Come April 1st, 2020, India is all set to join a select group of countries with vehicular emission norms that limit the amount of sulphur in petrol and diesel to just 10 parts per million. The Bharat Stage VI (BS-VI) norms will now on par with the Euro VI norms, a jump from the earlier BS-IV norms that was achieved in a short period of three years. And while oil refineries in the country have already switched to the new fuel norms, the real challenge lay with the auto manufacturers who had to make the switch to BS-VI compliant engines for both petrol and diesel.

With the auto manufacturers having invested heavily in the new and increasingly energy efficient technology, the buck has now been passed to dealerships across the country that are racing against time to sell and register existing stocks in their inventories. One might ask, why all the rush? Well, according to an order passed by the honourable Supreme Court of India on the 24th of October, 2018, no new motor vehicle conforming to BS-IV emission standards shall be sold or registered in the entire country on or after the 1st of April, 2020. What exactly does this mean for the dealerships then? What will happen to any stock, if any, left unsold in the inventory of a dealership? What are the options left to the dealer in such a situation? Let us take a look at all of these issues one by one.

All BS-IV compliant vehicles, according to the aforementioned order of the Supreme Court, need to complete the registration process by the 31st of March, 2020. This also applies to the vehicles that have been registered temporarily. The court has already said that no more respite in terms of an extension period shall be provided for the registration, including for those that have been sold but not yet registered. For those cases wherein the payment has been made online for the vehicles, the Dealer Registration Pendency Reports can be looked at on the Vahan portal ( started by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH).

Where the payment is yet to be received, the dealer can still register the vehicle by getting the Delivery Order (DO)/ Release Order (RO) signed by the financier. The dealer, however, needs to be careful that the person who signs these orders is the same person who signs the Form 20, thereby making the financier liable in the event that any discrepancies occur in the payment for the vehicle. It would be wise to remember that it is the sole duty of the dealer and not of the customer or anyone else, to get the vehicle registered.

While dealerships are trying everything in their power to clear their inventory before the deadline, there is a chance that some stock might get left behind. In such a case, the dealer could either return the vehicle to the manufacturer or dismantle it and make use of the spare parts of the vehicle. All such vehicles shall then be blocked for billing in the database of the company as well as on the Vahan portal of the government. The only option left with the dealer, if the dealer does not wish to opt for either of the above choices, is to register the vehicle in the name of the company or in the name of any of the staff and sell it later as a second-hand vehicle. As the country moves into a newer, cleaner phase of technology, the dealers might just have to feel the pinch a bit, especially if their inventory stock remains unsold and unregistered before the deadline.

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