Regulatory Authorities

Environmental regulations in Switzerland are established by the Federal Office for the Environment, FOEN.

Engine emissions are regulated based on the Ordinance on Air Pollution Control, OAPC (Luftreinhalte-Verordnung, LRV) of 16 December 1985, with a number of later amendments [3050]. The OAPC mandates that “emissions are to be reduced in as much as technically, organizationally and economically justifiable...”. Since 1998, it also classifies diesel particulate emissions as carcinogenic.

Occupational health regulations and exposure limit are set in Switzerland by SUVA (Schweizerische Unfallversicherungsanstalt)—Swiss National Accident Insurance.

Engine Emission Standards

Onroad Engines

Emission requirements from new highway engines, both light- and heavy-duty, are harmonized to accept the current European Union regulations.

Mobile Nonroad Engines

New engines for nonroad vehicles and machinery must meet the current European emission standards for all regulated pollutants.

In addition, Switzerland adopted emission standards for nonroad engines used in construction that are more stringent than the European requirements. Diesel engines used in new construction machines must comply with a Swiss particle number (PN) emission limit. The PN emission requirements ensures that all construction machines sold in Switzerland be fitted with diesel particulate filters.

Particulate filter retrofits are also required for in-use diesel engines used in construction projects.

Stationary Engines

The OAPC establishes a particulate matter emission limit for stationary engines fueled by diesel or gas of 50 mg/Nm3 [3050].

Occupational Health Standards

An official list of permissible exposure limits MAK (Maximale Arbeitsplatzkonzentration) is published by SUVA [3051]. The following table summarizes the ambient air exposure limits for several substances found in diesel exhaust.

Table 1. Swiss MAK Exposure Limits for Selected Air Pollutants
SubstanceMAK exposure limit
CO30 ppm
CO25000 ppm
NO25 ppm
NO23 ppm
SO21.3 mg/m3
Diesel particulates0.1 mg/m3 (EC)

Diesel particulate emissions (Dieselmotoren-Emissionen, DME) have been classified as carcinogenic. Since 1994, a MAK exposure limit has been established of 0.1 mg/m3 (EC). The particulate emissions are defined as elemental carbon. Due to the carcinogenic classification of diesel particulates, diesel emissions have to be minimized using the “best available technology” (BAT).