Introduction (goal, intention, purpose)
Cleaner air for the citizens in the cities of Austria. This is the aim of the environmental zones, which have so far been set up in 6 of 9 federal provinces.
The environmental sticker reduces emissions of fine dust and nitrogen oxides (NOx). So far, however, this only affects delivery traffic, as this is the main source of harmful exhaust gases in Austria. An extension to passenger transport for cars and buses is very likely in the future, as the requirements of the EU Directive on particulate matter and NOx are still not met in Austria.
Since 01.01.2015 the environmental sticker "Umwelt-Pickerl" has been introduced in Austria, which is mandatory for all trucks, regardless of fuel type and permissible total weight, if they want to enter one of the environmental zones. This also includes so-called fiscal passenger cars registered as N1 trucks.
The introduction of the environmental zones in Austria is based on the IG-L emissions protection law for the air BGBl. I Nr. 115/1997 dated 30.09.1997, which regulates generally the protection of the environment and the fight against pollution. The § 14 refers especially on road vehicles (here a ling to PDF 1997_115).
Based on this, a recast IG-L emissions protection law for the air entered into force in 2013, which strengthens some of the dispositions of the former law (here a link to the PDF document).
On 06.04.2012, the Austrian environmental badge was introduced to the "regulation for the classification of exhaust gases", which came into force on 01.09.2012 as BGBLA_2012_II . On 31.10.2014, an important complement to the law were introduced: 272. Verordnung des BGBLA. (pdf-document 272)
At the same time, a legislative decree came into force, including detailed requirements on the environmental badge. The decree settles, among other things, the appearance, the composition of the badge, its application on the vehicle and its assignment to the different emissions standards in the regulation for the classification of exhaust gases.
Prior to the legislative decree on emissions classification, several driving bans existed already within some parts of the low emission zones.
Time and spatial restrictions had already been settled for trucks.
Features (appearance, description)
The following vehicles are affected by the low emission zones in Austria and require an environmental sticker when entering:
Vans (N1), trucks (N2), heavy trucks (N3)
Not affected are motorcycles such as motorbikes, passenger cars (except fiscal cars), buses or agricultural and forestry machinery. All vehicles can, however, voluntarily purchase an environmental sticker and thus underline the "ecological cleanliness" of the vehicle.
Which stickers do I get? (classification)
If a driving ban is violated, an environmental badge is not on the windscreen or a vehicle drives too fast on a motorway marked "IG-L", fines of up to 2,000 euros apply in accordance with § 30 (4) of IG-L, Immissionsschutzgesetz - Luft of 27.11.2015. If a manipulation of the badge is detected or wrong data have been indicated, these fines can even be much higher. They can rise up to 7.270 euros, according to the §30 (2) IG-L law.
Since there is no common catalogue of fines in Austria, a fine up to 90 euros can be charged by driving into an environmental zone without badge by the designated authorities according to § 50 (1) VStG.
The fines incurred can be charged on the driver, on the owner of the vehicle or on the leader of the company, in other words, fines will be charged on the legally responsible person.
Important to know for foreigners:
From a fine of 70 euros or more, according to EU Directive 2011/82 of 25.10.2011 "to facilitate the cross-border exchange of information on traffic offences which jeopardise road safety", if the fine is not paid, enforcement proceedings will take place in the home country and will continue until the prison sentence is passed.
General exceptions occur for:
• Emergency vehicle
• Vehicles of the public services
• Agricultural and forest vehicles
• Specified vehicles of airport management
• Vehicles of public interest (individual assessment), for example Funfair wagons
The Austrian environmental badge, mandatory for Lorries in order to drive into the Austrian environmental zones requires the standard EURO 1 for the vehicle. If it is not the case, because the vehicle is not equipped with a particulate filter or even if it is, does not reach the requirements of the standard EURO 1, an exceptional authorization can be applied for the vehicle. This authorization is generally time-limited and will be issued in form of a 15-20 cm IG-L sign.
The issuing of an exceptional authorization remains at the discretion of the competent environmental authorities of the federal state or of the city.
For an application of an exceptional authorization, the Austrian environmental authorities need the following information:
- Reasons why an exceptional authorization should be delivered
- Vehicle information including the current EURO standard
- EURO standards of the other vehicles of the applicant’s fleet
- Economic proofs justifying why the vehicle could not be equipped with a particulate filter
The information referred above can be given in English or German.
Beantragung von Ausnahmen
There are exceptions to every rule, which can be applied by the competent environmental authorities. The exceptional authorization is valid for a delimited period of time or for one specific journey and for one or several vehicles of the applicant. You will find more details in the paragraph §14 (3) oft he IGL-L 2003. If an exceptional authorization has been granted, the vehicle concerned gets an IG-L sign from the environmental authorities.
The settling of the IG-L Plaque
The settling of the IG-L plaque should be made like follows:
For Lorries over 3, 5 tons, a round white plaque must be fixed next to the registration plate on the front and on the back of the vehicle.
For vehicle trains, a sticker with a 20cm diameter must be fixed next to the registration plate on the front and on the back of the vehicle.
For small trucks up to 3, 5 tons, a plaque fixed next to the registration plate on the back of the vehicle is enough. In this case, the IG-L sign can be smaller (diameter must be however of 15cm min.).
How long is my sticker valid?
Unless the engine or exhaust emission standard of the vehicle or the chassis number changes, the sticker is valid for the entire lifetime of the vehicle. This means you do not have to buy a new one every year.
Where must my sticker be affixed?
The environmental sticker must be stuck to the left or right inside of the windscreen. It does not matter whether it is on the top or the bottom. The main thing is: clearly visible!
Does my sticker have to be affixed?
Yes, the sticker is only valid if it is stuck to the windscreen. Simply putting it on the dashboard or sticking it with adhesive tape from outside is prohibited and can result in a fine of several thousand euros.
May several environmental stickers be attached to the windscreen?
No! Only the vignette with the currently valid chassis number and exhaust emission standard may be stuck on. It must be clearly and immediately recognizable from the outside. If several stickers with different values are stuck to the windscreen, an inspection can result in a fine of 2,180 euros.
What is the best way to remove the old stickers?
The old stickers can be removed best with a sticker scraper (similar to a glass scraper) or you can carefully heat the sticker with a heat gun so that the glue comes off. Caution! The difference in temperature, especially on cold days, could damage the windscreen.
What happens if the chassis number fades?
Our stickers have a 2-year UV protection guarantee - and that without any ifs and buts! Just send us a picture of the faded sticker and we will send you a new one immediately and free of charge.
My windshield is broken and needs to be replaced. What happens to the sticker?
The environmental sticker is such that it will be destroyed when you remove it, so you will have to buy a new one. In many cases, insurance companies will cover not only the cost of the new windscreen but also the cost of the new sticker. A new sticker must therefore be purchased.