KIGALI, June 16 (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has abolished import taxes on electric vehicles, as well as vehicles that utilize both electricity and petroleum products (hybrids), including electric motorcycles, to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to a cleaner and greener future, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Uzziel Ndagijimana has said.
"To expedite the adoption of electric vehicles and mitigate emissions associated with petroleum-based transportation, imported electric cars, hybrid cars, and even imported electric motorcycles will be exempt from customs taxes," the minister said Thursday while presenting the 2023-2024 fiscal year budget to the Rwandan parliament.
The move is one of the government's new measures to incentivize the usage of electric vehicles and promote sustainable mobility options while reducing reliance on fossil fuels, he said.
In a related development, Ndagijimana announced that the government has decided to charge lower customs duties compared to those imposed at the East African Community (EAC) level on a wide range of imported commodities such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, and fish, to make these important and essential goods more affordable for Rwandans.
In 2021, Rwanda launched a pilot project for electric motorcycles in the national capital of Kigali to help the country achieve its goal of becoming a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
Government reports indicate that Rwanda's greenhouse gas emissions from road transport are predominantly caused by cars and motorcycles.
According to a 2017 report by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), vehicle emissions are the largest contributor to poor air quality in Rwanda's cities. ■