Outboard emissions standards Law in Parliament


This morning in Canberra, Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg tabled the “Product Emissions Standards Bill” that will bring Australia in line with world emissions standards for small engines from outboards to lawn mowers.

In the Marine segment, the laws will cover any petrol (SI, Spark Ignition) engine. Outboards, inboards, and PWC’s. Other small engines from lawn mowers to chainsaws are also covered under the Bill.

The Bill is planned to progress through Parliament over the coming months, with both the Bill and the detailed Rules becoming Law by December. There won’t be an immediate start, instead Industry will have until 20 June 2018 to cease imports and a further year to clear stocks.

“The Information paper published last December spelled out the details and timings so industry could get ready” advised Gary Fooks, chair of the cross industry Blue Sky Alliance. “this means industry has had 30 months to finish up the sales of high emission engines”, he added.

The Australian standards will be based on the USA EPA rules but to make it easier for importers, outboards with certification in the USA, EU, Canadian and California (CARB) will all pass. In practice, all four strokes and modern DI engines like E-TEC will all pass. Carby two strokes have much higher emissions, not just 20% or 30% more but 11 times on average.

Exemptions for small engines was never an idea that would carry water. With a carby 8hp two stroke pushing out 59% more emissions per hour than a 150hp four stroke, exemptions were never viable” according to Fooks, who added “and to be fair, these emissions standards will also target mowers, generators, chain saws and brushcutters – all below 25hp.

“The industry is moving quickly in providing consumers with specialized needs for example, BRP has developed an outboard for Surf Lifesaving in Australia” remarked David Heyes of BRP. “Based on the Evinrude military outboard it provides superior service, lower TCOA, while exceeding emissions standards.”


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