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National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD)

Reporting of emissions

The National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD 2001/81/EC), in force since 2001, sets national emission limit values to be achieved by 2010. This Directive sets emission ceilings for four pollutants (nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur oxides (SOx), non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOC) and ammonia (NH3) responsible for acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone pollution.

By the end of 2016, the revised NEC Directive came into force (2016/2284/EC). The absolute emission ceilings for 2010 will continue until 2019. By 2020 and 2030 emission reduction commitments compared to 2005 are set. In addition, a reduction commitment for PM2.5 was added.

Ceiling NOx NMVOS SOx NH3 PM2.5
2010 176 kt 139 kt 99 kt 74 kt
2020* -41% -21% -43% -2% -20%
2030* -59% -35% -66% -13% -39%

*compared to 2005

Belgium is obliged to report the emission inventory to the European Commission (NECD) annually. Projections of emissions by 2020 and 2030 must be reported biennial. Every 4 years emissions of large point sources (LPS) and gridded emissions must be reported.

In addition to the emission inventories, an Informative Inventory Report (IIR) is provided describing trends, underlying data and methodologies.



The emission inventory is constantly evolving, following scientific knowledge. Data from historical years are updated correspondingly. In order to take into account the uncertainty that this entails, the revised NEC Directive provides a flexibility mechanism for the Member States to apply an emission inventory adjustment that is used in addition to the scientifically correct emission inventory. This adjusted emission inventory can, once approved, be used for compliance checking. The adjustments take into account the scientific knowledge that existed when the reduction targets were set. This flexibility mechanism prevents Member States from not achieving their goals because evolving knowledge, or vice versa, prevents that Member States do not improve their emission inventory to the most recent knowledge in order to achieve their goals. An adjustment is only permitted if either of the following criteria are met:

1) There are new emission source categories that were not included at the time the emission ceilings were set.
2) The emission factors used to determine the emissions of specific source categories are significantly different from those assumed at the time the emission ceilings were set.
3) The methodology is significantly different from the methodology used when the emission ceilings were set.

Belgium exceeds its NEC ceiling for NOx in 2010-2015 and NEC ceiling for NMVOC in 2010. Consequently, an adjustment was made for NOx for the road transport and agriculture sectors and for NMVOC for the agricultural sector. More information can be found in the report below that was submitted on 15/3/2017 as part of the NEC reporting. Actualisation of the numbers of the latest reporting year are to be found in the last chapter of the IIR. In the 2021 reporting, Belgium exceeds the NEC ceiling for NOx for the period 2010-2016 and for NMVOC in 2010. Updated figures for 2019 are available in the latest chapter of the IIR report.

All emission inventories and related documents were officially submitted on the Central Data Repository (CDR):


The regional emission inventories can be consulted via: