Technical control: what are the emission control standards?

Technical control was introduced in 1992 for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes. It covers more than 100 checkpoints and must be carried out by a state-approved centre. Explanations of pollution standards.

The technical check, which aims to ensure the safety and respect of the safety of a vehicle, must be carried out regularly: within six months before the fourth anniversary of a new vehicle, and then every two years for vehicles over four years old.

In the event of a technical failure, the motorist is liable to a fine of up to 750 euros -- but which generally does not exceed 135 euros -- and the confiscation of his grey card.

During technical control, emissions of air pollutants must be below the thresholds set out in pollution standards. Otherwise, the vehicle must undergo a re-compliance and undergo a counter-visit to be allowed, or not, to drive on the public road.

Pollution standards for petrol cars

For gasoline-driven cars, carbon monoxide (CO) emissions must be less than:

4.5% for machinery from 1972 (the date of the first pollution standards) to September 1986;
    3.5% for machinery from October 1986 to 1993 (1995 without catalytic pot);
    0.5% idle dime and 0.3% to 2,500 rpm for uncleaned equipment from 1996 to July 2002 and those with clean-up equipment from 1994 and 1995;
    0.3% idle and 0.2% to 2,500 laps/minute for vehicles after 2002.

Pollution standards for diesel cars

In the case of diesel cars, the opacity of the exhaust fumes must be less than:

  •    3 M-1 for turbocharged cars;
  •     2.5 M-1 for turbo-free cars until mid-2008;

What to know about technical control
Pre-1972 gasoline vehicles and pre-1980 diesels, prior to pollution standards, are exempt from emissions controls.

Finally, the engine's noise level is measured, but it does not result in a counter-visit if it is deemed excessive.
Enhanced technical control as part of the energy transition

The Energy Transition Act, passed in 2015, provides for a strengthening of "control of emissions of air pollutants and fine particulate matter from vehicle exhaust." Levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and fine particulate matter emissions will need to be measured for gasoline vehicles. For diesel vehicles, technical control is complemented by measuring levels of carbon monoxide (CO), unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen.

The experimental phase, which was completed in March 2017, will allow the benchmarks to be taken into account by 1 July 2017. The new controls will be implemented from 1 January 2019.

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