Skip to main content

Imported with EU Standards But Rejected Overseas: West Africa's Problems With Foreign Used Cars And Spare Parts


The bulk of used cars and spare parts imported into Africa from Europe are obsolete and release emissions that are below standards. As a result, the cars pollute the air, and when the spare parts are left outside and exposed to environmental conditions, they harm the ozone layer and pollute the ecosystem. Elfredah Kevin-Alerechi investigates how imported used cars and spare parts from Europe are contributing to pollution and having an effect on Nigerian auto parts vendors.


For nearly 18 years, Onyeka Abro has been a vendor at the Ladipo automobile spare parts market in Lagos, Nigeria, selling cars underneath. According to him, his goods are imported from several European countries like Sweden, Germany, Italy, and Spain. But on numerous occasions, despite assurance from the exporters in Europe, the imported goods come in poor shape, beyond usage, and he ends up discarding them (underneath) in a dumpsite close to his shop.


Abro said: "After we choose the imported car spare parts, we transport the rest to the dump site where some scraps purchasers (scavengers) would come and select the ones that they can sell.


"Due to the fact that these are used parts, it occurs frequently. When we acquire it, you will discover that they (spare parts) are not good, even though we may initially think it is alright," he continued.