The problem with the low air quality in the big cities has lead to adoption of new rules in the German megapolises. As a result of the combined efforts of leading expert companies and the state authorities in a number of settlements in Germany, there are new regulations entering into force, which are valid both for German and for foreign citizens.

The so called "green areas" have been designated, with restricted access to them. The areas cover mostly the central areas and industrial neighborhoods, where the level of pollution is high.

The passing through them is permitted only with a special sticker affixed to the front shield. The stickers are three types and comply to the ecological norms - red, yellow and green. They are issued after inspection of the registration documents of the road vehicle.

A special sign indicates the beginning of the green area, and by an additional road sign it is indicated with what sticker a vehicle could pass. The violators are exposed to substantial penalties. The rules are valid for motor vehicles, buses and cargo trucks. The road vehicles which do not meet the necessary standards and cannot have a sticker, are not permitted to enter the designated areas.

The first green areas are in Berlin, Hanover and Cologne, and their number continues to grow. According to preliminary forecasts, until the end of 2010 the levels of harmful gases in the green areas shall decrease by more than 70% and the traffic shall be significantly reduced.

The stickers are valid in all areas for environmental protection in all cities of Germany.

Classification on the level of harmful effects

The classification on the level of harmful effects is made depending on the road vehicles emission of particles. The marking of various groups of harmful effects is made with stickers of different colors:

  • red – for 2nd group of harmful effects
  • yellow – for 3rd group of harmful effects
  • green – for 4th group of harmful effects

Only road vehicles marked with the corresponding stickers could enter the areas for protection of the environment. This means, that only the drivers who want to enter the area of environmental protection should mark their road vehicles with a sticker. For entrance on the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany a sticker is not required.

§ 6 from the Rules for marking provides regulation in a simplified way for the kind of group, to which a particular road vehicle should be assigned according to its level of harmful effects. In the cases when the compliance with a particular European norm for exhaust gases could not be obtained from the information contained in the documents of the road vehicles, the date of its first registration should be taken into account. By means of additional mounting of systems for reducing the emissions of particles in the road vehicles driven by diesel engines, for example of particle filters, a given road vehicle could be reclassified to the next higher group according to the level of harmful effects. According to the Rules for marking, a certificate issued from the workshop which have performed this upgrade should be presented as a proof.

 

Table for the assignment of road vehicles to groups of the level of harmful effects
(in some particular cases deviations are possible) 
European norm Group according to the level of harmful effects Date of first registration of a car Date of first registration of a truck/bus Sticker
Diesel
Euro 1 or worse 1 before 01.01.1997 before 01.10.1996 not available
Euro 2 or Euro 1 with a system for reduction of particles emissions 2 from 01.01.1997
до 31.12.2000
form 01.10.1996
до 30.09.2001
red
Euro 3 or Euro 2 with a system for reduction of particles emissions 3 from 01.01.2001
до 31.12.2005
form 01.10.2001
до 30.09.2006
yellow
Euro 4 or Euro 3 with a system for reduction of particles emissions and better 4 after 01.01.2006 after 01.10.2006 green
Gas / LPG
Euro 1 or worse (motor vehicles, which are not part of group 4) 1 before 01.01.1993 before 01.01.1993 not available
Euro 1 or better or according to Appendix XXIII to the Ordinance for permission for travel on the roads or equal, or on 52. Directive on the exclusions from the Ordinance for permission for travel on the roads or equal 4 after 01.01.1993 after 01.01.1993 green

Sale of stickers for eco areas

No Sticker for eco area Price without VAT Price with VAT
1 Stickers for eco areas in Europe EO3 yellow 25 lv. 30 lv.
2 Stickers for eco areas in Europe EO4 green 25 lv. 30 lv.