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Motor vehicles with trailers: emission of gaseous pollutants from diesel engines



To lay down limit values for emissions from diesel engines.

2) ACT

Council Directive 88/77/EEC of 3 December 1987 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the measures to be taken against the emission of gaseous pollutants from diesel engines for use in vehicles [Official Journal L 36 of 09.02.1988].

Amended by the following acts:

  • Council Directive 91/542/EEC of 1 October 1991 [OJ L 295 of 25.10.1991];
  • Directive 96/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 January 1996 [OJ L 40 of 17.02.1996];
  • Directive 1999/96/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 1999 [OJ L 44 of 16.02.2000];
  • Commission Directive 2001/27/EC of 10 April 2001 [OJ L 107 of 18.04.2001].


The current Directives form part of the type-approval procedure for motor vehicles and their trailers which was the subject of framework Directive 70/156/EEC.

The Directives lay down limit values for emissions of gaseous and particulate pollutants (carbon monoxide, unburnt hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides) from all vehicles:

  • propelled by a diesel engine;
  • intended for use on the road;
  • with or without bodywork;
  • having at least four wheels;
  • with a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h.

The Directives do not apply to vehicles which run on rails, agricultural tractors and machines and public works vehicles.

Applications for EEC type-approval or national type-approval are submitted by the manufacturer or by his authorized representative in a Member State.

Each Member State grants type-approval for a type of vehicle propelled by a diesel engine and a type of diesel engine as a separate technical unit that meets the requirements of the current Directives.

The manufacturer or his authorized representative issue a certificate of conformity for each type of vehicle or diesel engine produced in conformity with the approved type.

Engines produced in conformity with the approved type must bear a marking comprising:

  • the type-approval number preceded by the distinctive letter(s) of the country granting EEC type-approval;
  • the trademark or trade name of the manufacturer of the engine;
  • the manufacturer's commercial description.

The manufacturer of diesel engines is responsible for the production of each diesel engine in conformity with the approved type.

Member States may not prohibit the registration, sale, entry into service or use of new vehicles propelled by a diesel engine or of new diesel engines that meet the requirements of the Directives. Only vehicles and engines that meet the requirements of these Directives may be placed on the market, sold and used in the Member States.

Procedure for adapting the requirements of the Directives to technical progress.

Requirements for a second stage in the reduction of emissions of gaseous pollutants from vehicles with diesel engines.

Directive 96/01/EC, repealed implicitly by Directive 1999/96/EC, which granted small diesel engines for use in commercial vehicles a derogation from the limit value applicable from 1 October 1995, as prescribed in Directive 91/542/EEC (Directive repealed). It also authorised Member States to provide for tax incentives which encouraged the placing on the market of vehicles, which satisfy the provisions of the Treaty, and to introduce a new statistical method of monitoring production.

Directive 99/96/EC amends Directive 88/77/EEC which aims to strengthen Community requirements aimed at limiting polluting emissions from new heavy-duty diesel engines for use in vehicles. It also introduces new provisions on polluting emissions from new heavy-duty engines fuelled by natural gas (NG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Furthermore, the Directive introduces measures relating to the introduction of a new concept of Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicles (EEV) and actions likely to facilitate the type-approval of engines and vehicles using ethanol as a substitute fuel.
In particular, the proposal aims to introduce:

  • new strict emission target values for the type approval of vehicles and engines covered by the definition of Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicles;
  • a wider framework for the use of tax incentives to encourage the use of vehicles complying with the description of "enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles";
  • amendments to the type approval procedures for enhanced environmentally friendly vehicles;
  • a new technical annex listing the requirements for the type approval of ethanol fuelled diesel engines.
ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Directive 88/77/EEC16.12.198701.07.1988OJ L 36 of 09.02.1988
Directive 1999/96/EC16.02.200001.07.2000OJ L 44 of 16.02.2000



Directive 2005/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005 - which envisages repealing Directive 88/77/EEC - on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the measures to be taken against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from compression ignition engines for use in vehicles, and the emission of gaseous pollutants from positive-ignition engines fuelled with natural gas or liquefied petroleum gas for use in vehicles [OJ L 275 of 20.10.2005].

Communication -COM(2000) 626 final
Communication from the Commission of 5 October 2000: A Review of the Auto-Oil II Programme. The Communication reviews the approach taken in the Auto-Oil II programme and reports on the key results. It also reports on the progress of certain related legislative proposals and makes suggestions for the future.
A programme estimate regarding emissions from road transport suggests that emissions of the traditionally regulated pollutants will fall to less than 20% of their 1995 levels by 2020, whereas CO2 emissions will continue to rise at least until 2005. The share of overall (non-CO2) emissions attributable to road transport will have fallen substantially between 1990 and 2010 and the relative importance of other sectors will have risen correspondingly. The Auto-Oil II programme provides for a large improvement in urban air quality by 2010. The most important remaining challenges concern particulate matter, regional tropospheric ozone levels and some localised excesses of nitrogen dioxide targets. An assessment of policy options has led to the identification of cost-effective options for reducing emissions from 2- and 3-wheeled vehicles. Non-technical measures have demonstrated their potential for reducing emissions and cutting costs in cities. Fiscal measures have also been shown to provide a win-win solution for both the environment and the economy. The programme has shown that, in order to come up with a set of cost-effective measures, an integrated approach is required which encompasses emission sources, pollutants and measures.

Last updated: 16.01.2007
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