Bucharest - Romania's government Monday ordered changes in the nation's vehicle registration tax, bowing to European Union authorities who deemed it an unfair barrier to car imports. Revenue from the new tax, to take effect June 1, is to be used entirely for environmental protection, the Mediafax news agency reported.
The European Commission - the EU's executive - has threatened to drag newcomer Romania before the European Court of Justice, describing the tax as protectionist and illegal by EU standards. The old measure, introduced at the start of 2007 just as Romania joined the EU, was based on a vehicle's age and resulted in imported second-hand cars being taxed the most. Brussels viewed the tax as a Romanian government attempt to protect domestic automakers. Meanwhile, the average Romanian car is 13 years old.