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National Emission Ceilings Directive (NECD)

Reporting of emissions

The European Directive on the reduction of national emissions (2016/2284/EC) describes emission ceilings for NOx, NMVOCs, SOx, NH3 and PM2.5 for each Member State. The ceilings are expressed as a reduction compared to 2005 emissions and have a first threshold for the years 2020 to 2029 and then a second, more stringent, threshold from 2030 onwards. Until the year 2019, absolute emission ceilings were used.

Ceiling NOx NMVOC SOx NH3 PM2.5
2020–2029* -41% -21% -43% -2% -20%
2030* -59% -35% -66% -13% -39%

*compared to 2005

Belgium is required to report an annual comprehensive emissions inventory to the European Commission. In each submission, the inventory includes historical emissions from the year 1990 to two years before the current year: in 2024, the inventory for 1990–2022 was reported. This data is used to verify compliance with the emission reduction commitments described above. In addition to the numerical data on emissions, an informative inventory report (IIR) is also prepared describing trends, underlying data and methodologies. Furthermore, the European directive also requires reporting of projected emissions every two years and emissions from large point sources and spatially dispersed emissions every four years.

These data and reports are freely available:



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.

In the 2017 reporting, Belgium exceeded the emission cap for NOx for the years 2010–2015 and the cap for NMVOC for 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 exceeded the NEC ceiling for NOx for the period 2010–2016 and for NMVOC in 2010.

All the above documents were officially reported on the Central Data Repository (CDR).

The regional emission inventories can be consulted via: