Motor vehicles with trailers: permissible sound level

Motor vehicles with trailers: permissible sound level

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles with trailers: permissible sound level


These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Noise pollution

Motor vehicles with trailers: permissible sound level

To implement Community Regulations relating to vehicle noise based on complete harmonisation.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 70/157/EEC of 6 February 1970 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the permissible sound level and the exhaust system of motor vehicles [Official Journal L 42 of 23.02.1970].

Amended by the following acts:

Commission Directive 73/350/EEC of 7 November 1973 [Official Journal L 321 of 22.11.1973];
Council Directive 77/212/EEC of 8 March 1977 [Official Journal L 66 of 12.03.1977];
Commission Directive 81/334/EEC of 13 April 1981 [Official Journal L 131 of 18.05.1981];
Commission Directive 84/372/EEC of 3 July 1984 [Official Journal L 196 of 26.07.1984];
Council Directive 84/424/EEC of 3 September 1984 [Official Journal L 238 of 06.09.1984];
Council Directive 87/354/EEC of 25 June 1987 [Official Journal L 192 of 11.07.1987];
Commission Directive 89/491/EEC of 17 July 1989 [Official Journal L 238 of 15.08.1989];
Council Directive 92/97/EEC of 10 November 1992 [Official Journal L 371 of 19.12.1992];
Commission Directive 96/20/EC of 27 March 1996 [Official Journal L 92 of 13.04.1996];
Commission Directive 99/101/EC of 15 December 1999 [Official Journal L 334 of 28.12.1999].

Commission Directive 2007/734/EC of 14 June 2007 [Official Journal L 155 of 15.6.2007].

3) Summary

The Directives apply to any motor vehicle intended for use on the road, with or without bodywork, having at least four wheels and a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h, with the exception of vehicles that run on rails, agricultural and forestry tractors and all mobile machinery.

The Directives lay down limits for the noise level of the mechanical parts and exhaust systems of the vehicles concerned. The limits range from 74 dB(A) for motor cars to 80 dB(A) for high-powered goods vehicles.

Permissible values are drawn up for specific categories of vehicles:

  • cars;
  • public transport vehicles;
  • goods vehicles.

Member States are required to publish noise level values for type-approval by 1 October 1994.

Hence Member States may not, for reasons relating to the permissible sound level and exhaust system:

  • refuse or prohibit the sale, registration, placing on the market or use of vehicles which comply with the provisions of the Directive;
  • prohibit the placing on the market of an exhaust system or technical unit if they correspond to a type in respect of which type-approval has been granted.

Tax incentives granted by Member States to encourage new limits to be met in advance may be authorized if they are:

  • non-discriminatory;
  • for a limited period;
  • of an amount which is significantly lower than the cost of the equipment fitted;
  • applied to vehicles fitted with equipment which enables future European standards to be met in advance.

Type-approval procedure for each type of vehicle, exhaust system and technical unit (silencer and replacement exhaust system):

  • the application for EEC type-approval shall be submitted by the manufacturer or his authorized representative;
  • it shall contain the information required by the existing Directives;
  • different type-approval tests shall be provided for;

where the type of vehicle, exhaust system or technical unit meets the test requirements, an EEC type-approval certificate shall be issued by the competent authority of the Member State in question.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 70/157/EEC 06.02.1970 06.07.1970
Directive 73/350/EEC 01.03.1974 01.03.1974
Directive 77/212/EEC 01.04.1977 01.04.1977
Directive 81/334/EEC 13.04.1981 31.12.1981
Directive 84/372/EEC 13.07.1984 01.10.1984
Directive 84/424/EEC 03.09.1984 01.10.1985
Directive 87/354/EEC 25.06.1987 31.12.1987
Directive 89/491/EEC 17.07.1989 01.01.1990
Directive 92/97/EEC 10.11.1992 01.07.1993
Directive 92/97/EEC 01.10.1996 30.06.1993
Directive 96/20/EEC 03.05.1996 30.09.1996
Directive 99/101/EC 04.01.2000 31.03.2000

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

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