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Brussels vehicle ban extended to diesel cars pre-2004
Some 16,000 drivers in Brussels will find their old diesel car banned from 1 January, as the criteria for the region's low-emissions zone are extended.
Diesel cars with the Euro3 emissions standard - built between 2000 and 2004 - will join diesels from before 2000 on the list of banned vehicles.
"This is a good decision," said Serge Istace, secretary general of the federation of automotive professionals, Traxio. "The oldest vehicles are the most polluting.
"Particle filters were only introduced from Euro 4. So we are eliminating a section of extremely polluting vehicles."
A three-month grace period applies from 1 January, when drivers caught using a banned Euro 3 diesel car will be given just a warning. Fines of €350 will start to be issued from April.
The ban applies to Belgian and foreign-registered vehicles, and is enforced using number plate-scanning cameras linked to the vehicle registration database.
Drivers have the right to use a banned vehicle for up to eight days a year, on payment of a €35-a-day tax. Exemptions apply for priority vehicles, including those providing transport for the elderly or disabled.