Particle counters to fight filter fraud from 2020

Flemish Mobility Minister Ben Weyts and Brussels Minister for Road Safety Bianca Debaets presented on Monday the new particle counters to be used in Belgium against particle-filter fraud.

All auto inspection centres will need to be equipped with the new meters by 2020 to enable them to measure particles contained in exhaust gases.

The choice of meter was preceded by a vast survey by the Group of businesses licensed to conduct auto checks and to issue licenses, GOCA. From 1 July to 31 December 2018, various types of technology were tested in real conditions.

The country’s three regions now have to establish a legislative framework for a new measurement of emissions so that the meter can be operational in 2020 in the 78 Belgian auto-inspection centres.

The GOCA has to come up with a guidebook for the use of the system, particularly procedures for maintenance and calibration. The companies authorised to do vehicle inspections will then invest in the purchase of compliant equipment.

“We are the first in Europe to introduce these advanced tests, so we are pioneers at the international level in the fight against particle-filter fraud,” Ben Weyts said. “That’s the end of impunity,” added the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) minister.

The PN meter tests will be done on vehicles in the Euro-class 5 and 6 categories, which thus far are able to bypass anti-fraud checks.

“We need to act forcefully since cars without filter are up to 80% more pollutive,” added Debaets (Christian Democratic and Flemish, CD&V). “Moreover, fine particles cause the deaths of 2,500 Belgians annually.

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