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Outline of Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM) Emissions Regulations

 

Introduction

Directive 97/68/EC (emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery) was adopted in 1997.

The Directive requires that, in order to be first placed on the EU market, engines for use in non-road mobile machinery must be approved to demonstrate compliance with pollutant emission limits. The measures arose from an EC policy to harmonise the national arrangements of Member States, thus removing potential barriers to trade. Directive 97/68/EC has been subsequently amended by 2001/63/EC, 2002/88/EC, 2004/26/EC and 2006/105/EC.

The Directive was implemented into UK law by the "Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) Regulations 1999" (Statutory Instrument No. 1999/1053). The Regulations apply to new engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery, intended and suited to move, or to be moved on the ground, either on or off the road.

You can access the consolidated European Directive for 97/68/EC by following: consolidated European Directive for 97/68/EC (page opens in a new browser window).

A copy of the Statutory Instrument is available at: Statutory Instrument  (page opens in a new browser window).

What counts as non-road mobile machinery?

Non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) is defined as any mobile machine, item of transportable industrial equipment, or vehicle - with or without bodywork - that is:

  • not intended for carrying passengers or goods on the road
  • installed with a combustion engine - either an internal spark ignition (SI) petrol engine, or a compression ignition diesel engine

Examples of non-road mobile machinery include, but are not limited to:

  • garden equipment, such as hedge trimmers and hand-held chainsaws
  • generators
  • bulldozers
  • pumps
  • construction machinery
  • industrial trucks
  • fork lifts
  • mobile cranes

In the UK, the legislation governing emissions produced by engines fitted in NRMM is the Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) Regulations 1999, as amended. This sets emission standards for carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, oxides of nitrogen and - for diesel engines - particulate matter.

An amendment to the regulations in 2004 broadened their scope to include small SI engines, such as those typically used in chainsaws and hedge trimmers, and constant-speed diesel engines. This amendment also covers used engines imported to the UK and secondary engines mounted on road vehicles that are not used as the main propulsion engine, e.g. motorised winches fitted to breakdown recovery vehicles.

In 2006, the regulations were amended again to bring engines used in rail cars, locomotives and inland water vessels into scope. There are some exemptions however, depending on the intended use and size of the equipment.

Exclusions

The NRMM regulations do not apply to:

  • aircraft
  • certain specialist applications - military and recreational craft, road vehicles and ships for intended use at sea
  • Agricultural and tractor engines are excluded from NRMM regulations, as they are covered by separate regulations. 

How non-road mobile machinery engines are classified for emission control purposes

Engines installed in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) are split into categories for spark ignition (SI) and compression ignition (CI), and then further classified according to the engine power rating. These categories are then given limits for specified gaseous output, more commonly known as the engine's 'stage'.

SI engines of up to 19kW net power that are used in land-based portable or mobile machinery are covered by the NRMM regulations.

Variable-speed and fixed-speed CI engines are covered where their rated power is between 18kW and 560kW (equivalent to 24hp to 760hp).

The regulations then tighten the permissible levels of emissions by introducing different dates of compliance for each category and stage.

If a replacement engine is fitted to NRMM, it must meet the emissions requirements that were in place on the date when the machinery first came into service.

If you manufacture engines for non-road mobile machinery

If your business manufactures engines for use in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) that will be sold in European Union (EU) member states, you will need to have them type-approved.

In the UK, the approval authority is the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA). However, you can apply for type approval to any authorised body in an EU member state. The information below assumes that you are applying to the VCA for type approval.

To gain type approval, the engine must pass emissions tests carried out either by you - as the manufacturer - or an approved test house. The VCA has its own test facility, and also subcontracts to various specialist test facilities. If you carry out the tests yourself, you must demonstrate your test procedures to the VCA when you make your application for type approval.

If your engine meets the relevant requirements, the VCA will issue a type approval certificate for all engines in the same series - i.e. those that conform to the data in the technical file. Any subsequent amendments or alterations to the engine must be approved by the VCA. This might involve further tests.

Engine marking requirements

Approved engines must bear the following markings:

  • trade mark or trade name of the engine manufacturer
  • the engine type, engine family (if applicable) and a unique ID number
  • the EC type approval number  

The mark must be:

  • durable for the useful life of the engine
  • secured to an engine part necessary for normal engine operation and not normally requiring replacement during engine life 

The engine must be supplied with a supplementary movable plate that can be positioned, if necessary, to make the marks visible when the engine is installed in a machine.

The engine must bear all the relevant markings before it leaves the production line.

If you want to sell non-road mobile machinery in the UK

If you intend to sell non-road mobile machinery (NRMM) in a European Union (EU) member state, the equipment must only use engines that have been type approved by an accredited body in an EU member state. The UK's accredited body is the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).

The responsibility for obtaining type approval rests with the engine manufacturer, and not the manufacturer of the NRMM itself or the retailer. However, when an engine is manufactured outside the EU, the manufacturer of the NRMM needs to ensure that it has an appropriate type approval certificate from an accredited body in an EU member state. This can be done either by direct arrangement with the approval authority, or in collaboration with the engine manufacturer's local representative.

How to tell if an NRMM engine has been type approved

The authorised body issues approval certificates to the manufacturer for each engine type or family that has been tested and approved.
The main marking is the type approval number. This should be permanently fixed and durable for the lifetime of the engine. The number takes the following format:

E11*97/68*2004/*XXXX*YY

The number can be broken down into the following information:

  • E11* - the member state authority that tested the engine (in this case the UK)
  • 97/68* - the original EC base legislation the approval is for
  • 2004/26* The latest level of the legislation that the approval relates to
  • XXXX* - the identification number of the manufacturer or importer
  • YY - indicates if the approval has any revisions 

The manufacturer must also mark each unit with certain information...

Penalties for selling non-compliant NRMM

In the UK, there is a maximum penalty of £5,000 if you supply NRMM fitted with an engine that has not been type approved.

Breaking the regulations is also an offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987. This means you could face three months' imprisonment and an unlimited fine. You could also be forced to recall and replace the products you have sold.

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