Wednesday, January 16, 2013

HK Updates: Eligible environment-friendly vehicle models to meet more stringent qualifying standards in April 2013 (14 Jan 2013)

Press Releases

Eligible environment-friendly vehicle models to meet more stringent qualifying standards in April 2013


     The Environmental Protection Department (EPD) uploaded to its website today (January 14) the list of private car and commercial vehicle models currently available in Hong Kong that meet the enhanced qualifying standards for environment-friendly vehicles taking effect on April 1 this year. These vehicle models will be eligible for concession in the First Registration Tax (FRT).

     The EPD has recently completed a review of the qualifying standards for environment-friendly vehicles to be eligible for the concession in FRT. "Over the years, advances in vehicle technology have enabled petrol-driven vehicles to attain higher environmental performance. Since the launch of the incentive scheme, the number of eligible models has increased by nine times. There is a need to tighten the qualifying standards to restrict the tax incentive to those vehicles with outstanding environmental performance. It can also reduce the incentive for private car ownership and contribute to a reduction in roadside air pollution," an EPD spokesman said.

     The new qualifying standards for petrol-driven private cars specify a reduction of 75 per cent in emissions as compared with the prevailing statutory emission limits, to comply with more stringent fuel efficiency targets. When the new standards come into place in April this year, only 26 out of 139 car models that are now qualified as environment-friendly vehicles will retain their eligibility for tax incentives.

     For commercial vehicles, the current qualifying standards were pitched at Euro V level in 2008 when the prevailing statutory emission standards for newly registered vehicles were Euro IV. As Euro V has now become the statutory emission requirement, the qualifying standards have to be tightened.

     "At present, the supply of Euro VI commercial vehicles is very limited. In this review, the EPD has thus benchmarked the tightened qualifying standards against the performance of vehicle models that are available to the local market instead of Euro VI," he explained.

     Specifically, environment-friendly light duty commercial vehicles (i.e. those weighing not more than 3.5 tonnes) will be required to emit at least 50 per cent less than the prevailing statutory emission limits. As for environment-friendly heavy duty vehicles, their emission performance should be better than the average emission levels. Under the tightened standards, only 185 out of 567 vehicle models that are currently environment-friendly commercial vehicle models will retain their eligibility for the tax incentive.

     Since April 1, 2007, the Government has been offering a concession in FRT to petrol-driven private cars that have an outstanding performance in respect of emissions and fuel efficiency (i.e. environment-friendly cars). On April 1, 2008, the Government launched a similar tax incentive scheme to incentivise the choice of environment-friendly commercial vehicles.

     The EPD reviews and updates the qualifying standards for environment-friendly vehicle models annually in the light of technological advances, such that the tax incentive is available only to vehicles of outstanding environmental performance. If tightened, the new qualifying standards become effective on April 1 of the following year. The EPD will regularly update the list of environment-friendly private car and commercial vehicle models when new models are introduced to the local market.

     At present, environment-friendly petrol-driven private cars are eligible for an FRT reduction of up to 45 per cent, subject to a cap of HK$75,000 per car. The rates of reduction of the FRT for different environment-friendly commercial vehicle classes range from 30 per cent to 100 per cent subject to vehicle-class-specific caps per vehicle.

     The updated list of environment-friendly private car models and commercial vehicle models as well as the tightened qualifying standards are available online at

Ends/Monday, January 14, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:38


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