Courts in Romania ruled the former car pollution tax illegal for 300,000 car owners, who are entitled to receive the money they paid back. The Environment Fund Administration received refund requests worth some EUR 4.2 million, and paid off some EUR 3.1 million. All of the funding to cover the refunds came from car registrations, according to Environment Minister Rovana Plumb. Most of the institution’s budget will however be spent covering the refunds, and a solution is being sought to unblock this, as the refunds could endanger the Green House program which was implemented in previous years by the Environment Fund Administration. The Green House program supports house owners who want to use ecological materials and equipment.
Romania replaced the car pollution tax or first car registration tax in the beginning of this year with an environmental stamp tax, which increased the amount due on Euro 3 and 4 emissions category cars, while decreasing the tax paid for Euro 2, Euro 1 and non-euro category cars.
The tax for older cars, which are in the Euro 2, Euro 1 and non-euro categories, will be 60 to 90 percent percent lower, as the life cycle of these cars is coming to an end, thus polluting less. Meanwhile, owners of cars in the Euro 3 and 4 category will pay 10 percent more than was due in the older form of the car tax, while the tax will stay the same for Euro 5 cars. The Euro 6 cars, hybrids and electrical cars are excluded from the new tax system. For example, for a Dacia Duster Euro 5, made in 2012, the tax will lower from EUR 164 to EUR 119. For a 2012, VW Golf 6 1598cmc, which produces 107 grams of CO2 per kilometer, it will go down from EUR 163 to EUR 55.
For second – hand cars registered in 2012 in Romania, the tax will increase in most cases. For example, for a VW Golf 4 1390 cmc, 161 CO2 g/Km, Euro 4 from 2002, the tax will increase from EUR 189 to EUR 339, according to previous information. The tax will be paid once, at the first registration on the Romanian market, or at the first sale.