Emissions from engines installed in non-road mobile machinery have been regulated since 1997 via the 97/68/EC Directive, covering major air pollutants – NOx, HC, PM and CO. Since then, successive amendments have followed introducing new ‘stages’, going from stage I to the currently applicable stage IV.
Stage V, a new Regulation that will repeal the 97/68/EC Directive, is the latest step in the series of ever tighter emission limits, which already reduced particulate matter and nitrogen oxide emissions for land-based machines by over 95% in recent years. With this new stage, the European mobile machinery will become the cleanest in the world.
Further to the Parliament’s final vote and Council’s adoption in July 2016, publication of the Regulation will follow shortly. In parallel supplementary legislation in the form of delegated and implementing acts is expected to be adopted by the end of 2016. The application of the new Regulation is foreseen by March 2017.
The stage V regulation extends the scope of the exhaust emission legislation to very small (< 19 kW) and very big engines (> 560 kW). It is set to reduce emissions even further by setting stricter limits and by introducing particulate number limits (PN).
The legislation defines engine categories, which are divided into sub-categories according to their power range. For each category, it sets emission limits and deadlines for implementing them, starting from 2019 to 2021 depending on the type of engine. The Regulation also allows early type approval which is a prerequisite for having new engines in time.
· The final compromise found between the EU Institutions strikes a good balance between improving air quality and maintaining the competitiveness of the European machine manufacturing industry.
· This equilibrium was achieved thanks to a number of adjustments introduced during the legislative process, including, for instance, an extension of the general transition scheme by 6 months (24 months in total) to give European machine manufacturers sufficient time to re-design their fleet to comply with the new requirements. Furthermore, introducing a provision on replacement engines with a time limit of 20 years will allow for a continued use of machinery using replacement engines, thereby contributing to the EU’s objectives on resource efficiency.
· The special needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as the high level of specialisation throughout the sector, have been reflected in the final compromise. For certain types of machines and enterprises, such as mobile cranes and narrow tractors, further transitional provisions were foreseen to cater for their specific needs.
· Overall, the new Regulation sets an ambitious timeline. It will remain a challenge to re-design the hundreds of machinery types and applications in the timeframe given; CECE is convinced that the machine manufacturing industries are committed and capable to make these necessary adjustments and contribute to improving air quality in Europe. Since meeting Stage V requirements means a significant effort for the European industry, European political support is needed for the promotion of clean mobile "Made in Europe" machinery on the global market.
· It will remain an important policy goal to align emissions regulation in at least the highest-regulated markets. At the same time, CECE notes with concern the developments withing the internal market in the EU it, where local authorities implement own rules to combat air pollution. It's of greatest importance that these rules respect the harmonised EU emissions limits and don't require additional measures. The environment is best served with the deployment of the latest emissions legislation, hence a progressive renewal of the oldest machine park.