Government “Fact Sheet” hints at the future of Outboard emissions standards

Government “Fact Sheet” hints at the future of Outboard emissions standards

The Department of Environment today released a fact sheet to shed light on the long awaited small engine emissions standards for Australia.

Included in the standards that have been under consideration for a decade are all petrol fueled marine engines: outboards, inboards, stern drive and PWC as well as outdoor power equipment.

According to AMEC Chair David Heyes “industry can now start to move forward with greater certainty”

For those who have been following the work closely the fact sheet contains few surprises:

  • The Australian regulations will mirror the USA EPA standards.  After all so has the rest of the world, now that the EU started the changeover in January.   That means the end of carby and EFI two strokes, except in some handheld categories like chainsaws.
  • Standards will cover both engine exhaust emissions and evaporative emissions from fuel systems, which will call for low permeation hoses, tank expansion capacity and a carbon filter on the vent line.
  • Engines on the water now won’t be changed.

It is not just old news, according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and the Minister’s Clean Air Champion.  “The most important news is that we have seen the Department indicate the timing”

  • Exhaust emissions standards are planned for 2017, (and Gary adds that could mean 1 July.).
  • Evaporative standards are being considered for 2019.  (again 1 July is likely)

The delay for Evaporative Standards gives just enough time for boat builders to incorporate the necessary changes in fuel systems and hull designs.

To help industry prepare, the BIA Vic and AMEC, in conjunction with the Outdoor Power Equipment Association will be conducting an Industry Information morning on Thursday 14th July.   Topics will include an overview of the engine standards and in depth presentations on how to install evaporative systems.    Experts from the USA and representatives from the Department of Environment will make presentations and answer questions.

The BIAV will forward invitations to members in the next few weeks.  Other States won’t miss out.  “We will be offering to present the same program in other states and discussions are underway” according to David Heyes.

Gary Fooks was keen to point out that there is one final surprise for both him and industry.  “I had been saying that existing importer and dealer stock, imported before “D” day would be exempted, just like existing boats on the water, and that was the plan.   However, dealers and importers talk of stockpiling carby two strokes has government concerned enough to announce that there would be both a phase in and a final day where sales of non-compliant engines will be illegal.”

Insiders say that even with the uncertain election time, the 2017 implementation is now unlikely to change.