Introduction (goal, intention, purpose)
Cleaner air for the citizens of Denmark's cities. This is the aim of the low emission zones (miljozones) in the country's four largest urban centres.
That is why, in 2006, the Danish Ministry of the Environment decided to amend the Environmental Protection Act, which now allows the municipalities of Copenhagen/Frederiksberg, Aalborg, Aarhus and Odense to establish low emission zones and to define their boundaries.
On 01.11.2011 (after more than 3 years of stickers for domestic traffic) all foreign truck and bus traffic was obliged to use only one sticker to enter the low emission zones.
With the establishment of four low emission zones in Denmark's largest cities so far, emissions and air pollutants have been reduced in the medium and long term since 2009, new and energy-efficient vehicles have been promoted, and old and polluting vehicles have gradually been excluded from traffic.
On 01.07.2020 the EcoSticker was abolished and replaced by a registration. By means of automated cameras and database matching of the number plate, the controls and thus the low emission zones should become even more efficient and the air even better.
As with the EcoSticker, registration usually only reduces the emission of fine dust and less of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and other pollutants, which will probably have to be taken into account more and more by the environmental authorities in the coming years.
The origin of the Danish low emission zones is based on the Environmental Protection Act BEK no. 1517 Chapter 4, adopted on 14.12.2006, which generally regulates the prevention and control of environmental pollution.
The Act, which came into force on 01.01.2007, gives the municipalities of Copenhagen, Frederiks, Aarhus, Aalborg and Odense the opportunity to introduce a low emission zone and, if necessary, to set requirements for the environmental performance of vehicles.
In the run-up to the extension of the sticker requirement for foreign lorries and buses, i.e. for vehicles not registered in Denmark as of 01.11.2011, a kind of sticker regulation for the EcoSticker was then passed on 24.06.2011.
This national ordinance BEK no. 700 of 24.06.2011 regulates the measures for improving the air through the EcoSticker and also specifies the penalties, for example.
On 22.10.2019, BEK no. 1059 regulated the new regulation of the controls and requirements. The previously used EcoSticker will become invalid on 01.07.2020 and be replaced by a registration and database system.
Features (appearance, description)
The following vehicles are affected by the Danish low emission zones and require registration on entry:
Diesel vehicles: minibus (M2), coach (M3), van (N1), truck (N2), heavy truck (N3)
Vans under 3.5 t must have at least one initial registration from 01.01.2007 (Euro 4).
Buses and trucks must have at least one initial registration from 01.10.2009 (Euro 5).
Every vehicle from the above-mentioned date is automatically registered and the comparison is made with the central vehicle register in the respective country.
If a van was registered before 2007 or bus/truck before October 2009 and has a corresponding fine particle filter (PM), the registration must be carried out manually.
Not affected are motorcycles such as motorbikes, cars, mobile homes or agricultural and forestry machinery.
Which stickers / registration do I get? (classification)
In the event of a missing or incorrect EcoSticker for a vehicle, fines of up to DKK 20,000, equivalent to around EUR 2,700, were imposed from 1 November 2011 in accordance with § 36 of the Law on stickers of 24 June 2011.
However, the fines can be imposed not only on the driver of a vehicle, but also on the owner of the vehicle or the managing director, i.e. a respective legal entity.
Furthermore, according to § 36 of the law, a prison sentence of up to 2 years can be imposed if intent is proven. This applies in particular if an eco-sticker is not purchased intentionally and a financial profit is made for oneself or others.
Since the introduction of the camera system on 01.07.2020, the fines have been significantly reduced. The fines for buses and trucks are now up to 12,500 DKK, which is equivalent to approx. 1,700 euros. For vans, a fine of 1,500 DKK (approx. 200 euros) is planned.
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.
How long is my registration valid?
Unless the engine or the exhaust emission standard of the vehicle or the registration number changes, the registration is valid for the entire lifetime of the vehicle. This means that a new registration does not have to be made every year. It is possible that in the future the access restrictions will be tightened. In this case, the registration expires if the required Euronorm can no longer be met.
Do I have to carry the confirmation with me?
The Danish registration is completely digital. The license plate is entered into a database with possible data on the particulate filter, so that the cameras detect a positive match. Since the matching of the number plate is done by the cameras, nothing has to be stuck to the windscreen or similar. As soon as the confirmation of registration has been received, the low emission zones can be entered. It is also not necessary to carry the operation in the vehicle.
What happens with the EcoSticker?
The EcoSticker is no longer valid since 01.07.2020 and was completely replaced by the registration. Therefore the stickers can be removed from the windscreen.
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 my license plate changes?
As soon as the registration number is changed, e.g. by moving house, a new registration must be made.
Is the registration also valid for other low emission zones?
Registration Denmark is only valid for low emission zones in Denmark. These are currently Aalborg, Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense.
For other low emission zones in other countries, a separate registration or stickers must be purchased.