Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sneak peek at Australian outboard emission laws

THE Australian Marine Engine Council (AMEC) has today released a statement offering a sneak peek at what outboard emissions standards may look like in 2012.

The statement said proposed Australian regulations will adopt the 2010 USA standard. There are moves toward world harmonisation and Canada is the first country to set their own laws based on engines meeting USA EPA specifications.

No doubt the Canadian laws will be watched very closely by Australian law makers. Some of the highlights of Canada’s regulations include:

*Standards: same as US EPA, applied from 2012 in Canada. In practice that means no new carby or efi two strokes can be sold.

*Evaporative Standards: same as US EPA. In Australia fuel evaporative standards are likely to be applied from 2012 and matching the US implementation schedule. That means the parts will be readily available for Australian Boat builders to start to install low evaporative hoses and carbon canister filters on fuel tank breather lines.

*Engine Labels: While the USA standard is accepted, a unique “Environment Canada” label will be required. An additional unique label for Australia seems unnecessary but may be a requirement and will make private imports more difficult.

*Averaging Banking and Trading : Basically whatever passes US EPA ABT provisions will pass in Canada. Thus allowing for some flexibility across the model range without allowing any high emission engines (e.g. carby two strokes). If Australia follows this lead that could mean some 2 star outboards will scrape through.

AMEC said world harmonization is good news for Australians. It means manufacturers can make long, economical production runs of just one variant – and not have to make special editions for each country and market. That keeps prices down and means more choice for Australians: we get access to all the models.

The Australian Outboard industry could not agree on very much when it came to emission standards, but they did agree that the Australian Standard should reflect the USA standards. That makes sense; given the USA is by far the largest outboard market in the world.

Australian car emissions standards are based on Euro standards – but that wasn’t the best choice for the boating industry.

The US standards started eleven years ago, and since then Europe, Japan, Canada and in 2010 even China have put controls on small engines – especially two stroke carburettors which push out ten to twenty times the pollutants of clean engines like four strokes and DI two strokes.

“Canada has effectively had emissions regulations since 2001” said David Heyes president of the Australian Marine Engine Council (AMEC).

“The Canadian Marine Manufacturers Association signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with their government. All the major engine manufacturers, importers and dealers agree to voluntarily supply the Canadian market with engines designed to conform to the U.S. EPA."

In Australia our Government gave the outboard industry a similar opportunity in 2007. Industry had an option to suggest an MOU and voluntarily reduce the sale of high emission outboards. That could have had flexibility and would have been a low cost option.

The new standards are not just focused on outboards. Boat manufacturers will have to install low evaporative fuel tanks from about 2012. Many other off road products from lawn mowers to generators will also be required to meet the new standards. Diesel standards are being studied now and should follow about two years later.

1 comment:

  1. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

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