France to enforce urban emissions control strategy from April

Hauliers who deliver to French cities need to be aware of the new urban emissions control strategy, Crit’Air or Air Quality Certificate, which is in the process of being implemented.

The latest development in the scheme is the launch of the English language website, which provides information and allows affected parties to apply for the required permit stickers.

The scheme categorises all vehicles, from mopeds to trucks, into six groups according to their emissions, each group having a different coloured non-removable sticker.

The first group, which is green and unnumbered is for electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The next is group one, comprising gas, plug-in hybrid and Euro-5 and Euro-6 petrol engines.

Group two is Euro-5 and 6 diesels and Euro-4 petrols. Group three is Euro-4 diesels and Euro-2 and Euro-3 petrols.

Group 4 and group 5 cover Euro-3 and Euro-2 diesel vehicles (essentially the worse polluters in terms of particle emissions).

Driving without the sticker in cities that have adopted the scheme, currently Paris, Grenoble and Lyon but expected to rise to 20 cities, will incur a fine from €68 to €135.

There will also be penalties for failure to pay within 45 days.

Although the scheme began operating in Paris last June, strict enforcement won’t begin until this April.

In future, it’s anticipated that during periods of low air quality, vehicles that aren’t classified in the cleanest groups will be excluded from the cities in the scheme.

Applying for a sticker

We’ve tried out the purchase process, which requires a debit card and a scan of the vehicle’s V5 registration document, and found it quick and easy.

The stickers are effectively free, with just administration and postage charges, which amount to €4.80 for UK buyers.

We recommend that the stickers are only purchased direct from the official website.

As with many UK official transactions, there are scammers offering to charge significant amounts of money to obtain to obtain something which is free or of nominal cost.

 

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