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Air Quality

Time Extensions for PM10, Nitrogen Dioxide and Benzene

The new Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe recognizes the fact that several Member States have particular difficulties in achieving compliance with the limit values for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide and benzene.

Pursuant to Article 22 of Directive 2008/50/EC, Member States may notify to the Commission when in their opinion the conditions are met in a given zone or agglomeration for postponing the attainment deadline for the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and benzene, or for being exempt from the limit values for PM10. Member States bear the burden of proving that:

  • for nitrogen dioxide and benzene, the limit values cannot be achieved by 1 January 2010;
  • for PM10, all appropriate measures have been taken at national, regional and local level to meet the deadline for the limit values, i.e. 1 January 2005, and that limit values could not be achieved because of the presence of one or more of the following elements: site-specific dispersion characteristics, adverse climatic conditions or transboundary contributions;
  • for PM10, nitrogen dioxide and benzene, compliance with the limit values will be achieved at the expiry of the postponement or exemption period.

If the Commission does not raise objections within nine months of receipt of an official and complete notification, the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and benzene are postponed from January 2010 to January 2015 at the latest. For PM10, the exemption from the limit value will in that case appply for a three year period ending in June 2011.

During the postponement or exemption period the limit values continue to apply plus a margin of tolerance. Outside the zones or agglomerations covered by the postponement or exemption decision, limit values must be complied with in full.

In order to facilitate the notification procedure, a Communication from the Commissionhas been adopted providing guidance to Member States on the information to be provided and the scope of the conditions. When notifying, Member States are strongly recommended to use the forms set out in the Staff Working Paper accompanying the Communication. These forms may also serve as a checklist for ensuring that all necessary information has been provided to the Commission. They are provided separately as excel sheets for download (in English only).

Following the round of PM10 notifications the Commission Services have adopted a Staff Working Paper providing further guidelines for the notification of postponements of the deadline to apply the NO2 limit values.


Notifications of time extensions submitted by Member States together with Commission Decisions

To consult the notifications of time extensions submitted by Member States please download the documents available in the table below.

The Commission Decisions will be added following their adoption.

A list of Air Quality zones in which exceedances of PM10 and NO2 have been reported for the year 2011 including the results of the request of time extension notification, where applicable, is presented here: PM10, NO2. The tables have been created for information purposes and do not represent an official assessment of the Commission services.  Please refer to the Commission Decisions published below and questionnaire 461 that contains the Member States' report of air quality data for accurate information.

Member State


Commission decision



PM10-Re-Notification AT60

NO2-Notification (1)

de en Decision 1

de en Decision 2

de en NO2- Decision 1



NO2-Notification (1)

fr nl en

fr nl en NO2 Decision 1


PM10-Notification BG

NO2-Notification (1)

BG en

bg en NO2- Decision 1

Cyprus PM10-Notification CY el en
Czech Republic


PM10/NO2-Notification CZ (2)

NO2-Notification (1)

cs en

cs en NO2- Decision 1


PM10-Notification DA

NO2-Notification DA

da en Decision 1

da en NO2-Decision 1


NO2-Notification (1)

fi sv en NO2- Decision 1

PM10-Notification (1)

PM10-Notification (2), Renotification 1

PM10-Notification (3), Renotification 2

PM10-Notification (4), Renotification 3

NO2-Notification (1)

fr en Decision 1

fr en Decision 2

Decision 2 Corrigendum

fr en Decision 3

fr en NO2 - Decision 1


PM10-Notification_DE (1)

PM10-Notification_DE (2)

PM10-Notification_DE (3)

PM10-Notification DE (4)

PM10-Notification DE (5)

PM10-Notification DE (6)

PM-10 Notification DE (7)

PM-10 Notification DE (8)

PM10-Notification_DE (9)

NO2-Notification DE (1)

NO2-Notification DE (2) – Renotification

NO2-Notification DE (3) – Renotification

de en Decision 1

de en Decision 2

de en fr Decision 3

de en Decision 4






de en NO2 - Decision 1

de en NO2 - Decision 2

de en NO2 - Decision 3

Greece PM10-Notification_EL el en


NO2- Notification HU (1)

hu en

en bg NO2- Decision 1


PM10-Notification_IT (1)

PM10-Notification_IT (2)

NO2-Notification (1)

NO2-Notification (2)

it en Decision 1

it en Decision 2

it en NO2 Decision 1

it en NO2 Decision 2

it en NO2 Decision 2 - Annex


PM10-Notification LV

NO2-Notification LV (1)

lv en

lv en NO2 – Decision 1

Luxemburg NO2 Notification (1) en fr NO2 – Decision 1
Malta PM10-Notification_MT  

PM10-Notification PL (1)

PM10-Notification PL (2)

PM10/NO2-Notification PL (3)

NO2-Notification PL (1)

NO2-Notification PL (2)

en PL Decision 1

en PL Decision 2

en PL Decision 3

en PL NO2 –Decision 1


PM10-Notification PT

NO2-Notification PT(1)

pt en

pt en NO2-Decision 1

Romania PM10-Notification RO ro en Decision 1

PM10-Notification SK

PM10/NO2 Re-notification SK (2)

sk en Decision 1

sk en Decision 2


PM10-Notification_ES (1)

PM10-Notification_ES (2)

PM10-Notification_ES (3)

PM10-Notification_ES (4)

and PM10-Notification ES (5)

NO2-Notification (1)

NO2 Notification (2)

NO2-Notification (3)

es en Decision 1

es en Decision 2

es en NO2-Decision 1

es en NO2-Decision 2

es en NO2-Decision 3

The Netherlands


nl en

United Kingdom

PM10-Notification_UK (1)

PM10-Notification_UK (2)

PM10-Notification_UK (3)

NO2-Notification UK (1)

NO2-Notification (2)

NO2-Notification (3) – Renotification

en Decision 1

en Decision 2

en NO2-Decision (1)

en NO2- Decision (2)