Importers of vehicles with used tyres, including the spares, will have to face fines from next month, the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA) warned in a statement on Wednesday.“(GRA) hereby informs vehicle importers and the general public that effective June 1, 2017, persons importing vehicles with used tyres, including the spare, which do not conform to the stipulated standards set out following the recently-amended laws will be required to pay fines for each tyre not in conformity,” the revenue body said.The categories of motor vehicles for which used tyres are restricted include motor cars, vans, sport utility vehicles, pick-ups, buses and other similar vehicles. The GRA added that the restriction excludes heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks, lorries, vehicles used in the agricultural and industrial sectors, and special purpose vehicles.Following the February 1, 2017 imposition of the ban on used tyres, in accordance with Part II of the Second Schedule to the Customs Act (List of Restricted Imports), the Authority had allowed a one-month phase-in period.During that period, tyres on used vehicles were allowed entry into the country once the vehicles were purchased and shipped prior to April 1, 2017. Importers were told that if vehicles with used tyres were brought in thereafter, they would face the penalty.However, the GRA in Wednesday’s missive pointed out that while the controversial restriction on used tyres became effective on April 1, it has been observed that vehicles were still being imported with used tyres. The standard set for used tyres to be allowed (once they were imported with the vehicle) is no less than 6mm in measurement.“This standard was set and is being monitored by GRA in conjunction with the Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS). However, when tyres are imported separately, only brand new tyres shall be allowed into the country. This measure also became effective April 1 in accordance with the amended Law,” the tax agency noted.Importers of used tyres on vehicles not in conformity with the 6 mm and over standard will be fined for each category of tyres – $10,000 for motor cars, vans, minibuses; and $15,000 for SUVs and pick-up vehicles.“It must be noted that importers of vehicles not in conformity will be required to pay the fines per tyre prior to the vehicles being released by Customs,” the tax body noted.Moreover, the GRA reminded that the Customs duty charged on new tyres was reduced from 30 to 15 per cent effective February 1, 2017.Even as Government forges ahead with implementing the new law, the Guyana Used Tyres Association continues to protest the move, staging several picketing exercises to get Government to reverse the ban, but to no avail.The Association has even submitted a petition with over 100 signatures. According to information supplied by the dealers, used tyres cost between $3000 and $5000, whereas new ones would be more than two times that price, as they lament the impact the ban has had on the livelihood of used tyres dealers.
Guiding principles for long-term sectoral transformation. The plan lays out a broad vision for the transformation that each economic sector will need to undergo over the coming decades. For instance, it touches on the need to achieve a climate-neutral building stock, due to the long lifespan of buildings and their emissions-generating activities, highlighting the need for further development of building energy standards and funding for renewable heating systems. With regard to transport, the plan notes the need for adequate infrastructure and electric mobility. Germany showed the world this week that it is forging ahead with a strategy to rapidly phase out greenhouse gas emissions. Coinciding with climate negotiations in Marrakech, Morocco (COP22), the German cabinet approved a plan on November 14th to guide climate action through 2050, known as the Climate Protection Plan 2050. Germany is the first country to come forward with a “mid-century, long-term low GHG emissions development strategy,” which the Paris Agreement invited Parties to communicate by 2020.These long-term strategies are critical for achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting warming to 1.5-2 degrees C (2.7-3.6 degrees F) and preventing some of the worst impacts of climate change. Countries’ current national climate plans are only set to limit warming to 2.7-3.7 degrees C (4.9-6.7 degrees F). Ambitious plans that take a long-term view are essential for closing the gap.They can also help guide the implementation of current shorter-term climate commitments so they do not lock in high-carbon pathways. As Germany put it, “With the decision to build a new coal-fired power station, the expectation would be to make money in the next 30 years. Against the backdrop of German and international climate protection targets, this is certainly no longer realistic.… The Federal Government wants to provide incentives for investment in climate-friendly technologies, buildings and infrastructure.”Germany has advanced a long-term vision on climate action for some time. For example, its 2010 Energiekonzept (energy strategy) set out to reduce energy-related emissions by 80-95 percent by 2050 and increase renewable energy supply 80 percent by 2050. The famous German energy transition, or “Energiewende,” was embraced by Chancellor Merkel in the aftermath of Fukushima, leading to a shift of nuclear and fossil fuel power to renewable energy.The Climate Protection Plan 2050, adopted on Monday, builds on these plans and sets a new bar for other countries preparing their own long-term emissions-reduction strategies. Key elements of the plan include:Steep GHG reduction target with reference to GHG neutrality. In 2010, Germany committed to reduce emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels. The new plan reiterates that goal, and states that Germany will target “extensive greenhouse gas neutrality” by 2050. The relationship between the neutrality goal and the GHG reduction goal (which excludes the land sector) remains to be seen. Greenhouse gas neutrality suggests that any GHG emissions would be balanced by equal removals (for example, via enhanced sequestration in the land sector or from negative emissions generated through technologies such as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, a technology which remains unproven at scale). Noting Germany’s relatively high per-capita emissions and its status as a strong, industrialized economy, the plan states that Germany must reach the Paris Agreement goal of GHG neutrality “early.” Sector-specific targets for 2030. While Germany already had a target to reduce emissions by at least 55 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, notably the Plan lays out specific GHG reduction targets for each economic sector: energy (61-62 percent below 1990 levels by 2030), buildings (66-67 percent), transport (40-42 percent), industry (49-51 percent), agriculture (31-34 percent) and “other” (87 percent). While these measures do not enhance the overall ambition of Germany’s 2030 target, they do provide greater certainty for each sector as to their expected contribution. Notably, the plan fails to establish a specific date by which coal will be phased out – a point of contention throughout the negotiation of the plan over the past several months. Instead, Germany notes that the targets “can only be achieved if coal is gradually reduced,” and provides for a commission on Growth, Structural Change, and Regional Development to address the issue. Likewise, the plan has been criticized for lacking specific measures to achieve the targets, but detailed action programs are to be drawn up for each sector. GHG reductions will be quantified, and economic, social and environmental impacts evaluated. An annual climate action report will track implementation, facilitating swift policy adjustments as needed.The plan notes that while Germany’s targets are largely achievable with existing technology, research and development will nonetheless play an important role, including for certain industrial applications.Looking ahead, Germany will update the plan at regular intervals, considering technical progress and economic development. The plan leaves open the possibility that the updates could shift mitigation obligations between sectors, stating that “in this way, we allow flexibility without jeopardizing compliance with the climate targets.” Ideally, the plan would be updated to include measures for reaching the higher end of the target’s ambition, a 95 percent emissions reduction by 2050. This is important because in order to have a likely chance of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F), global CO2 emissions must reach net zero by 2045-2050. To meet the Paris Agreement goals at least-cost, the EU and the OECD should phase out coal by 2030.In the wake of the U.S. election, the world desperately needs every government to stand committed to climate action. While the German 2050 plan has room for improvement, it sends necessary signals to cities, businesses and citizens that a zero-carbon society is inevitable. We hope that others follow in Germany’s footsteps and provide strong visions for a long-term transformation.