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Emission Standards

Brazil: Light-Duty Vehicles

Regulatory Background

Brazilian emission regulations for light-duty vehicles have been adopted as a succession of increasingly more stringent stages, designated PROCONVE L-1, L-2, L-3, etc. The emission standards are applicable to vehicles with a maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 3,856 kg and a maximum curb weight of 2,720 kg, classified into two categories:

  • Light passenger vehicles (automobiles)—Motor vehicles designed for transportation of up to 12 passengers or their derivatives for goods transportation.
  • Light commercial vehicles (LCV)—Motor vehicles designed for transportation of goods or for transportation of more than 12 passengers or with special characteristics for off-road use.

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The following are some of the important regulatory steps:

  • PROCONVE L-1 limits were phased-in over 1988-1991, followed by PROCONVE L-2 emission standards phased-in over 1992-1996. These earliest standards were applicable only to passenger cars (LCV emissions became regulated from 1995). Noise limits for cars and LCVs became effective from 1994.
  • PROCONVE L-3 emission regulations were adopted in 1993 [2616] with implementation from 1997 to 2004. The L-3 limits were based on Euro 2 standards.
  • PROCONVE L-4 and L-5 emission standards were adopted in 2002 [2617] with implementation dates over 2006-2009. The L-4/L-5 standards were based on Euro 3/4, respectively. Because 50 ppm sulfur diesel fuel was not available by 2009, the L-4 phase remained in effect for diesel vehicles until the end of 2012.
  • OBD requirements for domestically produced and imported Otto cycle light commercial vehicles were adopted in 2004 [2618].
  • PROCONVE L-6 regulations were introduced by resolution Conama 415/2009 in 2009 [2615] with implementation dates over 2013-2015.

Diesel engines have been used in Brazil in heavy-duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses, as well as in light commercial vehicles. A ban on diesel passenger cars was implemented in 1976 due to concerns over oil production self-sufficiency, a desire to conserve limited diesel supplies for commercial vehicles and to limit taxes on diesel fuel [Ordinance No. 346 of November 19, 1976, Ministry of Industry and Trade]. Later, this was changed to a ban on the sale of diesel fuel for use in vehicles with less than 1000 kg payload capacity [Ordinance No. 23 of June 6, 1994, the former National Department of fuels, DNC]. The later remains in effect despite efforts to repeal it. As a result, diesel passenger cars have not been available in Brazil and earlier emission regulations did not include standards for diesel cars. Such standards have been included in the legislation only since the L-4 phase, in part because Brazilian standards are used as a base by neighboring South American countries that also import diesel passenger cars produced in Brazil. Also, some diesel pick-ups and sport utility vehicles with payload capacity exceeding 1000 kg have become available as light commercial vehicles.

Emission Standards

Emission standards for passenger cars and light commercial vehicles since the L-4 phase are summarized in the following tables. Light vehicles are tested over a chassis dynamometer cycle—test standard NBR6601—that is based on the FTP-75 test.

The PROCONVE standards are loosely based on early US regulations and on EU standards, but the respective PROCOVE phases are not directly equivalent to any of the Euro stages. It may be noted that the PROCONVE L-6 phase still does not include particulate filter-forcing PM mass or number emission limits.

Table 1
PROCONVE Emission Standards For Passenger Vehicles
(FTP-75; Durability: 80,000 km/5 years)
TierDateIdle COCOTHCNMHCNOxHCOPM
% volg/km
L-41.1.20071,20.502.00.300.160.253/0.6040.030.05
L-51.1.20095 0.502.00.300.050.123/0.2540.020.05
L-61.1.20136 0.201.30.300.050.08 0.020.025
Idle CO limits apply to Otto cycle engines only
THC limits apply to natural gas vehicles only
Aldehydes (HCO) limits apply to Otto cycle engines only; Natural gas vehicles exempted
PM limits apply to Diesel cycle engines only
(1) 1.1.2005: at least 40% of annual production (passenger vehicles + light commercial vehicles)
(2) 1.1.2006: at least 70% of annual production (passenger vehicles + light commercial vehicles)
(3) Otto cycle engines
(4) Diesel cycle engines
(5) Never enforced for diesel vehicles due to lack of low sulfur fuel
(6) For all diesel vehicles. Otto cycle 1.1.2014/1.1.2015 for new models/all registrations, respectively.
Table 2
PROCONVE Emission Standards For Light Commercial Vehicles
(FTP-75; Durability: 80,000 km/5 years)
Category*TierDateIdle COCOTHCNMHCNOxHCOPM
% volg/km
≤1700 kgL-41.1.20071,20.502.00.300.160.253/0.6040.030.08
L-51.1.20095 0.502.00.300.050.123/0.2540.020.05
L-61.1.20136 0.201.30.300.050.08 0.020.03
>1700 kgL-41.1.20071,20.502.70.500.200.433/1.0040.060.10
L-51.1.20095 0.502.70.500.060.253/0.4340.040.06
L-61.1.20136 0.202.00.500.060.253/0.3540.030.04
Idle CO limits apply to Otto cycle engines only
THC limits apply to natural gas vehicles only
Aldehydes (HCO) limits apply to Otto cycle engines only; Natural gas vehicles exempted
PM limits apply to Diesel cycle engines only
* Light Commercial Diesel Vehicles >2000 kg GVW are allowed to be homologated as heavy-duty
(1) 1.1.2005: at least 40% of annual production (passenger vehicles + light commercial vehicles)
(2) 1.1.2006: at least 70% of annual production (passenger vehicles + light commercial vehicles)
(3) Otto cycle engines
(4) Diesel cycle engines
(5) Never enforced for diesel vehicles due to lack of low sulfur fuel
(6) For all diesel vehicles. Otto cycle 1.1.2014/1.1.2015 for new models/all registrations, respectively.

The regulations also set an evaporative emissions limit of 2 g/test for cars and LCVs with Otto cycle engines (except those fueled by natural gas). Since 2012, the limit is 1.5 g/test.

Vehicle Efficiency

In 2012, a Presidential decree established Inovar-Auto, an incentive program intended to support technological development, innovation, safety, environmental protection, energy efficiency and quality of Vehicles and auto parts. One aspect of the program creates incentives for manufacturer’s to improve vehicle efficiency. The program targeted a 12% improvement in vehicle efficiency by 2017 over the 2012 baseline [3611].

The incentives are created by first increasing a tax on industrialized products (Imposto sobre Produtos Industrializados - IPI) for all light-duty vehicles and light commercial vehicles by 30%. And then imposing a series of requirements for automakers to qualify for up to 30% discount in the IPI. In addition to meeting a minimum corporate average vehicle efficiency target (MJ/km), automakers had to carry out a minimum number of manufacturing and engineering activities in Brazil as well as invest in research and development to qualify for the full 30% discount on IPI taxes. Additional IPI reductions were available for exceeding the minimum vehicle efficiency improvement target. The program is limited to vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2017, after which IPI rates return to pre-2013 levels unless modifications to the decree are made. In 2017, consultations with industry were started to replace the program. Further details are available elsewhere [3613][3612].