Ministry To Enforce Vehicle Noise Level Restrictions

July 30, 2023

The Qatar Ministry of Commerce and Industry (“MoCI”) issued a circular to vehicle dealerships and maintenance service providers regarding the regulations governing permissible levels of noise emissions from vehicles (“Circular”).

The Circular states that the “noise emission levels of cars and motorcycles must conform to the conditions and standards of the Qatari standard specifications issued by the Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology.”

Pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law (Law No. (8) of 2008) and its amendments, the Circular sets out the relevant specifications to which vehicle dealers and maintenance service providers must adhere.  These include the following standard specifications:

  1. Gulf Standard / Cars – Noise Pollution (GSO1624/2002) in the sector of mechanical products specifications, and
  2. Gulf Standard / Motorcycles – Noise Pollution (GSO ECE 41-1:2007) in the sector of mechanical products specifications.

According to the Circular, vehicle noise levels during testing must not exceed the decibel unit limits set out in the specifications, regardless of whether the vehicle engine runs on gasoline or diesel fuel. Exceeding such limits violates Articles (5), (6), and (13) of the Consumer Protection Law. Such violations can lead to (1) a fine of not more than one million riyals or imprisonment for not more than two years, and (2) an administrative closure of no more than three months.

The Circular also sets out several corrective measures available to the MoCI, including:

  1. Suspending the sale of spare parts that cause sound amplification in cars and motorcycles, resulting in noise pollution; and
  2. Recalling cars that have been equipped with “spare parts that cause sound amplification” and modifying and rectifying their position by removing spare parts that violate the standard specifications.

Car and motorcycle dealerships, and their related maintenance centres, as well as all other maintenance centres, will be given one month to 60 days from the date of the Circular’s issuance to correct and settle the situation.

The MoCI also announced the launch of a campaign with the Ministry of Interior to ensure that the various sales outlets and maintenance centres abide by the requirements of the Circular and the Consumer Protection Law.

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The Qatar Central Bank (“QCB”) announced amendments to the real estate financing (mortgage) regulations, including setting out the maximum loan-to-value (“LTV”) ratios and tenures for mortgages within the State of Qatar, which will be applied to Qatari banks and subsidiaries within the country. Branches and subsidiaries of Qatari banks outside the State of Qatar will continue to comply with the host country’s regulatory authorities as long as the collaterals and financed properties are outside of Qatar.

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