Non-road machinery emissions

| December 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

TrainInnerBy Laure de Hauteclocque and Kestutis Balvocius, EU Issue Tracker


The European Commission is proposing to change existing legislation on emission limits of engines installed in non-road mobile machinery. This covers a large class of products ranging from small gardening and handheld equipment (lawn mowers, chain saws), to construction machinery (excavators, loaders, bulldozers), agricultural & farming machinery (harvesters, cultivators); and even rail locomotives and inland waterway vessels.

The Commission is proposing to replace the existing Directive in this area with a Regulation that focuses, among other things, on bringing the technical requirements of the EU and the US into closer alignment.

This, says the Commission, will ensure a level playing field for European industry and avoid unfair competition from low-cost imports of non-regulated machinery in this sector.


The proposed Regulation would apply to engines installed in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM). The Commission defines such machinery as any mobile machine, transportable equipment or vehicles with or without body work or wheels, not intended for the use of passenger or goods transport on roads.

Emission Requirements

Engines installed in NRMM contribute significantly to air pollution and are accountable for roughly 15% of nitrogen oxide (NOx) and 5% of particulate matter (PM) emissions in the EU, according to the Commission.

The proposed Regulation would introduce stricter emission limits for pollutants. Engines which are placed on the market would be requested to respect the limits provided in Annex II to the Regulation. The addressed pollutants are nitrogen oxides (NOx), hydro-carbons (HC), carbon-monoxide (CO) and other particulate substances.

For the first time ever, the Regulation would introduce a limit on particle numbers (PN) to complement the limit on particle mass (PM). This would aim to limit the emission of ultrafine particles.

The monitoring of emissions of in-service engines would be carried out through the testing of engines installed on NRMM over their normal operating duty cycles. The Commission would be able to adopt delegated acts in order to set out the detailed arrangements of testing procedures. Emission requirements would not apply to engines for use by the armed forces.

Approval procedures

General Provisions

The proposed Regulation would set out an EU-type approval procedure. Manufacturers who wish to place an engine on the market would be required to submit an application to the approval authority of a Member State. The application should provide an information document, all relevant data and information in relation to the engine as well as any additional information which might be requested by the approval authority.

The national approval authorities would then be required to grant EU type-approval to engine types or engine families that meet the requirements laid down in the Regulation. They would not be allowed to impose any other type-approval requirement. If an engine does not meet the requirements, the authority would be obliged to reject the application.

Under the proposal, the approval authority of each Member State would be requested to inform the Commission about the approvals it granted or refused and about any new requests for approval.

A harmonized system for EU type-approval certificates would be laid down by the Commission. The certificate would contain the information package, the test results, and the signature of the relevant person in charge of the authorisation.

Tests for EU type-approval

Compliance with the proposed technical requirements would have to be demonstrated through appropriate tests. In order to carry out these tests, manufacturers would be required to make available to the approval authority as many engines as are required.

Amendments and validity of EU type-approvals

In case of any changes to the information contained in the information package, manufacturers would be required to inform the approval authority that granted the original authorization. The authority would then decide whether a new approval should be granted or not.

If no new inspections or tests are needed, the change would be designated as a ‘revision’. If further inspections or tests are required, the amendment would be designated as an ‘extension’. In this case, the approval authority would issue an updated EU type-approval certificate.

EU type-approval would be issued for an unlimited duration. Approval would however become invalid in the following cases:
(a) New requirements applicable to the approved engine type become mandatory for the placing on the market and an update of the approval is not possible.
(b) The production of the engine type or engine family is voluntarily definitively discontinued.
(c) A restriction foresees by the Regulation applies to the approval.
(d) The approval has been withdrawn in accordance with a provision of the Regulation.

Certificate of conformity and markings

The proposed new EU rules would require manufacturers to deliver a certificate of conformity for each engine manufactured in conformity with the approved engine type. In addition, manufacturers would have to affix a marking to each unit manufactured.

When engines accompanied by a certificate of conformity do not conform to the approved type or family, the approval authority which granted the approval should take measures in order to ensure that engines in production are brought into conformity. This could include the withdrawal of the approval.


The proposed Regulation would allow approval authorities to grant type-approval to an engine that, due to the use of new technologies or concepts, does not meet the requirements laid down by the Regulation. In order to grant such approval, the authority would be required to ensure that the following conditions are met:
(a) The application states the reasons why the technologies or concepts in question make the engine type or engine family incompatible with one or more of the requirements.
(b) The application describes the environmental implications of the new technology and the measures taken in order to ensure that at least an equivalent level of environmental protection is sought.
(c) Test descriptions and results that prove point (b) are presented.
The granting of such approvals would be subject to authorization by the Commission.

Placing on the market

According to the proposed Regulation, manufacturers would be requested to send to the relevant approval authority a list with the range of identification numbers for each engine type produced. This should be done within 45 days after the end of each calendar year. The list should also mention any case where the manufacturer ceases to produce and approved engine type or family.

International Equivalences

The proposed Regulation would allow the EU to acknowledge the equivalence between the conditions and provisions for EU type-approval and the procedures established by international regulations or regulations of third countries.

Next steps

The Commission proposal will now be sent to the Parliament and the Council. It will follow the ordinary legislative procedure (former co-decision procedure).



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Category: A Frontpage, Air quality, CO2 emissions, Economy, Environment, EU, EU, European Commission, Transport

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