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Emission Standards

Canada: Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engines


The Off-Road Small Spark-Ignition Engine Emission Regulations [3524] were promulgated on November 19, 2003. The regulations apply to engines that use sparkplugs and develop no more than 19 kW (25 hp) of power. The engines are divided into seven classes based on engine displacement and usage in either a handheld or non-handheld application, based on the corresponding US EPA classifications.

The Regulations adopted in 2003 are harmonized with the US EPA Phase 2 standards for small utility engines. The emission standards apply to off-road engines of model year 2005 and later.

In 2016, Environment Canada proposed amendments to the regulations [3525] that would harmonize the Canadian requirements with the US EPA Phase 3 (2009) standards, effective from 2018.

Emission Standards

The emission standards (Phase 2) are summarized in Table 1.

Table 1
Small spark-ignition engine emission standards, g/kWh
ClassEngine TypeDisplacement (D), cm3DateHC + NOxbNMHC + NOxCO
I-ANon-handheldD <66200550-610
I-B66≤ D <10020054037610
I100≤ D <2252005116.1a-519a
IID ≥225200512.111.3610
IIIHandheldD <20200550-805
IV20≤ D <50200550-805
VD ≥502005119-603
a - Standards apply only when the engine is new
b - Some engine classes include a combined NMHC+NOx standard that applies only when the engine is fueled by natural gas
1 - For models already in production at coming into force of the Regulations
2 - For models initially produced after coming into force of the Regulations

Engines must meet the emission standards throughout their useful life (with the exception of pre-2005 Class I engines, as indicated in the table). At the time of engine certification, a manufacturer can select one of three specified useful life periods, which range from 50 to 1000 hours depending on the engine class. For example, for a class I engine, the useful life can be 125, 250 or 500 hours. The selection of useful life duration must be supported by technical information. Longer useful lives, which entail a higher manufacturing cost, are typically found in commercial equipment while home consumer products are often designed for shorter useful lives.

Alternative less stringent emission standards, consistent with those available under the CFR, are available:

  • for HC+NOx levels for engines in machines used exclusively in wintertime, such as ice augers and snow-blowers; These engines are subject to the applicable CO standard.
  • for replacement engines which are engines manufactured exclusively to replace an existing engine in a machine for which no current model year engine with physical or performance characteristics necessary for the operation of the machine exists;
  • for class III, IV and V when less than 2000 engines of a particular model are sold in total in Canada to accommodate Canada-only niche products.