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Adopted 13 March 1996 having regard to Article 13, Paragraph b) of the Helsinki Convention




RECALLING Articles 3 and 6 of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1992 (Helsinki Convention), in which the Contracting Parties undertake to take all appropriate measures to prevent and eliminate pollution in order to promote the ecological restoration of the Baltic Sea by applying the precautionary and the polluter-pays principles and by promoting the use of BAT and BEP,

RECALLING also that the Ministerial Declaration of 1988 and the Baltic Sea Declaration of 1990 call, inter alia, for a substantial reduction of pollution from diffuse sources,

RECOGNIZING the fact that nitrogen compounds emitted from the transport sector  contribute substantially to harmful eutrophication of the Baltic Sea Area,

HAVING REGARD to the on-going work within the UN ECE, the OECD, the European Union and the European Conference of Ministers of Transport regarding the transport and the environment,

HAVING REGARD ALSO to the efforts made by the Baltic Sea Conference of Ministers of Transport towards implementation of practical measures with respect to reduction of emissions from the transport sector in the Baltic Sea Region,

 BEARING IN MIND that the elaboration of standards to reduce emissions from sea transport and aviation  is regulated on a global scale by specialized international organizations (IMO and ICAO),

BEARING ALSO IN MIND the various sources of pollution from transport, and

DESIRING that the technical measures of this Recommendation focus on reduction of pollution from land-based transport affecting the Baltic Sea,

RECOMMENDS to the Governments of the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention that the following principles should be incorporated in the national strategies and programmes for the transport sector:


I.       Environmental protection should be made an integral part of all activities in the transport sector;

which means:

1)      environmental goals for sustainable transport should be developed;


2)      coordinated plans for transport should be developed in order to minimize its overall environmental impact;


3)      possibilities to avoid unnecessary transport should be considered as a part of spatial planning;


4)      public awareness and environmental education for an environmentally sound traffic should be introduced. The population concerned and NGOs should be involved when planning developments in transport sector and have appropriate access to information;


5)      the Contracting Parties should promote in their transport policy particular measures regarding transport sector as enumerated in Attachment 1.


II.      The “Polluter-Pays Principle” as mentioned in the 1992 Helsinki Convention should be implemented in the transport sector;

which means:

1)      further internalization of external costs (environment, accidents etc.) into the costs of transport;


2)      extending this Principle to sea transport and aviation;


3)      introducing differentiated “cost neutral” environmental taxes, charges and/or fees according to environmental properties for fuels and vehicles (e.g. higher prices for leaded and correspondingly lower prices for unleaded petrol).


III.     The introduction of best available technology (BAT) for vehicles and fuels in all transport modes should be facilitated;

In particular, the Contracting Parties should takes the following regulatory and technical measures:

1)      by the year 2000 gradually harmonize the emission standards for passenger cars, light duty vehicles and heavy duty vehicles, with a view to introducing at least the requirements specified in UN ECE Regulations and EU-Directives listed in Attachment 2;


2)      develop and introduce the effective system of control to ensure and to enforce the compliance of motor vehicles with the requirements specified in the above paragraph III.1;


3)      gradually harmonize national emission standards and test procedures for in-use motor vehicles equipped with both spark ignition and diesel engines in line with relevant EU-Directive mentioned in Attachment 2;


4)      enhance the existing national inspection and maintenance programmes with regard to emission reduction from in-use motor vehicles;

5)      reduce the lead content in leaded petrol grades to maximum of 0.15 g/l and ensure the availability of unleaded petrol, meeting the requirements specified in Attachment 2;


6)      phase-out the use of leaded petrol grades across the whole Baltic Sea Region as soon as possible but not later than the year 2000;


7)      limit the sulphur content in diesel fuel for road vehicles to a maximum of 0.05% m/m as from 1 October 1996 in the Northern and Western Baltic countries and by the year 2000 across the whole Baltic Sea Region. Limit the sulphur content in diesel fuel imported or produced after 30 September 1996 and being used by road vehicles to a maximum of 0.3 % m/m in the Southern and Eastern Baltic countries;


8)      request mandatory vapour recovery systems (Stage I ¤) for all new petrol stations and distribution systems commissioned after 1 January 1997, and gradually retrofit existing petrol stations and distribution systems with such technology. Request mandatory vapour recovery systems (so called Stage II ¤) as soon as possible;


9)      give incentives for removal of an old vehicle from service only if the vehicle has been scrapped, in order to prevent the transfer of high pollutant motor vehicles from one country to another.


Furthermore, the Contracting Parties should consider:


10)    the introduction and support of the use of alternative cleaner fuels, in particular compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied petrol gas (LPG) bio fuels, for  operation of urban transport busses and municipal vehicles, in connection with three way catalyst with λ -control;


11)    the development and introduction of internationally harmonized fuel consumption standards for motor vehicles, in particular passenger cars, and promote the entry into use of low-consumption cars by economic incentives, in order to reduce CO2 emissions (introduction of low-consumption cars should take into account traffic safety aspects),


DECIDES that the particular measures regarding the transport sector in Attachment 1 and the list of Regulations in Attachment 2 should be kept up-dated and revised by the Technological Committee in accordance with the Procedure adopted by the Commission (HELCOM 11/14, Annex 26),

RECOMMENDS ALSO that international financial institutions, donors and other external sources of funding should include measures to support sustainable transport when considering financial packages for infra structural investments,

RECOMMENDS FURTHER that the action taken by the Contracting Parties according to this Recommendation should be reported to the Commission in 2000 and thereafter every three years.




Stage I =    Reduction of VOC emissions from storage and distribution of petrol from terminals to service stations by vapour balance/vapour return systems.

Stage II=     Reduction of VOC emissions from distribution of petrol from the underground storage tank of the service station to the vehicle fuel tank by vapour balance/vapour return systems.



Attachment 1

Particular measures regarding the transport sector


Increase Transport Efficiency


1)      make efficient use of existing transport capacity in order to reduce the need for new infrastructure;


2)      take measures to increase load factors in freight transport as well as car occupancy, e.g. by car pools, easy parking of high occupancy cars etc.;


3)      increase efficiency in public transport systems with an appropriate legal framework, adequate management and technology.


Modal Shift


4)      improve infrastructure and services, in particular for multi modal and railway transport, in order to achieve a modal shift from road transport;


5)      improve infrastructure to and in the ports in order to make transport on inland waterways and at sea more competitive;


6)      facilitate a modal shift in international transport in favour of railway transport through easy border crossing of trains.


Physical Planning and Transport Regulations


7)      establish environmental zoning, e.g. by car-free city centres, restriction for polluting vehicles, calming city traffic etc.;


8)      promote environmentally friendly modes of transport (like bicycles and walking), develop plans for their use and establish infrastructure for them (e.g. Bike & Ride system);


9)      introduce and develop an environmentally sound city parking management, i.a. with fees for city parking which e.g. cover the full cost of land use;


10)    improve quality and infrastructure of public transport in urban areas (e.g. by Park & Ride system) and encourage its use;


11)    establish a traffic impact assessment as a part of the environmental impact assessment in physical planning;


12)    start information campaigns for the external costs of transport.



Attachment 2

 List of Regulations referred to in paragraphs III.1, III.3 and III.5 of HELCOM Recommendation 17/1


 For passenger cars


UN ECE Regulation 83, 01 series of amendments Approval B and C


EU-Directive 91/441/EEC



For light duty vehicles


UN ECE Regulation 83, 02 series of amendments Approval B and C


EU-Directive 93/59/EEC



For heavy duty vehicles equipped with diesel engines


UN ECE Regulation 49, 02 series of amendments, type B


EU-Directive 91/542/EEC, type (level) B



For in-use motor vehicles equipped with both spark ignition and diesel engines


EU-Directive 92/55/EEC



For quality of unleaded petrol


European Standard EN 228








Lead Country:     Germany


Reporting Country:                                     Date:


1.      What has been done to make environmental protection an integral part of the transport policy?


Please report according to paragraphs I.1 - I.4 of  the Recommendation.


On which laws, regulations are these principles based?


Are further improvements planned, please specify.



2.      Which measures have been promoted in the national transport policy?


Please report according to paragraph I.5 of the Recommendation and to paragraphs 1 - 12 of Attachment 1.


Are any measures under preparation, please specify.



3.      What has been done to implement the "Polluter-Pays Principle" in the transport sector?


Please report according to paragraphs II.1 - II.3 of  the Recommendation.


Which measures are under preparation, please specify.



4.      What has been done to implement the BAT for vehicles and fuels for all transport modes?


Please report according to paragraphs III.1 - III.11 of  the Recommendation.


On which laws, regulations etc. is the implementation based?


Are there particular certification and registration procedures for motorized vehicles to keep the emissions as low as possible, and how are these procedures legally implemented and enforced?


Are there particular inspection and maintenance programmes to keep emissions from in-use vehicles low?


Are other measures planned, please specify.



5.      Please provide statistical data on actual values of air polluting emissions from the transport sector as well as an estimation of emission reduction achieved due to implemented measures. ¤)




¤)      Details on reference years, parameters to be reported etc. will be elaborated within TC pending the development of overall airborne pollution monitoring programme of HELCOM.