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 Letter to the MCCAA Board

 Noise level of moving vehicles - Regulations 540/2014



 To the MCCAA Board

 6th August 2014


 Subject – Permissible Noise Level of the vehicle exhaust system


In view of the EU initiative for the reduction of ambient traffic noise, it is appropriate to revisit the issue which was discussed during our meeting in November 2013. I am refereeing to the Directive for the permissible sound level and the exhaust system of motor vehicles which is not transposed into our legislation.


The essential reason for change is to bring in line the VRT regulations, which are antiquated. The acceptable sound level of motor vehicles varies between 100 & 105 dB (A). These levels are 26 dB (A) higher than the present EU acceptable level for motor vehicles, which is between 74 & 80dB (A) with a further reduction of 2 dB (A) in 2016.

The VRT acceptable sound level for motor cycles is 109 dB (A). That accepted by the EU – UNECE regulation 41 is between 73 & 77 dB (A).


Brief Background history:

Directive70/175EEC for the permissible sound level and the exhaust system of motor vehicles was first introduced in February 1970, since that time the sound levels were reduced several time the last being in 1995. The Directive was amended by Directive 2007/34/EC, which become applicable in July 2008.


On the 28/04/2010 the Commission strategy on clean and energy efficient vehicles includes measures to reduce noise.

The Vehicle Noise Limit Values (Venoliva) was commissioned by the European Commission. The final report on noise was passed to Council & Parliament in September 2011.


On December 2012 The European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) voted 60 amendments to the Commission proposal.


At the EP Plantery session in February 2013; the EU member stated that at least 50% of the urban areas are exposed to noise levels above 55 dB as a result of ambient road traffic.  Hence the purpose of these Regulations is to ensure a high level of health and environmental protection as well as a reasonable safeguard of the internal market for motor vehicles.


The draft law was approved by the Parliament with 401 votes in favour, 228 against and 20 abstentions. The limits for standard cars will drop from 74 decibels at present to 68 decibels. The Rapporteur of the project stated that the EU also targets road quality, aerodynamic and wheels. The EU thus wishes to limit health risk, related to noise.


The regulations- EU 540/ 2014 which were published on the 16th April of 2014  give great emphasis on sound level of motor vehicles and of replacement silencing systems. The limits, at annex III, of these regulations will be applicable as from 2016; therefore the limits specified in Directive 2007/34/EC will remain in force till that date; as clarified in (Article 4 (2) & (4)) of the  504/2014 reg.


Therefore, it is crucial that this directive will be transposed into our legislation without undue delay. It will facilitate the setting up of the essential regulations to; (1) to setup and regulate the approved standard for the vehicles maintenance. (2) Contribute for the reduction of the ambient road traffic noise, especially in urban areas.


I hope that this proposal will be acted upon without further delay for the protection of those suffering the adverse effect of ambient road traffic noise and furthermore, to bring in line the local regulations to EU norm.



Directive 2007/34/EU

Regulation EU 540/2014

VENOLIVA - Vehicle Noise Limit Values

European Commission Com (2013) 307 Regulation 41

DG- for internal policy:  Towards a Comprehensive Noise Strategy







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