CO2 emission regulations for new cars and light commercial vehicles

CO2-Emissionsvorschriften - Bild 1

CO2 emission regulations for new cars apply in Switzerland just as they do in the EU. As of 2021, under the WLTP (world harmonized light-duty vehicles test procedure), the average level of emissions from cars registered in Switzerland for the first time may not exceed 118 grams of CO2 per kilometre, while the maximum level of CO2 emissions from delivery and light articulated vehicles (collectively referred to as light commercial vehicles) will be 186 grams per kilometre. These targets correspond to those previously applied based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) measurement procedure of 95 grams per kilometre for new cars and 147 grams per kilometre for new light commercial vehicles. Each importer's vehicle fleet has to comply with an individual target based on these values. If the target is exceeded, the importer will have to pay a penalty.

Small and large-scale importers

The CO2 regulations apply to all importers of new cars and/or light commercial vehicles. Here a distinction is made between large-scale and small importers: the term “large-scale importer” applies to importers who register for the first time at least 50 new cars or at least 6 new light commercial vehicles a year in Switzerland. These importers have to be registered with the SFOE. Importers may join forces to form emissions pools in order to attain the minimum number of vehicles for qualifying as large-scale importers and collectively comply with the specified target level. Emissions pools have the same rights and obligations as large-scale importers.

Private citizens who directly import a new car are classified as small importers. They have the option of clearing their vehicle via a CO2 exchange. In this way they can reduce any required penalty payments or benefit from a bonus that applies to the private import of efficient vehicles.

Links to the application forms for registration as a provisional large-scale importer and for emissions pools are listed under “Forms and fact sheets”.

Small and private importers are required to have the CO2 emissions certified by the Swiss Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) before they can register their vehicle(s). The same applies to large-scale importers who want to register vehicles without type approval. The application form for certification, plus more detailed information concerning the procedure for the import and registration of vehicles, can be obtained from the FEDRO website.


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Last modification 29.06.2023

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