Monday, 9 April 2018

Owners of older motorcycles will get up to $3,500 for de-registering bikes on or before 5 April 2023

Owners get incentives to deregister older, more pollutive motorcycles
NEA offering up to $3,500 over next 5 years in effort to cut emissions, improve air quality
By Ervin Tan, The Straits Times, 7 Apr 2018

Owners of older and more pollutive motorcycles are being offered up to $3,500 to deregister their vehicles over the next five years, an incentive from the National Environment Agency (NEA) to improve air quality.

NEA said yesterday that those who own motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, are eligible for the incentive if their vehicles have a valid 10-year certificate of entitlement (COE) as of April 6 this year, and are deregistered on or before April 5, 2023.

Around 27,000 motorcycles are eligible, said the agency.

The incentive scheme does not apply to owners of motorcycles on the five-year non-renewable COE, or those on the Classic Vehicle, Vintage (Restricted) Vehicle and Revised Vintage Vehicle schemes as of April 6 this year.

Older motorcycles will also have to meet tighter in-use emission standards from April 6, 2023, and will no longer be allowed on the road from July 1, 2028, unless they are on the above schemes.

NEA said the latest incentive has two components, provided owners deregister their motorcycles on or before April 5, 2023.

An owner will receive $3,500 if the motorcycle's COE is not renewed on or after April 7 this year, while an owner will receive $2,000 if the motorcycle's COE is renewed on or after April 7 this year.

The owner will also get a rebate for the unused COE period, upon its deregistration, as part of the existing Preferential Additional Registration Fee and COE rebates when motorists deregister their vehicles before 10 years.

NEA said that the new incentives have been introduced to reduce the amount of carbon monoxide and ozone released into the air, which are known to impair respiratory functions. Carbon monoxide is also known to be toxic at high concentrations.

Announcing the incentives at the Vicom inspection centre in Sin Ming, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said that the authorities made the decision to introduce incentives first, instead of rules or regulations.

"I think this is one way for these owners to evaluate the cost benefits of driving their motorcycle on the road, compared to selling it and using public transport instead," said Mr Masagos.

"Even if they have to use their motorcycle, we hope they will change to a newer one. While this may incur costs for themselves, the incentives will lighten the burden of these costs."

While motorcycles make up just 15 per cent of vehicles in Singapore, they contribute to more than 53 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles.

Older motorcycles registered before 2003 - when stricter emission standards kicked in - make up around 20 per cent of the motorcycle population here, but contribute to about 40 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions, NEA said.

Assistant professor of engineering systems and design Lynette Cheah of the Singapore University of Technology and Design said that even though the move targets only a small proportion of vehicles, offering incentives is a good approach that will both please owners and help the environment.

"These cash incentives are attractive, and also tackle the key emitters of harmful gases," she added.

Owners of eligible motorcycles will receive a letter from NEA by the end of this month informing them of the new incentives. To check the first registration dates of their motorcycles, owners can also log in to

Owners of older bikes upset over NEA rule
Collectors, enthusiasts say their bikes are ridden only occasionally
By Ervin Tan, The Straits Times, 13 Apr 2018

Motorcycle owners, especially collectors, are fuming over a move to take older and more pollutive motorcycles off the road in 10 years.

Under the rule, announced by the National Environment Agency (NEA) last Friday, motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, will no longer be allowed from July 1, 2028, and must be exported or scrapped.

This is to improve air quality in Singapore as these older bikes produce more air pollutants, said NEA.

Motorcyclists questioned the reliability of the data used to calculate the emissions of such bikes.

Facebook groups like the Singapore Classic Motorcycle Group are, for instance, querying the need to scrap old motorcycles that are ridden only occasionally, and not used as a regular mode of transport.

Owners said they rode their bikes mainly on weekends or a few times a week, not nearly as much to be emitting the same amounts of harmful gases as commercial vehicles.

Only motorcycles under the Classic Vehicle, Vintage (Restricted) Vehicle and Revised Vintage Vehicle schemes are exempt from the new rule. Essentially, this means a bike will have to be at least 35 years old from its original registration date to avoid being exported or scrapped.

Mr Marco Xu, 35, a software engineer and one of the administrators of the Singapore Classic Motorcycle Group, said almost 1,000 motorcycles owned by group members will be affected. Rare bikes like the Ducati MH900e, which cost between $45,000 and $60,000, will also have to be scrapped under the new rule, Mr Xu noted.

"The data given by NEA needs to be in greater detail," said Mr Xu, who said owners were baffled by how they could be responsible for such a large chunk of emissions.

To coax owners to part with their bikes, NEA is offering up to $3,500 for eligible machines that are deregistered in the next five years.

Mr Rex Tan, director of Ban Hock Hin, a motorcycle specialist company, noted while the idea of the incentives provides a good option for owners who wish to switch to newer and cleaner motorcycles, they leave collectors of bikes that are not old enough to be exempted with no option but to scrap them.

"Many of these motorcyclists have invested heavily in these machines, which are almost a part of the heritage within the motorcycling industry," he said. "But the new rule will erase all this history and culture."

NEA said its studies show motorcycles make up just 15 per cent of vehicles in Singapore, but contribute to more than 53 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions from vehicles.

Asked how these emissions were calculated, NEA said it considered the population of motorcycles, their respective emission standards, mileage travelled and other factors affecting emissions such as engine size.

NEA also said motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, which will be at least 15 years old by this year, are more pollutive than newer models, emitting up to about 10 times more carbon monoxide and 30 times more hydrocarbons than motorcycles compliant with the Euro IV standard.

Despite the buzz that has been generated by the announcement, not many owners have come forward yet to claim the incentive, according to motorcycle companies Speedway Motor and Soon Hin Motors. The companies said while they had received a few inquiries, many owners are waiting for the official letter from NEA before they make a decision.

* Mileage, engine size also considered when estimating motorbike emissions

We thank Mr Shawn Loh for his letter (More fairness needed in scheme to deregister older bikes; April 11).

In estimating our motorcycle emissions, the National Environment Agency (NEA) considered the population of motorcycles, their respective emission standards, mileage travelled, engine size and other factors.

From these estimates, motorcycles were found to emit 53 per cent of total vehicular carbon monoxide emissions although they account for just 15 per cent of Singapore's vehicle population.

Using a similar approach, we found that motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, contribute to 40 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions from motorcycles while making up only 21 per cent of Singapore's motorcycle population.

Singapore adopted Euro I standards for new motorcycles on July 1, 2003.

Motorcycles registered before that date emit up to about 10 times more carbon monoxide and 30 times more hydrocarbons than new Euro IV-compliant motorcycles.

These older motorcycles also emit 12 times more carbon monoxide and 50 times more hydrocarbons than a Euro VI-compliant car.

The NEA has introduced various initiatives to manage vehicular emissions, such as Euro VI emission standards, the Vehicular Emissions Scheme, the Early Turnover Scheme for commercial vehicles, and the tightening of in-use emission standards for vehicles.

A statutory lifespan for goods vehicles and buses, tuition cars and taxis - 20 years, 10 years and eight years respectively - has also been implemented.

We currently have no plans to implement similar measures for cars that are 15 years or older, as they account for only about 1 per cent of the car population.

Owners of motorcycles registered before July 1, 2003, will be able to use their motorcycles for another 10 years, before they are phased out on June 30, 2028.

By 2028, these motorcycles would have been on the road for at least 25 years.

We have received feedback from some owners of motorcycles which will not qualify for the Classic Vehicle Scheme as they will not be 35 years old by June 30, 2028, and will continue to address their inquiries.

Phasing out older, more pollutive motorcycles will reduce carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and ground-level ozone.

The NEA will also continue its enforcement against smoky vehicles at our land entry checkpoints and roads, as well as look at measures to further reduce pollution from foreign motorcycles.

Cheang Kok Chung
Director, Environmental Protection Policy & International Relations Division
Deputy Director-General, Environmental Protection
National Environment Agency
ST Forum, 14 Apr 2018

**  About 1/3 of pollutive motorcycles deregistered at the end of March 2019
Incentive scheme affects 27,000 motorbikes, but some owners hold on to vintage models
By Christopher Tan, Senior Transport Correspondent, The Straits Times, 23 Apr 2019

About a third of 27,000 motorcycles affected by a scheme designed to persuade owners to scrap their old, pollutive two-wheelers have been deregistered, a year after the incentive was announced.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said more than 8,300 out of the 27,000 such motorcycles had been deregistered or scrapped at the end of last month.

Under the scheme announced in April last year, owners are granted a $3,500 rebate for each of the affected motorbikes that they deregister by April 5, 2023.

These motorcycles were registered before July 1, 2003, making them at least 15 years old now.

"Response to the incentive scheme has been encouraging as the weekly deregistration rate of such motorcycles is about four times the rate before the scheme," an NEA spokesman said.

Industry players were expecting more to take up the NEA's offer, as the vast majority of motorcycles here are smaller models.

Owners of such motorbikes would find the $3,500 rebate more meaningful if they were to get a replacement than, for example, those who own a 1,000cc sports bike.

Singapore Motorcycle Trade Association (SMTA) vice-president Norman Lee said: "Owners are probably resisting the move, or they're hoping for a situation which allows them to keep their older bikes beyond 2028."

Under the scheme, no motorbike registered before July 1, 2003, will be allowed on the road after June 30, 2028.

Businessman Seah Kwang Peng, 40, has three motorcycles which are affected by the scheme. He has since exported one, a 1996 BMW F650.

He said he intends to convert the other two - a 1984 Yamaha RX-K and a 1988 Honda Magna 750 - to the classic scheme when their current certificates of entitlement (COEs) expire.

Mr Seah explained that he exported the BMW because it would not qualify for the classic scheme by 2028, as it would not turn 35 - the minimum age for the scheme.

Retiree Lee Chiu San, 73, said he will also hold on to his 29-year-old Yamaha RD350 YPVS.

"I'll convert it to the classic scheme when it turns 35," he said. "I bought it as a souvenir of my grand prix days. It is hardly used. Over 29 years, it has barely 29,000km on it."

Mr Lee, a former motorcycle grand prix racer, added: "The bikes which have been scrapped so far probably aren't worth that much on the market."

Observers said more affected owners are likely to take up the NEA's offer if and when the COE premium for motorbikes falls. The COE price is currently around $3,500.

SMTA's Mr Lee added: "What this means is that many workshops which rely on repairs will close down in the next five years."


The Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES), which rewards or penalises car buyers according to the pollutants their purchases produce, will expire at the end of this year, but there is still no word on whether it will be extended or tweaked.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the National Environment Agency (NEA) said: "We will announce future plans for the scheme when ready and ahead of its expiry, taking into account feedback from the public and the industry, the scheme's impact on motorists' purchasing decisions, and technological advances in vehicles."

Singapore has been using a taxation strategy to encourage cleaner cars here since 2001.

The latest VES, which came into effect on Jan 1 last year, categorises cars according to five key pollutant levels. Some are then accorded tax rebates or surcharges of $10,000 or $20,000, while others will be in the neutral band, which does not have rebates or surcharges.

While the scheme is one of the most stringent of its kind worldwide, it is widely criticised here for, among other things, allowing car importers an unlimited number of retests for an unfavourable pollutant reading.

With just eight months to its expiry, car importers are worried that a change will render existing vehicle stock less competitive if they are unable to react in time.

Many reckon that they will need a year's notice to prepare their inventory.

But some dealers said the absence of news could mean the scheme will be extended with little or no change.

"I don't expect a huge change, except maybe incentivising electric cars more," said a dealer who declined to be named.

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