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Northern Ireland car sales to be excluded from new UK regulations on emissions restrictions

Time 1 year ago

Northern Ireland’s special status in Brexit means it won’t be part of emissions restrictions for the UK.

It means that from January 1, 2021 – when the transition period finishes following the ending of the UK’s EU membership on January 31 this year – any car sold in Northern Ireland will be counted as an EU sale for the new CO2 limits, it was reported yesterday (Aug 2) by the Observer.

The protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, which avoids a hard border, will see a lot of EU rules still in force in Northern Ireland, including the ones that restrict the emissions of carbon dioxide from cars.


The big car manufacturers that sell cars in the EU are having to cut the average carbon emissions of their vehicles to under 95g per kilometre during this year and next, with those failing to do so facing fines that could cost them hundreds of millions of euros.

They will have to pay the same amount in the UK in sterling, after the UK said it would have regulations that were just as tough.

As a result, it was possible that a car may be counted twice, so a consultation by the government has said that vehicles newly registered in Northern Ireland from January 1 will continue being subject to the EU regulation.

What the effect will be on consumers and companies though isn’t clear, said the Observer, because of differing demands by customers and the different circumstances of manufacturers. However, back in January, the SMMT said that larger cars could end up being pulled from being sold in the UK in order to avoid their manufacturers being fined.


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Car Dealer has been covering the motor trade since 2008 as both a print and digital publication. In 2020 the title went fully digital and now provides daily motoring updates on this website for the car industry. A digital magazine is published once a month.

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