The following information is a synopsis of the requirements of the Directive. It is not an area in which we currently offer advice but you may find some useful links here.

Non-road Mobile Machinery Exhaust Emissions directive


This directive covers off-road mobile machinery. It covers all spark ignition engines and compression ignitions engines within a defined range. It is intended to cover all engines with mobile applications that are excluded from vehicle approval requirements including garden equipment, generators, welders, construction machinery, industrial trucks, fork lifts and mobile cranes.

To sell machines in a member state, the directive requires the engine to have type approval from that state’s approval authority, which, in the UK, is the Vehicle Certification Agency. This is the responsibility of the engine manufacturer. To gain type approval, engine tests carried out either by the manufacturer or an approved test house must be witnessed by the approval authority and the manufacturer must operate a quality assurance system checked by the approval authority. Furthermore the engine must be marked with the manufacturers name, engine type & family, individual engine identification number and type approval number. The manufacturer must compile a technical file.

There is a mutual recognition system in place for engines that comply under road vehicle or tractor type regulations but not with American emissions legislation. The penalty for failure to comply is up to 5000 pounds, 3 months imprisonment and/or a complete recall and replacement of any faulty products.


The Purpose of this directive is to harmonise the laws of EU member states relating to the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutant from internal combustion engines powering Non-Road Mobile Machinery (NRMM). It harmonises the type approvals of these engines and aims to reduce emissions by progressively tightening the allowable emissions and including more types of machinery. Prior to the introduction of the Directive, there were few regulations governing emissions from machinery. Road vehicles have been tightly controlled for some considerable time.


Engines for off-road mobile machines operating at variable or fixed speed and within a range of 18-560kW (24 - 760hp) for compression ignition (CI) (“diesel”) engines and all cubic capacities of spark ignition (SI) engines.

The directive is intended ultimately to cover almost all engines used for mobile applications which are not subject to vehicle approval requirements. This includes small mobile machinery such as garden equipment, generators and welders, construction machinery, industrial trucks, fork-lifts and mobile cranes. Pony engines fitted to road vehicles are also covered but the scope does not include engines for fixed installations.

Replacement engines must meet the emissions requirements in place at the time the machinery was originally put into service.

Exclusions include:

  • Engines for ships (intended to be used at sea), aircraft, recreational vehicles, agricultural and forestry tractors (covered by separate regulations) and the armed forces
  • Engines manufactured before the dates of introduction of the directive

Mobile machinery manufacturers must ensure that they use engines with a type approval from an EC member state's approval authority. These engines bear a type approval number.

Engine manufacturers must make an application for EC type approval to the approval authority in a Member State. In the UK the authority is the Vehicle Certification Agency. The application should be accompanied by a manufacturer's information folder giving all technical information about the engines.

The approval authority will witness the engine tests carried out by the manufacturer or by an approved test house chosen by the manufacturer.

The approval authority must grant type approval to all engine types or engine families which conform to the information folder and which meet the requirements of the Directive.

An approval certificate must be issued for each engine type or family that has been approved.

Any request for amendment or extension of a type approval is to be submitted to the approval authority which carried out the original type approval.

The manufacturer must affix the following markings 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

The type approval number is a five-section number with the sections separated by asterisks:

  1. Section 1 starts with 'e' followed by a one or two figure code denoting the EU member state granting the approval.
  2. Section 2 contains the directive number 2012/46/EU followed by the category letters from the table below and the code for the test specification from the test section of the directive. These show the duty the engine is approved for.
  3. Section 3 contains the directive number of the last amending directive applicable to the approval followed by the category letters from the table below and the code for the test specification from the test section of the directive.
  4. Section 4 is the approval number given by the approval authority.
  5. Section 5 is the number of times the approval has been extended to cover other engines of applications.

The engine manufacturer must operate a quality assurance system approved by the approval authority.

There are mutual recognition provisions for engines approved under road vehicle and tractor type approval regulations. There is no mutual recognition of engines approved under American NRMM emissions legislation, even though the rules and test standards are very similar.

Implementation dates

The Directive has has two stages of emissions levels for some types of engine.

Engines produced but not sold by these dates have two years to be sold.

Hand held chainsaws, drills, brush cutters, hedge trimmers, stone saws and SN:3 engines with a horizontal shaft have an extra 3 years from the above dates to comply with stage II.

There are some derogations for SI engines produced in small volumes.


Directive Implemented into UK law by Scope
97/68/EC (S.I.) 1999/1053: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) Regulations 1999 Base directive covers variable speed diesel engines
2001/63/EC (S.I.) 2002/1649: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2002 Amendment to take into account of technical progress in UNECE regulation No.96 on emissions from Agricultural and forestry tractor engines
2002/88/EC (S.I.) 2004/2034: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2004 Amendment to cover small SI engines, constant speed diesel engines, imports of used engines and secondary engines, mounted on road vehicles that are not used as the main propulsion engine
2004/26/ EC (S.I.) 2006/29 : The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2006 Amendment to include engines for locomotives and inland waterway vessels and to improve harmonization of standards and means of testing
2010/26/ EC (S.I.) 2011/2134: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2011 Amendment to introduce provisions on NOx control
2011/88/ EU (S.I.) 2013/1687: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 Amendment with regard to the provisions for engines placed on the market under the flexibility scheme
2012/46/ EU (S.I.) 2014/1309: The Non-Road Mobile Machinery (Emission of Gaseous and Particulate Pollutants) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 Amendment to improve means of measuring and testing including electronically controlled engines

In the UK the maximum penalty for the supply of non-compliant machinery is a £5000 fine.

More importantly, contravening these regulations will constitute an offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 which carries more severe penalties such as a three-month prison sentence, an unlimited fine and being forced to recall or replace faulty product - potentially a far more onerous penalty.

The European Commission have a page with some basic information and links to the enforcement authorities in each Member State on their Europa server.

There is also useful information on the website of the UK's enforcment authority, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).

Diesel Progress Magazine has a very useful summary of the requirements for engine exhaust emissions.

mobilemachinery.txt · Last modified: 2018/06/04 10:45 by Sarah Hall
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