WARSAW -- Poland plans to limit imports of used cars from western Europe to protect the local car industry and ensure road safety, Deputy Infrastructure Minister Witold Gorski said on Monday.
He said the ministry was working on a bill to introduce tighter inspections of imported cars before they can be registered in Poland. The measure is expected to enter into force by the beginning of October.
Imports of second-hand cars soared to some 50,000 in May and more than 114,000 in June after Poland entered the European Union and scrapped trade barriers, with many importers bringing in less expensive vehicles that were damaged in accidents.
New car sales plunged 21 percent year-on-year to 23,197 last month.
"We know the issue is very controversial and we do not want to ban imports of used cars, but we must do everything to make sure the cars are in working order," Gorski told reporters.
"There is high demand for second-hand cars in Poland, but on the other hand we care about the development of the car industry because it means new jobs," he said.
Major car producers with factories in Poland include Fiat, Volkswagen and General Motors' Opel unit.