Policy update

The updated China IV non-road emission standards

In December 2020, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) of China updated the China IV emission standards for non-road mobile machinery. It set new requirements for particle number (PN) limits, the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking systems, and portable emissions measurement system (PEMS) testing for improved real-world compliance. The new requirements come in the form of amendments to the Chinese law governing diesel engines of non-road mobile machinery (China III, IV). The updated China IV standards will phase in from December 2022 for all diesel non-road equipment with engine sizes smaller than 560kW, for diesel three-wheeler trucks, and for waterway vessels with diesel engines smaller than 37 kW.

Most of the country’s non-road mobile equipment—about 90%—consists of construction equipment and agricultural equipment, which are substantial sources of air pollution. For example, almost 56% of the particulate matter (PM) emitted by all mobile sources came from non-road equipment. By comparison, the nation’s fleet of 340 million on-road vehicles accounted for just 24% of PM emissions from mobile sources. Thus, the government’s decision to tighten emissions controls on non-road equipment is consequential for reducing emissions nationwide.

Controls will come in the form of introducing PN limits, required diagnostic systems and PEMS testing for non-road engines to ensure full compliance with the law, GPS tracking and remote emission monitoring systems, and information disclosure and equipment labeling requirements.