monitoring systems.

“Our goal is that by the end of the year, all major industries operating in the country will be equipped with modern filters and online monitoring systems, which are an important prerequisite for reducing air pollution from the industrial sector.

“Also, another important step forward in this direction is the new bill on industrial emissions which is already being discussed in Parliament,” Otar Shamugia said.

As a result of the decisions made at the Georgian Government session, the technical regulation on the implementation of regulations on the territory of Georgia for various types of transport and other motor-mechanical means of polluting (expulsion) by EU legislation has been approved.

In order to gradually reduce air pollution from the transport sector, imports of vehicles produced in the country from January 1, 2024 to 2013 will be restricted.

For the vehicles, Euro 5 standard emissions limits are approved, and a car whose emission standard does not meet the Euro 5 standard will no longer be registered in the country.

Registration (import) will be allowed only from countries where Euro 5 and higher standard is introduced.

In recent years, the share of car imports from these countries in total imports is about 98%. Accordingly, business operators of importing cars will not have a problem of settling into new markets.

The regulation will apply to light and heavy vehicles (including buses and microbuses) and light and heavy trucks (i.e. first and temporary registration of M1, M2, M3 and N1, N2, N3 categories).

The regulation applies in most countries of the world and absolutely in all neighbouring countries. Introducing this regulation will bring the country even closer to European standards”, – Otar Shamugia said.

Technical regulations will not apply to vehicles already registered in the country and to export, re-export and transit of vehicles. Also, does not apply to vehicles of historical interest, sports vehicles not intended for road traffic, and vehicles intended for fire and/or rescue operations.

The regulation for light vehicles will come into effect from January 1, 2024, and for buses and trucks from 2025.

According to the decision made at the Government session, waste will be temporarily banned. Export of catalytic converter, which will reduce for realization, Specifically removing catalysts from cars and helps to reduce air pollution from vehicle emissions.

In order to prevent air pollution from vehicles, from this year, control of vehicles with excessive emissions will be started in large cities with special equipment.

“The draft of amendments to the Administrative Offenses Code has been implemented, which, from the second half of 2023, provides for the control of vehicle emissions through special equipment, which the Parliament is now considering.

I think that, collectively, all actions will surely bring positive results that will improve air quality in the country while also promoting road safety,” Otar Shamugia noted.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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