French eyes annual penalties for polluting cars

PARIS Tue Jul 1, 2008 3:43am EDT

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PARIS (Reuters) - Penalties imposed by France on heavily polluting cars will need annually and not only upon purchase, Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo told daily newspaper Le Parisien on Tuesday.

France introduced a system known as "bonus-malus" last year to encourage people to buy more fuel-efficient cars.

Consumers have to pay penalties ranging between 200 and 2,600 euros ($4,099) when they purchase gas-guzzling vehicles while buyers of more environmentally friendly cars receive bonuses of between 200 and 1,000 euros.

"We are going to amplify the bonus-malus (system). Penalties on extremely polluting vehicles will be paid, not only upon purchase, but each year," Borloo said.

Borloo has said in the past that the system of penalties and rewards applied to vehicles could be extended to other products such as electronic goods.

The minister has said the steps taken to encourage the purchase of more fuel-efficient cars had pushed up sales of fuel-efficient cars by 45 percent, while cutting sales of heavy petrol users by 40 percent.

(Reporting by Thierry Leveque and Tamora Vidaillet; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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