UAE bans import of damaged used cars

UAE bans import of damaged used cars

The Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA) has announced that they will ban import, insurance and registration of used cars that are “grossly damaged” from May 1, a senior official said on Tuesday.

According to Gulf News, Abdullah Al Maeeni, director-general of ESMA, said the ban will cover burnt out, water-damaged, rebuilt and non-repairable cars as well as vehicles with major manufacturing defects.

“Part of our mission is to make importers stop importing and manufacturers stop rebuilding of these salvage-title vehicles and passing them on to unsuspecting drivers,” Al Maeeni said. He also said importers must make sure the vehicles are free from any such damage or defect, declare vehicles meant for re-export and those imported for dismantling for parts. Used car dealers in the UAE imports around 300,000 used vehicles annually, mainly from USA, Japan and Germany.

He said importers are given a grace period until April 30 to adjust their legal status and comply with the new rules. “ESMA has access to databases of all used car exporting countries to keep track of these (crashed) vehicles and prevent them from reaching our market.”

Al Maeeni said ESMA, traffic departments and insurance companies across the UAE are also cooperating to prevent totalled or salvaged cars after an accident in the UAE from being sold in the market.

The new rules should clamp down on used car dealers who have been ripping off car buyers for decades, as we’ve written about in the past here.

What do you think?



  1. Thank god!! 90% of the dealers will be off the market now..and buyers will have genuine used car deals from now on.

  2. Excellent decision by ESMA

  3. What about those who have American Japanese cars which where imported they will have hard time getting Insurance find and alternate for them too….

  4. Just be cautious on easy deals from used car dealers…
    Wait till after May 1st to shop for your used cars…

  5. good move by the government!

  6. Get ready to pay premium prices once again for Used cars with rolled back odometers and abused in the harsh weather of Middle East. That’s what used to happen before Year 2002 ! Good Luck..

    • …as opposed to CRASHED cars from America which are cheaply fixed and missing parts like airbags. Just as easy chance they were abused and rolled back too. Cars survive weather here just fine with no rust.

  7. Article isn’t entirely accurate.

    ESMA won’t be banning the import of any vehicles. They will be banning the registration of some imported vehicles (as per their exact Decision/circular).

    The vehicles they will be banning registration will only be from certain Title categories, which is about 10% of all the Imported salvage in the UAE right now.

    In short, it’s a good start, but still need to be careful, most salvage will still be perfectly legal here even after 1st May (as per most countries in the world).

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