Fabian Demicoli

Consultation: Tractors Regulation Amendment

 Directive 2000/25/EC is amended by Directive 2011/72/EU. Directive 2000/25/EC regulates exhaust emissions from engines installed in agricultural and forestry tractors. The emission limits applicable in 2010 for type approval of the majority of compression ignition engines, referred to as Stage III A, were to be replaced by the more stringent Stage III B limits, entering into force progressively as from 1 January 2011 with regard to the placing on the market, and from 1 January 2010 as regards the type-approval for those engines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stage IV, providing for emission limits more stringent than Stage III B, will enter into force progressively as of 1 January 2013 as regards the type-approval for those engines and as of 1 January 2014 with regard to the placing on the market.

The transition to Stage III B involves a step change in technology requiring significant implementation costs for re-designing the engines and for developing advanced technical solutions. However, the current global financial and economic crisis or any economic downturn should not lead to a lowering of environmental standards. This revision of Directive 2000/25/EC should therefore be considered to be exceptional. Furthermore, investments in environmentally friendly technologies are important for the promotion of future growth, jobs and health security.

Directive 2000/25/EC provides for a flexibility scheme to allow tractor manufacturers to purchase, during a given stage, a limited number of engines that do not comply with emission limits applicable during that stage, but which are approved in accordance with the requirements of the stage immediately preceding the applicable one.

Since 2005, Directive 2000/25/EC has provided for the evaluation of the possible need for additional flexibilities in relation to Stages III B and IV emission limits. In order to provide temporary relief to the industry when moving to the next stage, it is necessary to adapt the conditions for applying the flexibility scheme.

During Stage III B, the number of tractors that are placed on the market and that enter into service should, in each engine category, not exceed 40 % of the number of tractors placed on the market by the tractor manufacturer in that engine category. The alternative option of allowing a fixed number of tractors to be placed on the market and to enter into service under the flexibility scheme should be adapted accordingly.

Manufacturers of tractors falling within the scope of this Directive should benefit from European financial support programmes or any relevant support programmes provided by Member States. Those support programmes may favour projects employing the best available technologies with the highest emission standards.

Directive 2000/25/EC is amended by Directive 2011/87/EU. Directive 2000/25/EC regulates exhaust emissions from engines installed in agricultural and forestry tractors with a view to further safeguarding human health and the environment. Directive 2000/25/EC provided that the emission limits applicable in 2010 for type-approval of the majority of compression ignition engines, referred to as Stage III A, were to be replaced by the more stringent Stage III B limits, entering into force progressively as from 1 January 2010 as regards the type-approval, and from 1 January 2011 with regard to the placing on the market, for those engines. Stage IV, providing for emission limits more stringent than Stage III B, will enter into force progressively as from 1 January 2013 as regards the type-approval for those engines and from 1 January 2014 with regard to the placing on the market.

Article 2(b) of Directive 2004/26/EC which amends Directive 97/68/EC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to measures against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non- road mobile machinery, provides that the Commission is to consider the available technology, including the cost/benefits, with a view to confirming Stage III B and IV limit values and evaluating the possible need for additional flexibilities, exemptions or later introduction dates for certain types of equipment or engines and taking into account engines installed in non-road mobile machinery used in seasonal applications. Moreover, Article 4(8) of Directive 2000/25/EC provides for a review clause in order to take into account the specificities of tractors of categories T2, T4.1 and C2.

Directive 97/68/EC was the subject of several technical studies. As a result of those technical studies carried out in 2007, 2009 and 2010 and confirmed by the impact assessment carried out by the Commission, it was established that it is not technically feasible for tractors of categories T2, T4.1 and C2 to meet the requirements of Stages III B and IV by the dates set out in that Directive.

In order to prevent Union legislation from prescribing technical requirements which cannot be met yet and in order to prevent a situation in which tractors of categories T2, T4.1 and C2 can no longer be type- approved and placed on the market or put into service, it is necessary to provide for a transitional period of 3 years, during which tractors of categories T2, T4.1 and C2 may still be type-approved and placed on the market or put into service.

You are kindly being requested to provide your feedback to the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority by e-mail:

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