Barakat: Egyptian cars unsafe, standards low

Hani Barakat, president of the Egyptian General Authority for Standards and Quality, said Egypt does not apply international safety regulations for cars.

In an exclusive statement to Al-Masry Al-Youm Barakat discussed problems with the auto industry in Egypt, as well as his upcoming plans for reform.

“The windows, breaks, exhaust pipes, and tires you find on the market are of the lowest quality,” he said. “Those dealers want to spend as little and profit as much as possible.”

He said countries that manufacture cars have safety and environmental regulations. “The EU has a specs scale that they call Euro 1-5 that all car manufacturers must follow strictly,” he said.

Barakat, who came to office last March, said the absence of such regulations in Egypt brought in low quality cars for local consumers. “The same make of a certain car is different in Europe than what we import here,” he said.

“We are working with the British on updating our standards and quality regulations,” he explained. “A whole new system will be in effect six months from now.”

“We have determined specs for 126 spare parts,” he said. “But we will start with the four I’ve mentioned,” windows, brakes, exhaust pipes, and tires.

He added: “We will start with the Euro 2 system, whereby all exhaust pipes must have filters. Also, a quality mark similar to the European ‘ce’ mark must be put on any local or imported spare part to assure the consumers that it is of high quality.”
Barakat projected that the automobile market growth rate in Egypt will hit one million cars per day by 2020. “We cannot allow this to damage our environment,” he said.

But it is not just environmental and technical standards that are low, according to Barakat. “The Egyptian driver’s license is not recognized anywhere in the world,” he admitted. “That’s why we will start applying international standards for the driving tests, which the Interior Ministry should implement.”

“We will also put standards for regular maintenance as a condition for renewing licenses,” he said. “This would be certified by the service stations in order to make it easier for the car owners.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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