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Construction machines will soon be required to come with a GPS. A five thousand birr fine will be charged for operating a machine without one.

The Ministry of Construction is drafting the new regulation and it is scheduled for discussions with stakeholders this week before it is amended by the Council of Ministers.

The preamble of the draft document that Capital obtained indicated that the ‘Construction Machines Registration and Inspection Regulation’ is needed to prevent illegal activities including machines that are unregistered, expired licenses, or lack of a plate number. The regulation is intended to keep track of machines coming in and out of the country. This is one of the reasons for the new obligation to install a GPS in the machine.

Anyone operating a construction machine without a license will be fined 5,000 birr, and the owner allowing the person to operate without a license will be fined 15,000 birr. Operators working with unregistered machines will face a penalty of 30,000 birr and 15 percent of their yearly revenue. The draft regulation also states that the owner who uses an illegal inspection certificate will be penalized 30 thousand birr.

Nahom Belachew, Public and International Relations Senior Expert at the Ministry of Construction, said that several discussions will be held to get more input before the law is implemented.

The number of construction machines has increased dramatically since Ethiopia’s construction boom. The draft regulation categorizes the plate numbers of the machines based on their purpose and ownership. For example, the color and code of public owned construction machines are different from those owned by private contractors or rental machines. Experts pointed to machines disappearing or being operated illegally as something the law is attempting to alleviate.