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Temporary Halt on UAE Imports of Chinese-Made Volkswagen EVs


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The UAE Ministry of Economy has issued a temporary ban on the importation of Volkswagen's China-manufactured electric vehicles (EVs) into the UAE, as per Ministerial Decision No. 40 of 2023. Key Volkswagen models such as the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and ID.6 are impacted by this decision unless these vehicles are imported with the express purpose of re-exportation.

This action follows a review of Federal Law No. 1 of 1972 on ministerial authorities and its amendments, Cabinet Resolution No. 68 of 2020 pertaining to the organizational structure of the Ministry of Economy, and a letter from Volkswagen's German headquarters to the Ministry of Economics on January 17. The text of the ministerial decision was drafted based on the Undersecretary of Ministers' presentation.

As per Section 2 of the bill, the Ministry has temporarily halted the registration of these vehicles with all vehicle licensing agencies in the UAE. The third section of the decision clarifies that this ruling does not apply to electric vehicles purchased by individuals prior to the date of this decision. However, this exemption does not extend to dealership purchases of the aforementioned electric vehicles.

In accordance with the fourth section of the law, the Ministry will communicate with the parent manufacturer to discuss the stated security and safety standards, in collaboration with the relevant authorities. The Ministry intends to review the final results and present its findings on the final position within 30 days.

This decision arrives in the wake of Volkswagen's global recall of over 120,000 units of its ID.4 and ID.3 models due to a battery defect. The manufacturer has confirmed that a manufacturing error resulted in increased self-discharge of the battery cells. Any problematic batteries identified will be replaced as per the indicative data.

The suspension of imports surprised UAE owners and dealers, especially as the affected Volkswagen models had been gaining traction on UAE roads. Despite expert warnings about the lack of maintenance warranties, these models were popular choices. However, it's worth noting that these vehicles were equipped with batteries specifically designed for China's climate and market. Several car owners in the UAE and across the Middle East have reported vehicle fires and unexpected technical malfunctions, leading to significant financial losses.

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