Service providers and car dealers are expected to take corrective measures such as halting the sale of spare parts contributing to sound amplification.
Vehicle dealerships and service providers found guilty of non-compliance with vehicle noise standards in Qatar could face a hefty penalty of up to QAR 1 million or imprisonment for a maximum of two years, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry confirmed.
In an official circular on Sunday, authorities stipulated a mandate on all cars and motorcycles across the country to adhere to the noise level specifications outlined by the Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology.
The significant move aims to continue a years-long nationwide crackdown on noise pollution following complaints by residents in some areas, including Lusail Marina.
In 2021, Doha News reported on growing anger from Lusail’s residents over nuisance by motorcycle and car drivers in the newly-built city.
At the time, one resident said the city became a “nightmare” for families and complained that the community has been struggling to sleep at night because of “loud motorbikes and sports cars racing and revving their engines 24/7 in residential areas.”
Since then, a crackdown on such nuisance has led to calmer nights in the area, with increased police patrols leading to a decline in such cases.
In most cases, racers modify their vehicles by installing exhausts that trigger explosive sounds. While this causes a fright for families with children at night, it is also considered a serious violation according to the Traffic Department in Qatar.
Obligations per law
The directive was dispensed by the Consumer Protection and Combating Commercial Fraud Department within the Ministry and defined the obligations of car and motorcycle dealers and maintenance service providers in accordance with the law.
As per the circular, the noise levels of vehicles are to be controlled by the following norms and standards:
- Gulf Standard Specifications: Cars — Noise Pollution (GSO1624/2002) from the mechanical products specification sector.
- Gulf Standard Specifications: Motorcycles — Noise Pollution (GSO ECE 41-1:2007) from the mechanical products specification sector.
Additionally, administrative closures of businesses for up to three months have been outlined as a potential consequence for offenders.
The ministry warned the noise level of any vehicle, irrespective of being gasoline or diesel-powered, must not exceed the limit (in dB) as per the specifications.
The noise level measurements are required to be taken when the engine is operational and the vehicle is in motion. Any violation of these guidelines is deemed as an explicit breach of laws pertaining to Consumer Protection.
Service providers and car dealers are also expected to take corrective measures such as halting the sale of spare parts contributing to sound amplification which escalate noise pollution. The circular said authorities also requires dealers to recall vehicles that have been equipped with such parts in order to modify them and eliminate the components contravening the state’s standard specifications.
All dealerships and relevant maintenance centres are given a period of 30 to 60 days, from the date of the circular’s issuance to ensure total compliance.
The ministry also outlined plans to launch a collaborative campaign titled ‘Noise Pollution from Cars and Motorcycles’ in conjunction with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to raise awareness on the issue.
This campaign, set to roll out next month, seeks to guarantee that all dealerships and maintenance centres comply with the regulations defined by Qatari standards.