New Low Emission Zone in Brussels: vehicles with Luxembourg plates are affected.
Like Antwerp in February 2017, the Brussels-Capital region became a Low Emission Zone on 1 January 2018. ALD Automotive Luxembourg contacted the Brussels Region to clarify the effects of this change for vehicles registered in Luxembourg.
A number of studies conducted by the World Health Organisation and a range of actions by the European Commission have highlighted the poor air quality of Brussels and the consequent health impact. By gradually prohibiting the most polluting vehicles from entering the Brussels region, the goal of the Low Emission Zones is not only to improve the quality of the air that residents breathe but to renew the stock of vehicles.
What purpose do Low Emission Zones serve?
LEZ (Low Emission Zones) are areas (cities or a city district) where the oldest and most polluting diesel vehicles may not enter. Nearly 300 signs have been erected across 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital region to delineate the boundaries of this new LEZ to the motoring public.
For now, these restrictions apply only to diesel vehicles manufactured before 1997, specifically vehicles that are not compliant with the Euro or Euro 1 standard. However, they are likely to evolve over time and, starting next year, drivers will be expected to keep up. In fact, starting in 2019 not only will diesel vehicles manufactured before 2001 be affected but also petrol-powered vehicles registered before 1997. The criteria will then continue to evolve until 2025 and certainly beyond based on any new restrictions that are announced.
What should you do if you plan to drive in this zone?
The introduction of this measure will involve a nine-month transitional period, during which only warnings will be issued to allow time for citizens to adapt. Later, non-compliance with entry criteria will result in an administrative fine of 350 euros. Some 200 cameras installed a short distance after the signs indicating entry into the LEZ will monitor the plates of vehicles operating in this zone.
Vehicles that do not meet the criteria for entering the LEZ may enter the Brussels region only after obtaining a paid day pass. This pass will give drivers a maximum of eight days access per year. This pass will be available for purchase starting in summer 2018.
Luxembourg-registered vehicles affected by the Brussels LEZ
The rules for entering the LEZ also apply to foreign-registered vehicles. These vehicles must be registered at no charge with the competent authorities if they wish to continue to lawfully drive in the zone.
Registering vehicles with foreign plates will be mandatory in order to drive in the Brussels region Low Emission Zone. The information on the vehicle and on the vehicle’s owner must be submitted (attached to a copy of the vehicle’s documentation). Registration is not yet possible, but it will be as of summer 2018 (the first fines will not be sent out until October 2018). Vehicles can be registered online at www.lez.brussels.
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