The government has set the time frame for stricter emission standards to be applied in an effort to mitigate air pollution caused by motor vehicles.
Only newly manufactured, assembled or imported motor vehicles will be required to comply with the tightened emission limits which will come into effect in 2017.
Vehicles will be required to meet a level of emission control standards compiled by the European Union for all new land vehicles, ranging from Euro 1 to Euro 5.
Automobiles will be required to increase standards from Euro 2 to Euro 4, and five years later, Euro 5.
At the moment, Euro 5 is widely used across European countries, and a Euro 6 standard is expected to enter into force from 2014.
Vietnam has applied the Euro 2 standard since 2007, but lags behind neighbouring countries such as Thailand and China which have applied Euro 3 standards for several years, said the general director of the Vietnam Register Department, Trinh Ngoc Giao.
He said after listening to suggestions from relevant ministries and domestic automobile and fuel manufacturers while considering the environmental effects, the transport ministry has decided that Vietnam would need ten years from when the first set of standards is applied to achieve the latest goals.
"We believe in the context of Vietnam, only after 2017 will automakers and petroleum companies be ready to meet the high emission standards," Giao said.
He emphasised that cleaner fuel would be essential to the successful adoption of the new standards.
The Ministry of Science and Technology has been given the responsibility for compiling and publishing national standards on different types of fuel, including petrol, diesel and biogas, to conform with corresponding emission standards.
"The standards for fuel will come into force one year ahead of the emission standards," Giao said.
There are currently more than 1.55 million automobiles and about 33 million motorbikes in Vietnam.
Experts have said that the leading cause of air pollution in Vietnam is from means of transport, particularly engine-run vehicles, which leads to the need for strict limits on emissions.