Ulrich Adam: “Transition phase should be extended by 6 months to enable the redesign of all agricultural machines.”
Manufacturers of agricultural equipment will need more time to align their machines to the new diesel emission limits proposed by the European Commission on 25 September. The new emissions limits will ensure that most agricultural machines will perform at the same environmental level as the most advanced trucks. But the proposed transition period of 12 months is seen as too tight. Having to redesign their entire fleets within just one year could harm many machine manufacturers and in particular SMEs.
“Industry has the technical capability to face this new challenge but timing is critical. While manufacturers are fully committed to develop new machines and contribute to better air quality in Europe, they will need more time to do so”, explains Ulrich Adam, Secretary General of CEMA.
“Each new emission stage requires major investments to renew and redesign the machines. The agricultural machinery sector is characterized by a great variety of highly specialized machines which are often sold in very low quantities.
Companies sell a high number of different machine types. Many of these are sold in very low volumes of sometimes less than 10 per year. The new transition period forces companies to redesign all these machine types within just 12 months after the introduction date. The development costs to master this challenge would be prohibitively expensive. As such, the transition scheme should be extended by another 6 months,” says Adam.
An additional point to consider in this context is that new agricultural machines need to remain affordable to achieve the desired environmental goals. “Tighter emission limits are justified if they allow new and cleaner machines to come to the market and replace older ones. But if farmers cannot afford them, the environmental benefits will remain on paper.”
The proposal will now be sent to Member States and the European Parliament for discussion and adoption.
CEMA represents in total 4,500 manufacturers of agricultural equipment consisting of large multinational as well as numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The sector has a total turnover of 26 billion Euro and provides employment for 135,000 people.