17 November 1999

The European Parliament, in its session on Tuesday, November 16 in Strasbourg, approved the Common Position of the EU Council on the Euro III-V emission standards for new heavy-duty truck and bus engines. Details on emission limits established by the regulation are listed in the EU heavy-duty emission standards page.

The Common Position, adopted last December by the Council of Environment Ministers, was approved with only minor modifications. Most amendments that have been proposed by the parliamentary Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy (A5-0043/1999) were rejected in the vote. This approval by Parliament is one of the last steps in finalizing the Euro III-V standards. Final regulation is expected to be signed by the EU Council of Ministers next month. The Euro III standard will become effective in October 2000; Euro IV/V will come into effect in 2005/2008, respectively.

If the amendments proposed by the parliamentary Committee on the Environment had been adopted, a reconciliative regulatory procedure would have been triggered, delaying the final approval by several months. The rejected amendments included a call for deleting the Euro IV (2005) NOx standard of 3.5 g/kWh and moving the Euro V NOx limit of 2 g/kWh from the year 2008 to 2006, making the NOx standard schedule more difficult for engine manufacturers. The stringency of future NOx standards was the only remaining substantial point of dispute between the Parliament and the Council of Ministers on the dossier.

The adopted regulation is the first "aftertreatment-forcing" diesel emission standard. European regulators expect that the 0.02 g/kWh particulate matter (PM) limit (Euro IV, 2005) will require the use of particulate filters on all new heavy-duty diesel engines. The current Euro II limit for PM is 0.15 g/kWh.