Amendments to On-road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations: frequently asked questions

These Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are meant to provide Canadians and businesses with basic information about the regulations below.

Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999

  1. What is the purpose of these regulations?
  2. What are the key elements of these regulations?
  3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?
  4. What is the timeline for implementation?
  5. Where can I get more information?

1. What is the purpose of these regulations?

The operation of vehicles is a significant source of smog-forming air pollutants in Canada. Smog has been identified as a contributing factor in numerous adverse impacts on the health of Canadians including thousands of premature deaths across the country each year, increased hospital visits, as well as lost work and school days. Environmental problems attributed to smog include effects on vegetation, structures, visibility and haze.

The Parent Regulations: On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations, establish emission standards for on-road vehicles including passenger cars, light trucks, motorcycles and heavy-duty vehicles. These Amendments, the Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 further strengthen Canada’s smog-forming emission standards for passenger cars, light trucks and some heavy-duty vehicles. These more stringent standards are commonly referred to as ‘Tier 3’ emission standards.

2. What are the key elements of these regulations?

The Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 introduce more stringent air pollutant emission standards for new passenger cars, light trucks and some heavy duty vehicles in alignment with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA). Key elements include:

  • Tighter ‘Tier 3’ emission standards start being phased-in with the 2017 model year and will be fully implemented by 2025:
    • standards up to 80% and 70% more stringent for volatile organic compounds (VOCs)/nitrogen oxyde (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) respectively, compared to Tier 2 standards
    • more stringent evaporative emission standards
  • A system for generating, banking and trading emission credits, including the possibility of earning early credits beginning in the 2015 model year.
  • Increased time during which a vehicle must comply with the standards (i.e. a vehicle’s useful life) from 10 years or 192,000 kilometers to 15 years or 240,000 kilometers.
  • Changes to improve the administration of the Parent Regulations and other regulations that cover the same vehicle classes including: simplifying the requirements regarding information to be submitted for vehicles imported into Canada and provisions for the submission of reports electronically.

3. How do these regulations affect Canadian businesses?

Persons, companies or businesses that have to conform to the Parent Regulations and Amendments are those who:

  • manufacture on-road vehicles or engines in Canada;
  • import on-road vehicles or engines into Canada for purpose of sale;
  • import on-road vehicles or engines into Canada for their own use.

4. What is the timeline for implementation?

The Amendments, made under the authority of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, came into force on July 16, 2015.

The more stringent air pollutant emission standards for new cars, light-duty trucks and certain heavy-duty vehicles will be phased-in beginning with the 2017 model year and be fully implemented by 2025. However, vehicles from earlier model years are still regulated by the parent Regulations.

5. Where can I get more information?

The following links provide additional information and guidance on the Parent Regulations and these Amendments:

For more information and to receive email notifications of updates regarding Environment Canada’s actions on vehicles, please contact Environment Canada at: ec.infovehiculeetmoteur-vehicleandengineinfo.ec@canada.ca

This document is intended to provide contextual information on the Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. It does not replace the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 or the Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999. In the event of any inconsistencies, the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and the Regulations Amending the On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emission Regulations and Other Regulations Made Under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, shall prevail.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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