21 October 2003

The European Parliament and the Council of Environment Ministers have reached an agreement on a Directive introducing the next round of emission standards—Stage III and IV—for diesel engines used in nonroad machinery (such as excavators and other construction equipment), locomotives, railcars and inland waterway vessels.

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A number of changes were introduced to the original proposal, COM(2002) 765, published in December 2002. Notably, the amended regulation also covers railroad locomotives.

The Stage III standards will start to come into effect from 2006. The Stage IV standards, which are on average ten times more stringent than current standards, will start to take effect from 2010 and be fully in effect by 2014, in parallel with Tier 4 requirements in the USA. The Stage IV standards will be re-examined by the Commission in 2007 so that the timetable and the standards can be adjusted in case of technical feasibility concerns.

The amended text shows also better alignment with US regulations. However, the Stage IV NOx limits are not as stringent as the proposed Tier 4 levels (for 75-560 kW engines, Stage IV NOx+HC = 1 g/kWh, as compared to Tier 4 NOx = 0.4 g/kWh, HC = 0.19 g/kWh).

It is expected that the new Directive will enter into force by the end of this year.

Source: European Parliament