On 10th July the European Parliament backed an amendment to the Stage V regulation (EU) 2016/1628 by 653 votes to 17. The revised regulation will be adopted automatically into UK law even though it is no longer in the European Union.
The regulation applies to engines in the power categories <56kW and ≥130kW. Before the amendment, manufacturers had until 30th June 2020 to move all manufacture to cleaner Stage V engines and until the end of the year for placing them on the market. New Stage IV machines could now longer be offered for sale.
These deadlines have been pushed back 12 months after a lobbying campaign by machinery manufacturers.
The UK’s Construction Equipment Association (CEA) realised in March that there were problems ahead when the initial problems with hold-ups in the supply chain caused by Covid-19 were reported. When factories began to close for a few weeks, it became clear that not all pre-Stage V engine stocks could be incorporated within completed machines by the end of June.
The deadlines for engines in the mid-power bands ( ≥56kW and <130kW) remains unchanged at 30th June 2021 and 31st December 2021. Industry representatives and the European Commission will be tracking the effect of Covid-19 on production and markets over the next few months to determine whether these deadlines need to be reviewed.
Industry lobbying is being led by a task force including the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) and the European federations for materials handling (FEM), garden machinery (EGMF) and agricultural equipment (CEMA).
CEA chief executive Rob Oliver said: “The original rules meant that even if manufacturers had engines ready and waiting to be installed unless they could be incorporated into the fully assembled machines by the deadline they would have to be scrapped. Our senior technical consultant Dale Camsell did a great job as part of the industry team that worked with the European Commission and European Parliamentarians to navigate the intricacies of EU decision-making. Several official European forums had to be persuaded of the urgency of the problem and the fact that a postponement would not compromise the environmental objectives of the emission regulations. In the end, the case presented by CECE and our allies in other sectors finally got the necessary legal changes over the line. This has saved manufacturers across Europe significant sums at a time when businesses have been knocked sideways by Covid-19.”
CECE secretary general Riccardo Viaggi said: “Neutral from an environmental perspective, this measure will not soften the stringency of the European legislation. Instead, it will give our industry the necessary time to install transition engines, already acquired, in machines, place them on the market and be compliant with ever more demanding requirements. On the opposite, inaction would have led to unnecessary waste of raw materials and resources, in addition to the financial costs.”