China: Heavy-duty: Emissions


China V standards (similar to Euro V) apply to all sales of new diesel and gasoline vehicles nationwide in January 2017 (for public fleets) and July 2017 (for all vehicles). Advance implementation occurred in 11 eastern provinces, including Beijing, which also required diesel particulate filters for new public vehicles starting in January 2016. In June 2018, China finalized China VI standards that will apply to new heavy-duty vehicles nationwide in two stages. China VI-a is equivalent to Euro VI and applies to gas engines in July 2019, urban HDVs in July 2020, and all new HDVs in July 2021. China VI-b adds requirements such as anti-tampering monitoring and remote on-board diagnostics data reporting that are expected to enhance real-world emissions compliance. China VI-b applies to gas engines nationwide starting in January 2021 and all new HDVs in July 2023. China VI standards may be implemented earlier in select provinces.

Standard type
Conventional pollutant emission limits
Regulating Body

Nationwide: Ministry of Environmental Protection
Regional and Local: Environmental Protection Bureaus

Current Standard

Nationwide: China V (similar to Euro V)

Regional and Local: China V (similar to Euro V) in Beijing and Shanghai (municipal vehicles only)

Heavy-duty vehicles over 3,500 kg, equipped with compression ignition engines or positive ignition natural gas (NG) or (liquified petroleum gas) LPG engines.


Emission standards for new heavy-duty truck and bus engines in China follow the European precedent, and are known as China I, II, III, etc. China has historically implemented equivalent Euro emission standards approximately 7-8 years after Europe.

Vehicle emission standards are developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), then jointly issued by MEP and the Standardization Administration of China (SAC).

The following table presents implementation dates for emission standards for heavy-duty diesel and gasoline vehicles in China.

Nationwide Emission Standards for Heavy-Duty Diesel and Gasoline Vehicles
Stage Standard Implementation Date
(type approval)
Implementation Date
(all sales and registrations)
Diesel Engines
China I GB 17691-2001 1 Sep 2000 1 Sep 2001
China II 1 Sep 2003 1 Sep 2004
China III GB 17691-2005 1 Jan 2007 1 Jan 2008(1)
China IV 1 Jul 2010(2) 1 Jul 2013(3)
China V 1 Jan 2016(4)
1 Jul 2016
1 Jan 2017(4)
1 Jul 2017
Gasoline Engines
China I GB 14762-2002 1 Mar 2003 1 Jul 2003
China II 1 Sep 2003 1 Sep 2004
China III GB 14762-2008 1 Jul 2009 1 Jul 2010
China IV 1 Jul 2012 1 Jul 2013
(1) Existing stock permitted to be sold until 30 Jun 2008.
(2) In December 2011, MEP announced that China III type approvals would be permitted again until 30 Jun 2013
(3) This date represents a 30-month delay from the original intended implementation date of 1 Jan 2011. The date was first extended by one year in December 2010, then again by an additional 18 months in December 2011.
(4) For public bus, sanitation and postal trucks, and other civil vehicle fleets.

Sub-national regions and cities in China are permitted to implement vehicle emission standards in advance of the nationwide implementation dates, under two conditions. First, the standard must have already been adopted and issued by the national government. Second, China’s State Council, the highest executive body, must grant approval. Beijing has historically led in the advanced implementation of vehicle emission standards, following by Shanghai, Guangzhou, and some other major cities. While the national China V standards will apply to all new heavy-duty vehicles, in general, early adoption in sub-national regions and cities has applied only to public buses and municipal service vehicles. More recently, Beijing’s 1 Jun 2015 introduction of China V applies to trucks and private buses as well. The following table summarizes the advanced implementation of HDV emission standards in sub-national regions in China:

Advanced Implementation of Heavy-Duty Emission Standards in Sub-National Regions
Stage Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou and others
China I 1 Jan 1999 1 Jul 1999 n/a
China II 1 Jan 2003 1 Mar 2003 1 Jul 2005
China III 31 Dec 2005 HDV: phased-in over 2007 1 Sep 2006
China IV 1 Jul 2008 1 Nov 2009 1 June 2010 (GZ + 9 cities in Guangdong Province)
China V 1 Feb 2013
1 Jun 2015 for new HDV sales(1)
1 May 2014 31 Dec 2015 (GZ + 9 cities in Guangdong Province)
30 June 2016 Guangdong Province

1 Apr 2016 in 11 eastern provinces(2) for public bus, sanitation and postal trucks, and other civil vehicle fleets
China VI 2016 (proposed) n/a n/a
(1) Starting from 1 Jan 2016, DPFs will also be required on new sales of public HDDVs (buses, sanitation, postal, tour coaches, shuttles etc)
(2) These 11 eastern provinces are Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Liaoning, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, Shandong, Guangdong and Hainan.

China IV-V delays

China’s regulation GB 17691-2005 specifies the implementation dates for the China III, IV, and V standards. The original implementation dates listed in the standard for China IV were 1/1/2010 for new vehicle type approvals and 1/1/2011 for all vehicle sales and registrations. However, MEP issued two delays to the implementation of the China IV standard, first by one year in December 2010, then by an additional 18 months in January 2012, yielding a new implementation date of 7/1/2013 for all vehicle sales and registrations. The second delay announcement also re-opened type approvals for China III engines. China V implementation, originally scheduled for 2012/2013, has also been delayed, with no new implementation dates yet announced. The stated reason for the delays was the lack of adequate nationwide supply of high quality fuel.

Supplemental test requirement

In January 2014, MEP issued a supplemental standard requiring China IV and V diesel engines for urban buses and service vehicles to be tested over the World Harmonized Transient Cycle. The supplemental standard is intended to prevent excess NOx emissions from China IV and V-certified vehicles.[1]

In 2013, the Beijing EPB released two new supplemental standards for China IV and V heavy-duty vehicles to prevent the excess urban NOx emissions problem.

Technical Standards

Limit Values

Emission limits for China III-V are shown in below. Chinese test cycles are based on the European test cycles.

Emission Standards for Heavy-Duty Engines
Standard Test Cycle CO HC NMHC CH4 NOx PM Smoke
g/kWh 1/m
China III ESC + ELR 2.1 0.66 5.0 0.10/0.13†† 0.8
ETC 5.45 0.78 1.6 5.0 0.16/0.21†
China IV ESC + ELR 1.5 0.46 3.5 0.02 0.5
ETC 4.0 0.55 1.1 3.5 0.03
China V ESC + ELR 1.5 0.46 2.0 0.02 0.5
ETC 4.0 0.55 1.1 2.0 0.03
† Natural gas engines only
†† For engines with a per cylinder displacement of < 0.75 L and rated speed > 3000 rpm
At the China I/II stage (not shown in the table), the test was ECE R-49 or the Chinese 9-mode.

The following provisions apply to emissions of ammonia and nitrogen dioxide:

  • NO2 requirements: OEMs are required to report tailpipe NO2 concentration and NO2 increase level if an oxidation catalyst-based aftertreatment system is used, such as DOC, POC, DPF or NAC.
  • NH3 slip limit: No limit for China IV. For China V, NH3 slip limit is 25 ppm (peak) and 10 ppm (cycle average).

Durability Requirements

Emission durability requirements, including the engine useful life and the minimum aftertreatment testing periods, are shown below. The aftertreatment periods according to HJ 438-2008 are mandatory for type approval and production conformity, while GB 20890-2007 provides a guideline to conduct aftertreatment durability testing during product development.

Emission Durability Requirements
Category Useful Life Aftertreatment Testing
GB 20890-2007 HJ 438-2008
M1 (GVW > 3.5 t)
100,000 km/5 yrs 50,000 km 100,000 km
M3 (GVW ≤ 7.5 t)
N2 and N3 (GVW ≤ 16 t)
200,000 km/6 yrs 60,000 km 125,000 km
M3 (GVW > 7.5 t)
N3 (GVW > 16 t)
500,000 km/7 yrs 80,000 km 167,000 km

The GB 20890-2007 standard recommends that after treatment testing be conducted on-vehicle, over the China Heavy-Duty Durability Cycle—Vehicle (C-HDD-V). Alternatively, an engine based durability test can be conducted over the China Heavy-Duty Durability Cycle—Engine (C-HDD-E).

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