European Stage V non-road emission standards

Published: 2016.11.21

Zhenying Shao and Tim Dallmann

The European Commission has proposed the world’s toughest emission standards for non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), such as construction equipment, railroad engines, inland waterway vessels, and off-road recreational vehicles. The Stage V standards, adopted by the EU Parliament in July 2016 and published in the Official Journal of the EU as Regulation (EU) 2016/1628 in September, will tighten restrictions on non-road engines and equipment and set stricter limits on emissions of particulate matter (PM). These changes, along with newly proposed particle number (PN) limits are expected to force manufacturers to equip non-road engines of between 19 kW and 560 kW with diesel particulate filters.

The EU has adopted a series of seven directives over the past two decades to address emissions from non-road engines. Current EU regulation of emissions from these engines consists of various annexes that have been amended eight times since adoption in 1997. These directives left it up to individual EU member states to modify laws to achieve the intended outcomes, which resulted in 28 national laws currently in effect. In addition to the 28 national laws, regional amendments set supplementary requirements on the engines sold and used in targeted areas, reflecting more stringent requirements than European law.

The Stage V emission standards will phase in as early as 2018 for approval of new engine types, and in 2019 for all sales. The rules would replace an existing, multi-layered legal framework in Europe with one overarching regulation. The commission laid out a split-level approach, putting forth legislation in two steps. The planned two-step adoption will ensure that the European Council and the European Parliament focus on the regulation’s fundamental provisions, leaving the technical and administrative details of implementation to be developed later.