NGO group calls on President Peña to implement sound public policies regulating importation of used vehicles
“It is not possible to continue to receive extensions in the regulations of imported used vehicles. It is urgent to have long-term public policies that allow for planning, and the State should implement strong measures to enable monitoring of imported used cars," concluded representatives from civil associations across Mexico, including EMBARQ México, Centro Mario Molina, and the Mexican Center for Environmental Law.
On January 31, 2013, Mexico’s Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) announced that the presidential decree on the regulatory framework of used motor vehicles imported into Mexico would be extended until January 31, 2014. Civil society organizations consider the signing of a long-term agreement critical in dispelling uncertainty in the regulation of used cars. Federal decrees renewed on an annual basis could create confusion, and in the prolonged absence of a long-term public policy, would lead to poor regulatory conditions.
As the decree was passed, the flow of used cars coming through the border of the U.S., and the number of vehicles that do not comply with regulations keeps increasing, highlighting the dysfunctions in a broken regulatory tool.
Salvador Montero, Coordinator of the Transport Sector at the Mario Molina Center, noted that around 7 million used vehicles have been brought into Mexico since 2005 - an average of a million vehicles a year. This phenomenon, argues Montero, severely limits the introduction of cleaner technologies and directly impacts air quality in Mexico. Salvador Herrera, deputy director of EMBARQ Mexico, added that foreign cars are a misleading solution for families, negatively impacting the rise of more sustainable transport alternatives, and in itself, negatively impacting the long-term competitiveness of Mexico’s cities.
Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has placed great emphasis on the need to focus on the possibilities of national development through “green” growth. Economically, tighter controls on the import of poor-quality cars would boost the domestic market and lower emissions, thereby reducing social and infrastructure costs.
Energy security, environmental protection, public health, and economic competitiveness are some of the most critical challenges that Mexico faces as a society; and a network of organizations in Mexico, including EMBARQ Mexico are rising to the challenge, advocating for a comprehensive regulatory approach with a consistent regulatory framework. With the existence of regulatory mechanisms will follow the development of institutional certainty in monitoring and mitigating the broader social costs generated by consuming what Salvador Herrera calls, “automobile chocolate”.