||From 1 January 2008, the cities of Berlin,
Cologne and Hanover introduced low emission zones to mitigate
air pollution caused by fine particles.
In the near future, other German cities will follow the
Low emission zones are identified by traffic signs and additional
signs. The Ordinance on the marking of vehicles stipulates
that vehicles have to be marked with stickers (on the windscreen
inside the vehicle) and lays down the criteria vehicles
have to meet for the different kinds of stickers. Stickers
are valid for all low emission zones in any city in Germany.
An overview of low emission zones - both existing and planned
- has been drawn up by the Federal Environmental Agency.
Vehicles are divided into emissions groups according to their
particulate emissions and they receive a sticker of the colour
marking the respective emissions group -
- red for emissions group 2
- yellow for emissions group 3 - and
- green for emissions group 4.
Vehicles with stickers for emissions group 2 or above may
enter the currently existing low emission zones. Stickers
are only mandatory for cars driven within these zones.
If registration papers do not identify the European emission
standard of a vehicle, the date of the vehicle's first registration
is used as a basis for classification.
Vehicles with diesel engines can generally reach the next
higher emissions group if they are retrofitted with an emission
control device such as a particulate trap. Proof of the standard
achieved through retrofitting must be provided in form of
a certification issued by the garage.
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