Belgian low emission zones impose severe penalties on national and international offenders
Antwerp and Brussels are currently the only two low emission zones (LEZ) in Belgium, where older, polluting vehicles are no longer welcome. These cities are only accessible to vehicles that comply with certain environmental criteria. The rule applies to both nationally and internationally registered vehicles and offenders are subject to severe fines.
Smart cameras detect offenders
Smart cameras scan the number plates of all vehicles entering an LEZ. Number plates of authorised vehicles are automatically removed from the list of scanned number plates. Owners of the remaining number plates can expect a fine.
Who will not be penalised?
Authorised vehicles include:
- Vehicles with an automatic permit, i.e. vehicles with a Belgian number plate that comply with the qualifying conditions in Antwerp and Brussels. Vehicles with a Dutch number plate that meet the criteria are also automatically entered on the list in Antwerp.
- Registered vehicles, e.g. vehicles with a foreign number plate, vehicles adapted for use by disabled people.
- Vehicles with a temporary permit subject to payment that do not comply with the qualifying conditions in Antwerp and Brussels.
What is the penalty?
Penalties for entering an LEZ without appropriate authorisation are determined by the city in question.
In Antwerp an initial offence is subject to a fine of 150 euro. A second offence within 12 months will be charged at 250 euro. Penalty charges for a third offence can increase up to 350 euro.
In Brussels you will receive a fine of 350 euro for the first offence. However, you cannot then be given another penalty for the same amount for another 3 months and up to maximum 4 times annually.
How to avoid a penalty?
Remember: Only buy your day pass from official websites. Day passes offered via other websites are not valid.
Obviously you can always park you car outside the city and use public transport, or a bicycle or scooter sharing system to enter the LEZ.
More low emission zones to follow
In 2020 Ghent and Liège will also become an LEZ. In 2021 they will be joined by Willebroek and Mechelen.