Get Ready For Emissions Standards

Published on 25/06/2015

Note:  An update article on the implementation of this proposal can be found in the Aug-Sept 2015 edition of Power Equipment Australasia - Click here to read the update.



Get ready for Emission standards

Prepared by Gary Fooks and David Heyes, April 2015

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Emissions standards for non-road engines look like becoming a reality, perhaps in mid-2016. 

The proposed Australia standard mirrors the de facto world standard  USA EPA 2012

Australians are already buying compliant engines.  About 50% of the outboards and lawn mowers etc  sold in Australia meet standards.  The technology is ready and here: nothing to invent.

Emissions standards will see the end of all carburettor and efi two stroke outboards and mowers.  Not banning what we own now, or even dealer stock – just new imports. 

The traditional two stroke has emissions levels eleven time a four strokes or direct injection two stroke.  That means an 8hp two stroke pushes out more emissions per hour than a 150hp clean engine.

Boat builders, including retailers who put together a hull, built in fuel tank and outboards will also have some compliance duties under the new legislation.  Fuel evaporation will be included in the emissions standards. Boats will need to have:

  • Low permeation fuel hose
  • Fuel tank expansion capacity: either a separate overflow tank or ullage
  • A carbon canister on the fuel tank vent.

Some boat builders like Haines Signature have already incorporated spaces to fit these extra components into their hulls.  Any boat builder who doesn’t allow for these legal requirements now, will have an expensive headache trying to retrofit, and hefty fines if they don’t.  Requirements are explained at  

It has been a long road.  Discussions between industry and government began in 2006 with public consultation in 2010, In preparation, the Australian Boat Building Standard AS1799 was updated in 2009, to allow for heavier low emission outboards. 

The new Environment Minister, Greg Hunt called for the dormant 2010 report to be produced before the end of 2014.  What followed was the February announcement that Ministers make the final decision on regulation, co regulation or self-regulation by mid-2015.  What follows then is drafting laws for Parliament by December, with a start-up date perhaps mid 2016.

By 2016 Australia will be sixteen years behind the USA, and we lag Canada, Europe, Japan, India.   We are running five years behind China, who regulated on 2011. 

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