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Local pollution

• EU rules set maximum levels for sulphur in both diesel fuel and gas oil and for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in diesel fuel.

• International rules establish a maximum worldwide level of sulphur content in

fuel oil burned by ships. They also set up Sulphur Emission Control Areas (SECAs) where more stringent limits apply (refer to Chap. 10).

• EU rules set limits on the sulphur content of gas oil and marine gas oil, which are commonly used for inland navigation to 0.1 %.

• International rules limit the NOx emissions from new marine diesel engines over a certain size.

• EU rules set limit values for emissions of CO, HC, NOx and PM from new engines for locomotives and inland waterway vessels sold in the EU.

• EU measures limit emissions of various pollutants including CO, HC, NOx, PM, smoke and ammonia (the “EURO” standards) from road vehicles.

• EU rules exist to limit the emissions of volatile organic compounds during the storage, loading, distribution and unloading of petrol.

• Specific EU rules exist for the collection and disposal of waste oils, used and shredded tyres, batteries and accumulators from automotive sources etc.

• International rules on the discharge of ballast water from ships have been adopted, aiming to prevent the transfer of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens.

Noise pollution

• Member States are required to monitor and map noise, as well as draw up action plans to prevent and reduce noise.

• EU rules require all non-passenger vessels with a deadweight of more than 350 ton which travel on inland waterways to not exceed 75 dB(A) when moving and 65 dB(A) when stationary.

• EU rules limit noise emissions from both conventional and high-speed rail. New rolling stock for conventional rail should have low-noise brake blocks which reduce noise emissions by 50 %.

• EU rules set the maximum permissible noise emission levels for all new motor vehicles except tractors. There are separate EU requirements for noise from passenger car tyres and from van, bus and truck tyres.

• Limits also exist for aircraft, and more stringent restrictions can be put in place at certain EU airports.


• EU measures have helped financing increased and alternative infrastructure capacity.

• Since March 2003, all new high speed lines must be equipped with ERTMS (the European Rail Traffic Monitoring System) and, since September 2006, all new sections of conventional priority projects. ERTMS will allow increased capacity on the railways through reducing congestion.

• All sectors will benefit from the possibilities that Galileo (Global Navigation Satellite System) will offer for congestion avoidance through optimizing transportation routes.


• There are numerous international and EU safety requirements concerning the design, construction and maintenance of road and rail vehicles, inland waterway vessels, ships and aircraft.

• EU rules set out the maximum dimensions (height, width and length) and minimum turning circles for trucks in international and national traffic, as well as the maximum weights for trucks in international traffic.

• All trucks must have speed limiters fitted to be used on the road; they must be set

at 90 km/h.

• EU rules exist aiming to improve safety of the transportation of dangerous goods by all transportation means.

• EU rules on tunnel safety require all tunnels longer than 500 m and belonging to the TEN-T road network to meet minimum safety requirements.

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