Rules forcing manufacturers to meet emissions deadlines should by frozen because of the devastating COVID-19 outbreak, according to a hard-hitting joint statement from the European non-road mobile machinery industry.
A range of trade organisations representing thousands of construction equipment makers has today asked the European Commission to adopt swift measures in response to disruptions caused by the pandemic.
In a joint letter sent today to the European Commission trade organisations including CECE, CEMA, EGMF, EUnited, Europgen and FEM ask for a moratorium on the application of 2020 and 2021 deadlines listed in Regulation 2016/1628/EU on exhaust emissions from Non-Road Mobile Machinery and 2018/985/EU for agricultural vehicles.
The statement points out that according to the regulation, 2020 is the transition phase for Stage 5 engines in power ranges of less than 56 kW and more than 130 kW and 2021 will be the transition phase for power ranges from 56 kW to 130 kW. It adds: “Complying with the Regulation’s deadlines, manufacturing and procurement of transition engines have been completed. Machine manufacturers have now until 30th June 2020 to produce the less than 56 kW and more than 130 kW machines fitted with these transition engines, and then until 31st December 2020 to place these machines on the EU market. Identical deadlines apply in 2021 for machines in power ranges from 56 kW to 130 kW.”
The cosignatories added that the COVID-19 outbreak is causing “complete interruptions” of supply of parts and components.
The statement said: “This was the case from China for several weeks and is now starting for other components from Italy and other Member States. Indeed, as the pandemic is progressing, further interruptions – including because of government-imposed lockdowns – are being put in place, planned or expected in Europe and in the US.
“Without essential parts like tyres, axles, hydraulics, lighting and electronic equipment, manufacturers are effectively prevented from completing the construction of the machines by the imposed deadlines.
“As a result, they will not be able to place the machines on the market with the transition engines they had already acquired. Since it will be no longer possible to use them, these engines will have to be scrapped, which will lead to avoidable economic damage and unnecessary waste of raw materials and resources.”
Riccardo Viaggi, secretary general of Brussels based CECE, the Committee for European Construction Equipment which has 1200 construction equipment members in 13 European countries, said: “The situation is critical. A temporary moratorium must be granted, with deadlines postponed until the situation can be reassessed. Neutral from an environmental point of view, the measure would prevent further economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to our manufacturing industries and the jobs that depend on them.”