Prime Minister’s decision to tighten emission standards for automobiles

Vietnam enacted the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 16/2019/QD-TTg (hereinafter referred to as “the decision”) on March 28, 2019, which sets the roadmap for introducing emission standards for road vehicles and imported used vehicles. The decision provides for tighter emission standards for previously assembled vehicles and imported used vehicles. The date of entry into force was on May 15, 2019, and accordingly Article 6(1)(b) and (2) and Article 7 of the previous Prime Minister’s Decision No. 249/2005/QD-TTg stipulating the roadmap for the introduction of emission standards for road transport vehicles have been revoked.¬†

The original text of this decision can be downloaded at:
http://vbpl.vn/tw/Pages/vbpq-van-ban-goc.aspx?dvid=13&ItemID=135062

As indicated in the decision, the emission standards refer to the permissible limits for pollutants and smoke in motor vehicle emissions as set out in the national standard No. TCVN 6438:2018. Carbon monoxide concentrations and HC index (hydrocarbon concentration) values are set under the national standard. The Level 3, Level 4 and Level 5 emission standards are equivalent to Euro 3, Euro 4 and Euro 5 respectively.

For road vehicles, the decision specifies its roadmap as follows:

  • The level 1 emission standards will continue to apply to vehicles with spark-ignition internal combustion engines and vehicles with compression-ignition engines manufactured prior to 1999.
  • The level 2 emission standards will apply from 1 January 2021 for vehicles with a spark-ignition internal combustion engine and for vehicles with a compression-ignition engine manufactured between 1999 and 2008.
  • The level 2 emission standards will apply from 1 January 2020 for vehicles with a spark-ignition internal combustion engine and for vehicles with a compression-ignition engine manufactured in 2008 or later.

On the other hand, imported used vehicles with spark-ignition engines and vehicles with compression-ignition engines will be subject to Level 4 from the date of implementation of this decision. However, the provisions of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 249/2005/QD-TTg will continue to apply to imported used vehicles that have been declared imported in accordance with the Law on Customs or have arrived at the ports and borders of Vietnam prior to the effective date of the decision (May 15, 2019).

One new aspect of the decision is that vehicles assembled after 1999 must comply with  level 2 emission standards in accordance with the timetable presented if they want to put them on the market. The decision also tightens the standards for imported used vehicles, with spark-ignition internal combustion engines (plug-fired) and compression-ignition vehicles (diesel engines), therefore such vehicles are subject to level 4 emission standards instead of the level 2.

In order to identify vehicles less than 20 years old that do not meet the criteria for the level 2, the registration agency is proposing to mark the certification stamps in red so that they can only be driven in the suburbs.