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The UK is leaving the EU. This page tells you how to prepare for Brexit and will be updated if anything changes.
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Regulating and reporting CO₂ emissions of new cars and vans
CO₂ from cars and vans newly registered in the UK are currently governed by European Union (EU) regulations.
Data is gathered each year on fleets across Europe and manufacturers who fail to meet their CO₂ targets are fined. The UK will no longer be under the same EU regulations in a no-deal scenario. The Department for Transport (DfT) has laid its own legislation governing vehicle CO₂ targets and fines.
DfT will take over the application and enforcement of CO₂ standards for UK-registered cars and vans.
New vehicle registrations data and targets
Manufacturers will be set UK-specific targets which will be at least as ambitious as current EU CO₂ emissions targets. These targets will be set on the basis of their UK vehicle registrations.
The UK will no longer report its new vehicle registrations data to the European Environment Agency.
Compliance will be monitored and enforced by the Secretary of State for Transport. The Secretary of State for Transport will record and verify new UK registrations and notify manufacturers of their level of compliance. This will initially be done using provisional data.
Manufacturers will then have 3 months to inform DfT about any anomalies within this data, as is the situation now.
After this period, DfT will notify manufacturers of the final data and issue any fines for not adhering to their target. This is also known as an ‘excess emissions premium’. The excess emissions premium amount will be at the same rate as at present.
Pooling UK registrations
Different manufacturers may come together to bring all, or some, of their registrations under one target. This is known as ‘pooling’. It is usually used by vehicle manufacturing groups to bring all their registrations under one target, although competing manufacturers may also form a pool if they so wish.
Manufacturers may still group together and pool their UK registrations after Brexit, but will have to provide DfT with certain information to do so.
Applying for derogations
Manufacturers can apply for a ‘derogation’ from the overall CO₂ target. Applying for this allows smaller manufacturers, who might not be able to reduce carbon emissions as quickly as their larger counterparts, to receive an adjusted target. This may allow these manufacturers to make the necessary reductions in a more proportional way.
Vehicle manufacturers registering below a certain level of new vehicle registrations per calendar year may still apply for a derogation from the overall CO₂ target. Manufacturers seeking a derogation will need to apply to DfT and, subject to approval, may receive an adjusted CO₂ emissions target effective from the following reporting period.
Applying for credits for eco-innovations
Currently, new vehicle types undergo a standardised emissions test in order to determine the level of CO₂ emitted by the vehicle. Manufacturers and parts suppliers may however develop technologies that reduce emissions in the real-world, but that are not taken into account during this emissions test. An example is the use of LED efficient lightbulbs. These technologies are known as ‘eco-innovations’.
At present, manufacturers or parts suppliers may apply to the European Commission to have these eco-innovations approved as CO₂ reducing technologies, and vehicle manufacturers may then apply these technologies to the vehicle in return for CO₂ emissions ‘credits’.
Manufacturers or suppliers may still apply for eco-innovation approvals for vehicle technologies that contribute towards CO₂ reductions but that are not part of CO₂ test procedures. Technologies that are currently approved as eco-innovations will still be recognised as such by the DfT. New technologies will need to be approved separately in the UK after Brexit. Manufacturers may continue to receive CO₂ emissions credits for the deployment of approved eco-innovations on their vehicles.
Registering vehicles in the UK and EU
The regulations work on the basis of where the vehicle is registered for use, so any new cars or vans registered in the UK after Brexit will be covered by the UK-specific regulations, regardless of where they were manufactured. This will be subject to falling within the scope of new car and van CO₂ regulations and meeting type-approval requirements.
New cars and vans that are registered after Brexit within the EU, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, including any vehicles manufactured in the UK and exported into the EU, will continue to be covered by EU regulations, provided they meet and fall under the scope of type-approval requirements.