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Time extensions

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. The Directive therefore allowed for extensions of the deadline for achieving compliance under certain conditions.

Article 22 of this Directive lays down these conditions. Member States could notify the Commission when, in their opinion, these conditions had been met in a given zone or agglomeration

  • to postpone 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

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.

For information on the notifications of time extensions submitted by Member States, please download the Commission’s decisions available below.

This information was provided to the Commission before the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU. Decisions related to the UK are also available.

Due to data protection rules under Regulation (EU) 2018/1725, the files containing notifications of time extensions submitted by Member States are not available on this website. 


Guidance to Member States

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