UAE blocked import of 6,500 used vehicles last year. Here's why

Second-hand vehicles are very popular in the country, with a study showing that 3.5 used cars are purchased in the UAE for every new car sold

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Sahim Salim

Published: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Tue 11 Apr 2023, 9:45 PM

Authorities in the UAE blocked the import of 6,500 used vehicles that did not meet the country’s technical requirements and standards over the last one year.

The UAE has in place an electronic system that regulates the import of used vehicles. Implemented by the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT) in cooperation with customs authorities and insurance agencies, the system blocks seven types of vehicles from entering the country over safety and sustainability concerns.

The UAE prohibits certain used vehicles from being imported, Dr Farah Al Zarouni, assistant undersecretary for Standards and Regulations Sector at the MoIAT, said in a statement to Khaleej Times.

“These include vehicles that fail to meet requirements around registration, licensing and insurance, as well as damaged vehicles, and those with manufacturing defects. The ministry’s smart search engine verifies used vehicles, providing a reliable and easily accessible database that is linked with the databases of governments in the countries from which the vehicles originate,” she said.

The official said 35,000 used vehicles that met safety and environmental requirements were imported to the UAE over the last 12 months.

“The ministry is committed to supporting high confidence among consumers and protecting them from products that may be unsafe or damaging to the environment,” she said.

Dr Al Zarouni called on consumers to check the status and validity of the used vehicle that they wish to import before beginning the process. This can be done through the ministry’s website. “All they need to do is enter the vehicle’s identification number and the system will indicate whether the vehicle is allowed to enter the country,” the official added.

Used cars are very popular in the UAE. According to a study conducted by Frost & Sullivan, 3.5 used cars are purchased in the country for every new car sold. This ratio is expected to reach 2.5 by 2025.

In its Used Car Market Insights UAE H1 2022 report, eCommerce platform for pre-owned vehicle Cars24 said global used automobile sales are predicted to reach $2.67 trillion by 2030. "The pre-owned automobile industry in the UAE, one of the most important in the world, is now valued at $14 billion and is forecast to rise quickly to $20.5 billion by 2025."


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