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Seeking advice on which vehicles are eligible for Green Certificate

Hi,

I need to bring a vehicle over to Berlin from the UK with all my belongings. I am looking for a LHD that I can eventually register in Germany.

However, I cannot find any kind of guide to indicate what vehicles may pass the emissions test. It is also not clear to me if I will still be charged a fee if I apply and a vehicle fails to pass the test.

I have read that any vehicle over 30years old will be allowed into a green zone. But I don't know if a 2001 2.0 dielse Ford Transit will be allowed, or a 1989 VW Caddy 1.5 diesel, a 2.0 petrol Omega etc etc.

Best,
Ben

Here is a website that tells you which colour label any car can get:
    http://www.gtue.de/apps2/feinstaub/plak … such_art=3
(It's based on German registration papers, so you must find out the needed details to fill the form from your own sources.)
A car without label (e.g. one that comes from abroad and does no have one yet) is not allowed to enter any restricted zone. So it is wise to get the label before you enter Germany, e.g. from this website:
    http://www.tuev-sued.de/auto_fahrzeuge/ … te_ausland

Thank you very much!

So far, I have determined:

- Vehicles over 30 years are OK
- Petrol cars 1997+ are OK
- Diesel cars 2006+ are OK

Hmmm.... now to find a suitable LHD vehicle to drive over with all my belongings :)

bpwhitehouse :

Thank you very much!

So far, I have determined:

- Vehicles over 30 years are OK
- Petrol cars 1997+ are OK
- Diesel cars 2006+ are OK

Hmmm.... now to find a suitable LHD vehicle to drive over with all my belongings :)

These are wrong assumptions! Being over 30 years old does NOT mean a car will be allowed. This is simply the minimum age requirement for a car to be deemed a classic which will then exempt it at this point from the fine particle emission standards. But there are lots of other criteria as well! This is about exempting collector items and not just allowing old junkers on the street.

And the other listings are nonsense although any car coming from another EU country, if made after 1996, should have a certificate of conformity meaning it should meet the initial safety standards. One could only generalize that gasoline motors or respectively diesel motors from those years on might meet the fine particle emissions standards. It all has to do with the official listings of fine particle emission levels for every separate car. Every car registered in Germany will have this listed in its official papers. It is not determined by year as you wrote. One can say that diesels are much more likely to have higher fine particle emissions so than even somewhat older gasoline engines are better in this point than new diesels. But there are even now new diesels coming on the market that will not pass the latest proposed standards. Some cars can be modified with filter systems bringing them up to standard. This is determined by the official dealers.

If a car qualifies then it gets a sticker displayed in the window allowing it into the cities. Until now, autos driving on the autobahn or in many rural areas haven’t had to have a sticker. But there are stricter standards on the way so even many cars with the present highest rating with a green sticker will have eventually not be allowed. And everything I wrote has to do with fine particle emissions.

There is also an  addition emissions testing, for various gases rather than fine particles, done along with the safety inspection every 2 years. This is an actual testing and the results will vary on many factors depending on the actual condition of your car. Nobody can say beforehand if your car will pass even though it might have in the past. But one can pretty much assume that if it failed in the past it will not suddenly be better without some modifications.

This is the nonsense I was told:

Info Umwelt-Plakette.de <info[at]umwelt-plakette.de>
May 26 (7 days ago)

to me
Dear Benjamin,

if you have a petrol car, it has to be at least from year 1997. If you have a diesel car, it has to be at least from year 2006.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen / Best regards

Serviceteam Umweltplakette
Aljoscha Kroehnert

Auftragsbearbeitung
Green-Zones Umwelt-Plakette / Ecosticker/ Umwelt-Pickerl
Helmholtzstraße 2-9
D-10587 Berlin
Geschäftsführung Michael Kroehnert
Amtsgericht Berlin -Charlottenburg, HRB 169866
Telefon: +49 30 39 88 721 40
Telefax: +49 30 39 88 721 49
Mail: info[at]green-zones.eu
Web: www.green-zones.eu

So it would appear to be the case that, ultimately, you can never know 100% if a proposed vehicle will pass - which makes it difficult to make a used vehicle purchase on a budget - my main goal here. The best I can hope for is to find an affordable vehicle with an appropriate certificate of conformity from manufacture.

The coloyr label (Feinstaubplakette) ONLY depends on the type of car (no individual test needed!) and can be determined vy the database I linked to above (as Tom pointed out, no general rule applies, you must check any individual car you consider).
To avoid applying for it (and other complications related to importing a car), buy a used one here!
The other tests need to be passed on regular intervals during its use, like all cars registered in Germany, and the result depends on the performance of the car at that time.

"if you have a petrol car, it has to be at least from year 1997. If you have a diesel car, it has to be at least from year 2006."

Clearly this shows that there is (supposedly) no chance of such vehicles before these times being OK but this does NOT mean that all vehicles after these dates are automatically fine.

Anyway, you should check out this recent thread about importing cars.
http://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.ph … 13#3686335

Also forgot to respond to question if fees have to be paid if a car does not pass an emissions test. As far as the fine particle standards - there is no actual test. The bi-annual safety test including emissions control is paid upfront; you don’t get any money back if the car fails to pass.

You could always buy a cheap RHD car to bring your stuff over, spend a few hundred quid on it then sell it for scrap. Then buy a car in Germany.

Thanks everyone!

If I did buy a cheap RHD car, it would have to pass the green certificate in order for me to drive it into Neukoln where I will be living.

So then you already know the type of car. Check in the database linked above which colour label it can get and, if green, apply for one before coming.
If not, accept the (small) risk of a fine when driving into Neukölln once and scrap it right afterwards.
Good luck!

LHD cars are a lot rarer in the UK (for obvious reasons), and if you can find one to buy they tend to be more expensive as well.

Thanks - that is another valuable piece of information you have shared - that it is possible to drive in without a permit, albeit at a risk of fine. I didn't know if this would be possible, how heavily enforced it would be etc.

I cannot use the database above - I do not understand it, even if I translate to English :(

To find out if a vehicle is eligible for permit, one must "include a copy of the vehicle papers,"

I don't have any vehicle papers, I'm just looking ebay at used cars.

You need to know the exact type, which is stated only in the papers - just "Fiat 500 built 1972" is not enough, sorry!
There are no routine road-checks for green labels, but parking in a green zone for more than a few minutes might of. course attract attention.
I don't think the fine is more than €100, but you might have to tow the vehicle out if they are sticky.

If it's for a single trip, why don't you just rent a car???

Thanks for the heads up on the zone enforcement, much appreciated!

Renting a car one way from Bristol to Berlin is £££, plus I want a vehicle for the first few months at least.

bpwhitehouse :

plus I want a vehicle for the first few months at least.

Then you MUST have the green label!
Getting caught twice will not be easy to shake off any more!
And I cannot imagine that a one-way rental costs more than buying a used car (you won't be able to re-sell, as a foreign-registered vehicle has no matket value here).

Ok thanks Beppi - food for thought!

There are no inspection points blocking a car without the green sticker from actually entering or leaving the cities. People still seem to do it on occasion but it is less tolerated than when the system was first implemented. If you park such a car on the street then it could happen that the parking controllers will spot it, especially if it has foreign license plates. If you had it off of the street, say in a garage or on private land then they would probably not catch it. To get pullover over for such a thing would seem unlikely unless it was billowing out dark exhaust or because of additional violations.

But this is as a onetime thing; it is different than regularly using it for months. That would undoubtedly lead to trouble after you are caught more than once. For a foreign registered vehicle, I think you could only then take it to a junkyard at the end. For a late model car with lots of reusable parts one might get some money for it but for an older model it is unlikely. One might actually have to pay something to have them take it.

The whole idea sounds a bit sketchy to me. I think it is always good to keep a low profile as a foreigner and starting out with a car that potentially creates conflicts seems an unnecessary aggravation.  In case of an eventual serious legal problem, the courts always look at your record. Better to be able to present yourself as someone with a clean driving record than one who disregards the laws. Otherwise you might not get the benefit of the doubt.

As always, Tom has put it into the best possible words above. I agree completely!

Basically it is very easy. For all cars which fulfill Euro5 you do not have in issue at all.
Stuttgart city decision was: From next year on, Diesel with less than EUR6 can not enter anymore.
I directly asked them in written form: How you wanna control this? What will be the penalty?

:-)
They did not answer that. And I am quite convinced, according to German and European laws this won´t be realized.

Greets

Alex

CAR OTAKU STUTTGART :

Basically it is very easy. For all cars which fulfill Euro5 you do not have in issue at all.
Stuttgart city decision was: From next year on, Diesel with less than EUR6 can not enter anymore.
I directly asked them in written form: How you wanna control this? What will be the penalty?

:-)
They did not answer that. And I am quite convinced, according to German and European laws this won´t be realized.

Greets

Alex

Yeah, if one has a green sticker (Euro5) then there is no problem at the moment. This is already known and doesn't really address the question. That they will not impose a stricter standard of Euro6 is total speculation. That’s what people said when they started the whole system. And then they even implemented it on a quicker schedule than promised, so I see absolutely no reason they will not implement a strict level. The technical aspects are the same as the present system, just that they will tolerate a lower level of emissions. The control mechanisms and penalties are already established.  It’s like saying a speed limit on a certain road is 120 KM per hour and they propose to reduce it to 100. Nothing to stop them and anyone saying otherwise is naïve. And I don't even understand what you mean that according to European and German law it won't be realized. This IS the German law that they are proposing to change.

[slightly off topic] It's a big thing in the UK at the moment with Diesel cars and emissions, the government getting people to scrap their older cars,  I am sure other countries will follow.

So to answer the question given by bpwhitehouse, the latest information is summarized in Wikipedia.
https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verordnun … offgruppen
Funny that some public authorities even refer to the Wikipedia information.


To the comments to you TominStuttgart:

Please allow me to ask you some questions:
-do we talk about the same thing right? We talking about that some Diesel vehicles are not allowed to enter cities, ONLY in case of smog alarm?
-are cities allowed to adopt laws?
-what will people do, who bought 2 years ago a brand-new car and are not allowed to enter the city anymore?
-is the city or state allowed to disappropriate this kind of people?
-is it officially accepted the root cause is the Diesel engine? Means if there are no Diesels anymore less than Euro 6, there will be no problem anymore?
-is this "law" or "rule" really released? Or is it just an empty thread, like a "recommendation"?
-to measure exceeding speed limit you use a radar control. Can you tell me how you want to measure particulates of car if it passes on a street?
-what are the penalties?


Greets

Alex

Sorry but much of what your write about is not correct. The fine particle emission sticker is NOT just for diesels, it is for all vehicles in Germany. One can say that it is a much bigger subject for diesels since they are the ones that are most at risk to not meet the standards. But gasoline powered cars also get a sticker and older models also might not have the green one.

Stuttgart has the worse levels of fine particle emissions and called an alarm out on certain days in the winter and spring that included request for people to voluntarily not drive their cars and the public transportation was half price to encourage it. There has yet to be a ban on cars, either diesel or gasoline ones.

And what will people do if they bought a car 2 years ago and can no longer drive it in the city? Good question that has yet to be properly addressed. But as the sticker system was implemented, it has already happened that people had such a situation especially businesses with big vans. And yes, the problem then is affecting the individuals rather than the manufacturers.

And while it’s known that diesels make the most fine particle emissions from exhaust, there are also other causes including the wearing down of tires and brakes. But no, there is no guarantee that even if all diesels or even all cars were banned during certain periods in Stuttgart that it would solve the problem. But the politicians want to show they are doing something – yet allow 2000 construction vehicles, many with no sticker, to drive in and out of Stuttgart every day for the Stuttgart 21 train project. 

That a Euro6 standard will be introduced is still in the planning stage but I see no reason it will not be implemented. The problem is that compared to some years ago, the car emissions of individual cars must be much less of a problem since with the green Euro 5 sticker; the worst polluters are already gone. But the mentality is that they simply have to go further with even stricter standards but the reality is that the nominal result it brings is ever diminishing. 

Particle emissions are not actually measured on individual cars. Every model for every year is measured with cooperation of the manufacturers and then it comes on a list which Euro norm it meets. Nobody actually measures to see if a car with a green sticker actually is within the limits it is supposed to meet- until now. But other emission gases are measured every 2 years along with the safety inspection. They can also implement that the fine particle level is measured as well. This is being proposed since it turns out that a lot of cars produce much more emissions than what they are rated for.

A problem is whether or not such a testing in a garage gives a reliable result. As seen with the VW scandal, the manufacturers have found ways to trick the system so the garage testing will show different results than what are actually produced by driving.  Suggested are tests for the sticker ratings that don’t just rubber stamp what the manufacturers claim but actually measure the cars while driven. That every cars would later be tested the same way would seem an excessive amount of work but could be done on a spot check basis or when even there is high likelihood that a car would not pass such a testing although they make it through one in a garage.

If the emission tests done during the safety inspection are not passed then the vehicle doesn’t get the inspection sticker and cannot be driven. The penalty for driving with an outdated inspection is 1 point against one’s driving record and fines depending on how long ago the last valid inspection was done, over 8 months is 60 euros.

If one does not have the green sticker it no longer means an automatic point against ones driving record but one pays 80 Euros fine.

I do not know what is officially done if one keeps violating these laws but it would seem that repeating the same violation would eventually result in some kind of stronger punishment.

My answers in BLUE below:

CAR OTAKU STUTTGART :

-do we talk about the same thing right? We talking about that some Diesel vehicles are not allowed to enter cities, ONLY in case of smog alarm?
We are talking about rules applying to ALL vehicles at ALL times. Local authorities can impose rules not allowing certain vehicles into their area (e.g. inner city).
Additional restrictions in case of smog alarm can be applied on top of this.


-are cities allowed to adopt laws?
These are not laws, but local restrictions, legally comparable to those barring certain vehicles on certain roads (e.g. no trucks in a residential area) or in fact pedestrian zones.

-what will people do, who bought 2 years ago a brand-new car and are not allowed to enter the city anymore?
Depending on their personality, some might break the rule and be fined for it (until they learn or run out of money). Others will complain and grumble, then sell the car and buy one that is allowed in the area they want to go to.

-is the city or state allowed to disappropriate this kind of people?
No, they will not be disapropriated, just be barred from using their vehicle in certain areas. Being allowed to drive somewhere is not a basic, unalienable right.

-is it officially accepted the root cause is the Diesel engine? Means if there are no Diesels anymore less than Euro 6, there will be no problem anymore?
The rules apply to all vehicles, and the most common restriction allows only green labels or better. Non-Diesel engines emit less fine particulate ("Feinstaub", which cannot be filtered and ends up deep in people's lungs), but still some - as some of it comes from the breaks and tyres that all have. That's why petrol cars can also have yellow or red labels.

-is this "law" or "rule" really released? Or is it just an empty thread, like a "recommendation"?
"Green label only" zones are common, most bigger cities have them. The Diesel-only class 6 (even tighter than Green label) rule for Stuttgart is new and therefore still hotly debated. But because of the recent Diesel scandals, unless there is a political about-turn (unlikely while the local government is Green), I think it will come into force.

-to measure exceeding speed limit you use a radar control. Can you tell me how you want to measure particulates of car if it passes on a street?
The label class depends on the model of car, not it's actual emissions at the time of driving. The makers do get each vehicle type tested and classified. If you buy a new car in Germany, it automatically comes with the appropriate label.

-what are the penalties?
First time offenders pay a EUR80 fine. Repeat offenders face an open scale,
up to withdrawal of driving license.

I thought I would just add this since we are on the subject that there IS a possible exemption from the rule of having a fine particle emission sticker. I didn’t mention it until now because it would not apply to bringing a vehicle to Germany for import. It is meant if one already has a vehicle registered here in Germany. AND it is essential for business purposes. AND one cannot afford to replace it; one can try to get an exemption.

First one needs to get an official statement from a licensed dealership that no filter system exists that can modify the car to bring it up to standard. If such a filter system exists then one must pay for the modification. One cannot just elect not to modify and get the exemption, regardless of the cost involved. I did this with my last car as it had a yellow sticker and then quicker than planned a green one was required for Stuttgart. The modification cost me around 1000 euros.

For my previous vehicle, I had no sticker and there was no filter system available. I then had to get a special statement from the tax authorities (Finanazamt) stating how I made my money and to confirm my financial position to support my claim that I essentially needed my vehicle for business purposes and was not in the situation to be able to afford a green sticker carrying replacement. Then I had to pay the fees and got a 1 year exemption (Ausnahmegenemigiung).  By the end of the year I sold the vehicle, partially because they said I would have to go through the same process every year, with no guarantee of acceptance. 

I have however seen vehicles that still have such an Ausnahmegenemigung, so I assume that they streamlined the process so that it is annually renewable with a fee but not all of the repetitive paperwork. But this was for vehicles that were already registered and legally on the road and then banned by the sticker implementation. I doubt they would allow one to import a car that doesn’t meet the requirements from the beginning which was the issue with the original posting of this thread.

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