Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe recognised that several Member States had particular difficulties in achieving compliance with the limit values for particulate matter (PM10), nitrogen dioxide and benzene, and so allowed for extensions of the deadline for achieving compliance under certain conditions.

Pursuant to Article 22 of Directive 2008/50/EC, Member States had the option to notify 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 a time-limited exemption from applying the limit values for PM10 (which were already in force). Member States had to prove that:

    • for nitrogen dioxide and benzene, the limit values could not be achieved by 1 January 2010;
    • for PM10, all appropriate measures had 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 did not raise objections within nine months of receipt of an official and complete notification, the limit values for nitrogen dioxide and benzene were postponed from January 2010 to January 2015 at the latest. For PM10, the exemption from the limit value applied for a three year period ending in June 2011.

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

To consult the notifications of time extensions submitted by Member States and the Commission's decisions, please download the documents available in the table below.

Member State

Notification

Commission decision

Austria

PM10-Notification_AT

PM10-Re-Notification AT60

NO2-Notification (1)

de en Decision 1

de en Decision 2

de en NO2- Decision 1

Belgium

PM10-Notification_BE

NO2-Notification (1)

fr nl en

fr nl en NO2 Decision 1

Bulgaria

PM10-Notification BG

NO2-Notification (1)

bg en

bg en NO2- Decision 1

Cyprus

PM10-Notification CY

el en

Czech Republic

PM10-Notification_CZ

PM10/NO2-Notification CZ (2)

NO2-Notification (1)

cs en

cs en NO2- Decision 1

Denmark

PM10-Notification DA

NO2-Notification DA

da en Decision 1

da en NO2-Decision 1

Finland

NO2-Notification (1)

fi sv en NO2- Decision 1

France

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

fr Decision 2 Corrigendum

fr en Decision 3

fr en NO2 - Decision 1

Germany

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) Ð Renotification

NO2-Notification DE (3) Ð 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

Hungary

PM10-Notification_HU

NO2- Notification HU (1)

hu en

en bg NO2- Decision 1

Italy

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

Latvia

PM10-Notification LV

NO2-Notification LV (1)

lv en

lv en NO2 Ð Decision 1

Luxemburg

NO2 Notification (1)

en fr NO2 Ð Decision 1

Malta

PM10-Notification_MT

Malta

PM10-Notification_MT

 

Poland

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 ÐDecision 1

Portugal

PM10-Notification PT

NO2-Notification PT(1)

pt en

pt en NO2-Decision 1

Romania

PM10-Notification RO

ro en Decision 1

Slovakia

PM10-Notification SK

PM10/NO2 Re-notification SK (2)

sk en Decision 1

sk en Decision 2

Spain

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

PM10/NO2-Notification_NL

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) Ð Renotification

en Decision 1

en Decision 2

en NO2-Decision (1)

en NO2- Decision (2)

A Communication from the Commission provided guidance to Member States on the information to be provided and the scope of the conditions. Following the round of PM10 notifications the Commission Services adopted a Staff Working Paper providing further guidelines for the notification of postponements of the deadline to apply the NO2 limit values.