Media Releases


Victorian Marine Industry to Assist Businesses Understand Small Engine Emissions and Evaporative Laws

Posted by AMEC on 28 June 2016 |

blog img 1
The Boating Industry Association of Victoria (BIAV) will undertake an information session and webinar to assist businesses, particularly boat manufacturers and dealers, understand the Small Engine Emissions and Evaporative Laws taking place from 2017, in an information session and webinar being held on July 14, 2016 at the BIAV head office in South Melbourne.

Read More

Emission standards for non-road spark ignition engines and equipment

Posted by AMEC on 5 May 2016 |

Non-road spark ignition engines and equipment (NRSIEE) can contribute significantly to air pollution in Australia, particularly in urban areas. The Australian Government is working towards introducing emission standards to reduce air pollution from NRSIEE which include mowers, chainsaws, generators and outboards.

Read More

Government Fact Sheet hints at the future of Outboard emissions standards.

Posted by AMEC on 14 April 2016 |

EMBARGO    5:00 pm. AEST   Thursday 14th           

The Department of Environment today released a fact sheet to shed light on the long awaited small engine emissions standards for Australia.

Included in the standards that have been under consideration for a decade, are all petrol fueled marine engines: outboards, inboards, stern drive and PWC as well as outdoor power equipment.

According to AMEC Chair David Heyes “industry can now start to move forward with greater certainty”  

For those who have been following the work closely the fact sheet contains few surprises:
•    The Australian regulations will mirror the USA EPA standards.  After all, so has the rest of the world, now that the EU started the changeover in January.   That means the end of carby and EFI two strokes, except in some handheld categories like chainsaws.
•    Standards will cover both engine exhaust emissions and evaporative emissions from fuel systems, which will call for low permeation hoses, tank expansion capacity and a carbon filter on the vent line.
•    Engines on the water now won’t be changed.  

It is not just old news, according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and the Minister’s Clean Air Champion.  “The most important news is that we have seen the Department indicate the timing”
•    Exhaust emissions standards are planned for 2017, (and Fooks adds that could mean 1 July.).   
•    Evaporative standards are being considered for 2019.  (again 1 July is likely)

The delay for Evaporative Standards gives just enough time for boat builders to incorporate the necessary changes in fuel systems and hull designs.   

To help industry prepare, the BIA Vic and AMEC, in conjunction with the Outdoor Power Equipment Association will be conducting an Industry Information morning on Thursday 14th July.   Topics will include an overview of the engine standards and in depth presentations on how to install evaporative systems.    Experts from the USA and representatives from the Department of Environment will make presentations and answer questions.

The BIAVic will forward invitations to members in the next few weeks.  Other States won’t miss out.  “We will be offering to present the same program in other states and discussions are underway” according to David Heyes.

Gary Fooks was keen to point out that there is one final surprise for both him and industry.  “I had been saying that existing importer and dealer stock, imported before “D” day would be exempted, just like existing boats on the water, and that was the plan.   However, dealers and importers talk of stockpiling carby two strokes has government concerned enough to announce that there would be both a phase in and a final day where sales of non-compliant engines will be illegal.”  

Insiders say that even with the uncertain election time, the 2017 implementation is now unlikely to change.

Media Comments:  David Heyes  0418 593 382
Technical Advice:  Gary Fooks   0412 111 573  

Read More

Emissions Standards for small engines gets the green light - locked in for 2016

Posted by AMEC on 15 December 2015 |

Tags: ,

Today’s announcement from the Meeting of State and Federal Environment Ministers gave the green light for non-road spark ignition (petrol) engine emissions standards.  This will bring Australia in line with the USA who lead the world in emissions standards for small petrol equipment including lawn mowers, outboards, chain saws and generators.
The Ministers had made an “in principle” agreement at their last meeting, which started the ball rolling with a Working Group formed of industry, government and community representatives formed to advise how best to implement standards for Australia. That report is due before the end of December.
The timetable after December is up to the Minister and Parliament. But according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and member of the Working Group “If we stick to the ambitious program set by Minister Hunt, that would see the Legislation introduced in the first half of 2016.  The next tangible output the public will see should be and Exposure Draft of the Legislation:  that should be here in early 2016.
The Working Group agreed that the introduction of standards should progress through the next steps as soon as possible. Their advice has included exemptions, phase-ins for certain engine categories and how to most efficiently monitor compliance across the industry.
Asked if that meant no more two stroke lawn mowers or outboards after July Gary was quick to point out “let’s be clear, these laws are not an attack on any one technology: we will still have quality hand held products like STIHL and Husqvarna chainsaws, and of course Direct Injection two stroke outboards like E-TEC, but yes, four strokes will be the more common engine type in future especially for lawn mowers and generators.”
Any phase in is likely to be limited. Existing dealer stock gets exempted as the laws should only apply to new imports. And of course no law will ban what the public already has in the garage.
David Heyes, Chairman of AMEC added “any phase in or broad exemption that Minister Hunt decided to allow won’t be extensive.   Exemptions are generally only where there is no possible alternate and a phase in would be in terms of months which means industry needs to finalize their preparations.”
Some boat builders will need to upgrade hulls, perhaps widen the transom, to allow for heavier clean engines. The outboard weight chart that was updated in AS1799 Australian Boat building standard in 2009 will help here.
BMT Dealers need to do their homework too: they will be largely responsible for the Fuel System Evaporative Standard.   That will mean low permeation hoses and fuel tanks, a carbon canister on the vent line and a fuel tank ullage or overflow tank. For more information, ask your BIA or AMEC.
Ministers agreed to introduce emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors). Non-road spark ignition engines are a significant contributor to air pollution. The introduction of new standards will bring Australia into line with existing international standards, particularly those in North America. Ministers also noted that a working group of experts is on track to provide interim advice this year on implementing the standards, with the aim of introducing legislation into Federal Parliament in mid-2016.

Read More

Australian Environment Ministers Agree on Emissions standards

Posted by AMEC on 16 July 2015 |

Australian Environment Ministers Agree on Emissions standards  “with the aim of implementing standards in the first half of 2016”.   
Thursday’s (16 July) announcement by all Australian Environment Ministers confirms that  Australia will adopt emissions standards for non-road engines, including outboards, PWC’s and petrol inboards, as well as lawn mowers, chainsaws, generators and brush cutters. With the final green light to be announced at the next Environment Minister’s meeting later this year, the Ministers have established a working group to draft standards and legislation by the end of 2015, “with the aim of implementing standards in the first half of 2016”. 

The key part of emissions standards have been on the table since 2010. The USA standard has become the defacto world standard and that’s also the plan for Australia. Traditional two strokes won’t pass the anticipated standards, both carby and efi. Most four strokes and Direct Injection two strokes meet the toughest emissions standards. That means that around half of the outboards being sold today already meet the standard.
AS1799 Australian boat building standards was updated in 2009 to allow for heavier, low emission engines.
The proposed standards also include changes to fuel systems that will affect every boat builder and BMT retailer. Fuel systems will be more complex, with low permeation tanks and hoses, backflow valves and a carbon canister on the fuel vent. This will bring larger boats in line with car standards. Smaller systems like lawn mowers will need low permeation fuel tanks and hoses, and a tethered fuel cap.
The exact timing of regulations are yet to be decided, but the statement makes it clear that they will start in less than 12 months. What the public owns now won’t be “banned” and dealer stock won’t be affected though excessive stock piling could be restricted.    
The USA started outboard emissions standards sixteen years ago. The major markets have followed including the European Union, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Canada and India. China introduced small engine emissions standards in 2011.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt opened the Melbourne Boat Show in June and  took time to meet the boating and garden equipment industry leaders face to face. Ministers statement is at

Read More

Outboard Emission Standards: - but when, oh when . . . ?

Posted by AMEC on 20 March 2015 |

We have been reporting for a long time now that emission standards for outboards were on the way. In fact, for so long, that like the boy who cried wolf, some villagers don’t believe us anymore. Frankly we also had our doubts. But it’s now firmly back on the agenda and in this exclusive report, ABM’s EGary Fooks explains what, why and when.

Read More

Outboard emissions standards move a step closer

Posted by AMEC on 27 February 2015 |

Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced today an Agreement between the state and federal ministers that will see emissions standards for outboards on the table by mid 2015. According to the Ministers’ announcement: “Governments will complete work by mid 2015 to develop emissions control measures for: non-road spark ignition engines and equipment.” (Non road spark ignition engines will include outboards petrol engines from lawn mowers to generators.)

“We welcome the business certainty that engine emissions standards are at last on a timetable” said AMEC Chair David Heyes. Congratulating the Minister he added, “Greg Hunt is providing direction and is keeping to his schedule: leadership that we didn’t see under the previous administration.”

“Standards have been in the pipeline since the Minister’s decision last April” added David. “Today’s announcement is on schedule, and we can be confident that the standards will be posted by mid-2015. After that, it will still take a few months to draft the laws and put them in place.”

Perhaps the last carby two strokes will be delivered for Christmas this year, but it is more likely that “D-day” will be some time in 2016.

After that date only engines that meet the new standard will be imported. Australia will probably match the USA EPA standard, meaning what is sold in the world’s largest outboard market will pass muster in Australia, and without costly re- testing.    Manufacturers won’t need more time: it is existing technology and already accounts for half the retail sales in Australia.

“Basically it means only 3 star engines” according to Analyst Gary Fooks. “It looks like all of the E-Tec and other direct injection two strokes on the market as well as almost every four stroke model are here to stay. It is carby and EFI two strokes that will disappear from shelves.

The regulations will also mean changes for boat builders.  John Haines of Haines Signature explained “Boat builders will have the responsibility of reducing fuel vapor emissions.  That’s achieved by using low vapor fuel lines, a carbon canister on the fuel vent and either an overflow or ullaged to allow for fuel expansion in a full tank. We have worked these requirements into every hull in our range and have been ready for about three years now. “

AMEC are offering to assist boat builders to understand the proposed changes, so they can start to incorporate them into their designs.

The harmful emissions targeted by the proposed regulations are Hydrocarbons, Oxides of Nitrogen, and Carbon Monoxide. All of these have serious health implications.

The difference between outboards is dramatic. According to the audited USA EPA engine certification data, and 8hp carby two stroke pushes out 59% more emissions per hour than a 150hp four stroke. With solid data like that it’s hard argue against regulations.

Australia is fourteen years behind the USA in implementing emission standards for non-road engines. We lag Canada, Europe, and Japan and are about two years behind China.

Read More

Progress toward marine engine emissions...

Posted by AMEC on 1 May 2014 |

Progress toward marine engine emissions standards applauded

Read More

Sneak peak at what outboard emission...

Posted by AMEC on 1 March 2011 |

Sneak peak at what outboard emission laws will look like in Australia 

Read More

Marine Industry body launched...

Posted by AMEC on 15 August 2009 |

Marine Industry body launched to promote a sustainable boating

Read More