FIM Brussels – The latest on the EURO 5 environmental step
On 19th March, the European Commission (EC) presented a proposal for a revision of the type-approval framework of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles. The proposal, amending Regulation (EU) No 168/2013, aims at facilitating the introduction into the legislation of the Euro 5 emission step.
The EC’s proposal, based on a comprehensive environmental effect study, focuses on three aspects: (1) the introduction of on-board diagnostic systems (OBD) stage II requirements for L-category vehicles; (2) changes in the date of application of the sound level limits for Euro 5 emission step; and (3) an extension of the power to adopt delegated acts.
Regarding the requirement to install OBD systems, the proposal clarifies the exemption for mopeds (L1e and L2e categories) from the OBD system of stage II requirement and extends this exemption to light quadricycles (L6e category) and to the enduro (L3e-AxE) and trial (L3e-AxT) motorcycle subcategories. Regarding the requirement to install an OBD of stage II, the EC concluded that there are technical limitations with respect to catalyst monitoring for certain vehicles and that further development is required to ensure its correct implementation. Therefore, the proposal provides for additional time necessary to ensure the correct implementation of OBD system of stage II requirement.
With regards to sound level limits for Euro 5 emission step, contained in Annex IV to the Regulation, the proposal would change the application dates for the L2e-U (3-wheeled utility mopeds), L3e-AxE, L3e-AxT and L6e-B (mini-cars) categories. Finally, as the power to adopt delegated acts to implement Regulation (EC) No 168/2013 expired on 21 March 2018, the proposal provides for an extension of the delegation for a further five years, with the possibility of tacit extension.
Last June, the COREPER issued a negotiating mandate for the future interinstitutional negotiations (trilogues) with the EP on the proposal. Along with some editorial changes, the text would specify that (1) OBDs would not be part of the vehicle construction and general type-approval requirements for L6e-A (light on-road quad) and L6e-B categories; and (2) the sound level requirements in Annex IV of the Regulation would be postponed by two or three years.
In the EP, the lead Committee, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee, held a debate on the proposal early September. Rapporteur Dalton (ECR, UK), supported by Shadow Rapporteurs Grapini (S&D, Romania) and Pospíšil (EPP, Czech Republic), clarified that he was in favor of the EC proposal, except for the extension of the deadline for the application of the Euro 5 emission limits for certain L-category vehicles (L6e-B, L2eU, L3e-AxT and L3e-AxE) from 2022 to 2024. On the contrary, Shadow Rapporteur Van Miltenburg (ALDE, the Netherlands) called for a more ambitious approach and would favor the initial EC proposal. Additionally, Shadow Rapporteur Pospíšil echoed the opinion of the ENVI Committee which would like to (a) ensure the resistance of the on-board diagnostic (OBD) to illegal manipulation and (b) grant extended delegating power to the EC.
The Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee, the opinion committee, adopted its position on the proposal on 13th September. According to the adopted text, manufacturers would design and connect to the OBD system in such a way that does not allow for tampering or deliberate manipulation by economic operators, users, or any other party. Moreover, amendments "deleted" the changes to the application of Euro 4 and Euro 5 to specific L-category subcategories. In a nutshell, this part of Regulation 168/2013 would remain untouched.
As the file is been dealt with under the Simplified Procedure (Rule 50.2), IMCO Committee MEPs have until 12 October 2018 to submit any objection. Should no objections be submitted, the Report would be deemed to have been adopted by the IMCO Committee, which can then be sent to plenary.
Once both the EP and the Council have established their positions on the proposal, the trilogues could start. Any resulting compromise would need to be approved by the EP and by the Council, to be then published in the EU Official Journal, possibly in Q1 2019.