UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Used tyres openly sold in Sharjah despite ban

Although the export of used tyres is allowed, according to the new law that came into effect in September 2012, the sale of tyres once removed from a vehicle is not allowed in the local market, regardless of its condition. The law is part of a comprehensive tyre management system implemented by the Emirates Standardisation and Metrology Authority (Esma), which will also see a ban on import of used tyres from September this year.

"Used tyres will not be allowed to enter the UAE from September 2013. This will help reduce the availability of used tyres in the market as most used tyres find their way in the UAE through import,” said Mohammad Saleh Badri, Director-General of Esma.

Despite efforts, the law has so far failed to be effective in the area where it intended to have most impact - the ban on the use of old tyres. What is even more surprising is the fact that most traders local press reporters spoke to appeared or pretended to be unaware about the restriction of the sale of used tyres.

"There is no restriction as far as I know. I have been in this business for a long time and the authorities have never stopped us. There hasn't been any official communication about any ban on the sale of used tyres,” said Mohammad Agha, a 35-year-old Iranian, who runs a tyre repair shop in Sharjah.

Abdul Khaliq, another Iranian who runs a tyre repair shop a few blocks away, admitted that he knew about the federal law. But he also insisted that the authorities in Sharjah have never stopped them from selling used tyres.

According to the law, any tyre that is five years old from the date of manufacturing has to be discarded, regardless of its condition.

Badri said that the law has been in force since September last year and every effort is being exerted to root out illegal activities; however, he insisted that the implementation of the law at the market level is the responsibility of local government authorities.

"The approval of tyres entering the UAE is under Esma in partnership with the Ports and Customs authorities, where we believe the policies are effectively implemented since we are monitoring the product on a per consignment basis, however, the market monitoring is being done by different local government authorities together with the Ministry of Interior to make sure that only approved tyres are traded in the country,” said Badri.

Used tyres are mostly sold in Sharjah but there are also a few workshops in Dubai who are doing brisk business.In Sharjah, used tyres are sold for anywhere from Dh50 to Dh150 per piece depending on the size and age of the tyre, while in Dubai a used tyre is sold from Dh100 to Dh200.(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)
Source: Daily "Gulf News", Dubai; 8 July 2013