Ministry of Environment Announced a New Car Rating System

Spotlight Activity: Ministry of Environment Announced a New Car Rating System

South Korea’s fine dust situation, largely caused by auto pollution, has not shown any sign of improvement in spite of various countermeasures. In response, the government (Ministry of Environment) plans to introduce an ‘Environment-friendly Car Rating System’ so that vehicles with low grades will not be allowed to operate. The Ministry of Environment released ‘Supplementary Measures against Fine Dust in Spring’ on March 29.

The Ministry of Environment is planning to announce the ‘Green Emission Level of Domestic Vehicles,’ which will be the basis for implementing ‘Environment-friendly Car Rating System’ in April. Environment Minister Kim Eun-kyung said that Environment-friendly Car Rating System’ will be launched instead of the second-day-no-driving system (second day rotation system). All cars in the country are graded as five grades, and grades 1 and 2 have incentives such as toll reductions and parking discounts whereas grades 4 and 5 will be disadvantaged by limits on their operation. Diesel vehicles will be graded according to the European Union (EU) emission standards (from Euro 1 to Euro 6) whereas gasoline or gas vehicles will be graded according to emission standards. This means hydrogen and electric cars are equivalent to grade 1, and the grade 5 is expected to be equivalent to the Euro 3 standard or less applied from 2001 to 2004.

However, even if the criteria for ‘Environment-friendly Car Rating System’ comes up next month (in April), it does not provide a basis for restricting the operation of vehicles that pollute immediately. If there is no amendment of the current related laws, it cannot be accompanied by compulsion. The Air Quality Preservation Act or Special Law on the improvement of the air environment in the Seoul metropolitan area should be amended to fully implement the suggested policies.

The reason why the Ministry of Environment rolled out ‘Environment-friendly Car Rating System’ is that restricting the operation of older vehicles with more pollutant emissions is more effective in reducing fine dust than the second-day-no-driving system, which has been domestically controversial.

Source. Hankook Ilbo, (Mar. 29, 2018.)
Money Today, (Mar. 29, 2018).

Status: Right Direction

In South Korea, fine dust issues have been increasingly serious and vehicles are one of the major culprits. Rating and reducing the use of polluting cars will improve the environment and help South Korea meet its pledge to the Paris Agreement.

Take Action

If you are concerned about this issue please send the following message to the Ministry of Environment, using the contact information provided below:

South Korea’s air quality has been getting increasingly worse, which seriously damages the country’s reputation and the health of its people. The government’s Environmental Friendly Car-Rating System is excellent. To be fully implemented, we recommend that the System be incorporated into the Air Quality Preservation Act or the Special Law on The Improvement of the Air Environment in the Seoul metropolitan area.

Ministry of Environment
Living Environment Policy Office
Air Quality Division
Director: LEE Ju-chang (Tel. +82-44-201-6880)
Clean Air Panning Division
Director: HONG Dong-gon (Tel. +82-44-201-6860)

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