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Document 31997L0068

Non-road mobile machinery: gaseous pollutants

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Non-road mobile machinery: gaseous pollutants

In order to reduce air pollution caused by the engines of non-road mobile machinery, the Directive specifies, at Community level, acceptable emission standards for these engines and certification procedures with respect to these standards.


Directive 97/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1997 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 [See amending act(s)].


The purpose of this Directive is to approximate the laws of the Member States with regard to:

  • emission standards;
  • type-approval procedures for engines intended to be fitted to non-road mobile machinery.

For the purposes of the Directive:

  • "non-road mobile machinery" means any mobile machine, transportable industrial equipment or vehicle with or without bodywork that is not intended to be used to carry goods or passengers on the road, in which an internal combustion engine as specified in Annex I, Section 1 is installed, for example excavators and other construction equipment. This definition to cover locomotives and inland waterway vessels has been extended by Directive 2004/26/EC (see below);
  • "type approval" means the procedure whereby a Member State certifies that an internal combustion engine type or engine family meets the relevant technical requirements of the Directive with regard to its level of emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants;
  • "engine type" means a category of engines which do not differ in such essential engine characteristics as specified in Annex II, Appendix 1);
  • "engine family" means a manufacturer’s range of engines which, as a result of their design, are expected to have similar exhaust-emission characteristics and which comply with the requirements of the Directive.

This Directive applies to compression ignition engines (diesel) and to positive-ignition engines (petrol) which are used in non-road mobile machinery, including locomotives and inland navigation vessels.

Type-approval procedure for engine types or families:

  • any application for type approval must be submitted by the manufacturer to the approval authority in a Member State. The application should be accompanied by a manufacturer’s information folder (cf. Annex II) [no application in respect of one engine type or engine family may be submitted to more than one Member State (Article 3)];
  • the Member State receiving the application must grant type approval to all engine types or engine families which conform to the particulars in the information folder and which meet the requirements of Directive 97/68/EC;
  • an approval certificate must be issued for each engine type or family that has been approved;
  • each month, the competent authorities in each Member State must send to their counterparts in the other Member States a list of the type approvals by type or family of engine which they have granted, refused or withdrawn during the month in question (Article 4);
  • any request for amendment or extension of a type approval is to be submitted exclusively to the Member State which carried out the original type approval (Article 5).

The manufacturer must affix the following marks to each unit manufactured:

  • the trade name or name of the engine’s manufacturer;
  • the engine type and family, together with an individual engine identification number;
  • the type approval number.

Member States may not refuse the registration or placing on the market of new engines which meet the requirements of the Directive (Article 8).

Since 30 June 1998 Member States may not refuse to type approve an engine type or family, and may not impose additional approval requirements relating to pollutant emissions if the engine in question meets the conditions laid down in the Directive (Article 9).

The provisions of Article 8 and 9 do not apply:

  • to engines used by the armed forces;
  • to engines taken from stocks of end-of-line engines or non-road mobile machinery covered by an exemption under Article 10(2).

Member States are required to provide the Commission with a list of the exemptions granted and the reasons given.

Member States must guarantee that conformity of production is checked effectively before type approval is granted (Article 11).

Engines not meeting the conditions set out in the approval certificate are considered not to conform to the type or family that has been approved. The Member State conducting type approval must take any action needed to ensure that engines in production conform.

The names and addresses of the type approval authorities and of the testing services responsible for matters arising from Directive 97/68/EC must be sent to the Commission and to the other Member States (Article 16).



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 97/68/EC



OJ L 59 of 27.2.1998

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2001/63/EC



OJ L 227 of 23.8.2001

Directive 2002/88/EC



OJ L 35 of 11.2.2003

Directive 2004/26/EC



OJ L 146 of 30.4.2004

Directive 2006/105/EC



OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009



OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

Directive 2010/26/EU



OJ L 86 of 1.4.2010

Directive 2010/88/EU



OJ L 305 of 23.11.2011

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 97/68/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Last updated: 09.02.2012