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Air pollution | 17th September 2020

European Commission legal analysis on the obligation to disclose to the public information on vehicle emissions in the extended documentation package
Air pollution

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European Commission legal analysis on the obligation to disclose to the public information on vehicle emissions in the extended documentation package

In 2018 the European Commission, per Member States’ request, prepared a legal analysis of the obligation to disclose to the public the information contained in the extended documentation that has to be provided to the National Type Approval Authorities by car manufacturers (so-called Note of access to information on emissions). The extended documentation package contains detailed information on any modulation of the emission control system, the reasons for these changes and any impact on real world emissions. The extended documentation package allows an authority to assess whether the ban on defeat devices, which reduce the level of emission control, is respected. The legal analysis was prepared because some Member States had raised concerns regarding the deletion, in 2018, of the confidentiality clause linked to the extended documentation package within the Regulation (EU) 2017/1151 (article 5 thereof). The concern regarded the public access to the auxiliary emission strategies (AES) of the extended documentation package, as this may include confidential and proprietary information, according to Member States. The issue of potential not-harmonised application of the legislation regarding the disclosure of information was also raised. In their Note, the European Commission concluded that “the extended documentation package does not constitute ‘information…[which] relates to emissions into the environment’ [thus ] refusal of disclosure of that information on the grounds of confidentiality for the protection of commercial interests is not prohibited”.

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