France has introduced the Crit'Air Vignette!

After Paris, the Crit’Air vignette is now mandatory in the region Grenoble/Lyon – financial penalties begins 15.1.17

France introduced the Crit'Air Vignette/ Environmental Badge on 1st July 2016!

France introduced environmental zones and the Crit'Air Vignette on 1st July 2016.
Task of the Crit'Air Vignette newly introduced on 1st July 2016 is the differentiation of old, polluting  vehicles and new environmentally friendly vehicles. The differentiation is supposed to be taken in 6 categories. Aim of this introduction is to avoid step by step the entrance of worse Crit'Air categories into the environmental zones.
Together with the introduction of the Crit'Air Vignette, so-called areas with restricted traffic “Zones à Circulation Restreinte /ZCR“ as well as “air protection areas” (such as Grenoble) will be established in France.. Only vehicles being equipped with a Crit'Air Vignette are allowed to enter into this ZCR area.

The new French vignette Crit’Air has been first introduced in Paris on 1st July 2016 und then in the conurbation of Grenoble on 1st November 2016
The environmental zone of Paris stands for the entire French capital. Its city area is defined by the area inside the motorway ring “Boulevard périphérique”. Bois de Boulogne and Bois de Vincennes are no ZCR zones although these forests belong to the city area of Paris.Already since July 2015 old trucks and buses no longer have a permission to enter into the environmental zone of Paris. Old passenger cars are obliged to avoid the environmental zone since 1st July 2016.
In the conurbation of Grenoble / Lyon is the situation quite different, since the „air protection area“ introduced there on 1st November and 12th December 2016 has different rules.

The Crit'Air Vignette having been introduced in France since 1st July 2016 is broken down into 6 different categories/colours. The Crit'Air is stands for all vehicle types in all French environmental zones. Old vehicles of all kinds cannot obtain the Vignette and have no permission to drive during the day ...
Various versions and file sizes of pictures from the Crit'Air Vignette and its appropriate traffic signs of the French environmental zone are ready for download here. Please observe the copyright and the usage rules listed in detail ...
The French environmental zones ZCR “Zones à Circulation Restreinte” can be established by French communities since 1st July 2016. Basis is the national Décret Crit'Air dated 29th June 2016. Beside Paris, further towns intend to establish ZCR environmental zones as well ...
The aggravated environmental zone ZCR (Zones à Circulation Restreinte) which came into force on 1st July 2016 do not only prohibit older vehicles from access to the zone between 8 am and 8 pm but also demands all other vehicles the categorization by a Crit'Air Vignette ...

18.01.2017 – The French minister for environment, Ségolène Royal, announced that more than 2,5 million Crit’Air vignettes have been ordered. The number of orders raised particularly in December 2016 due to a persistent peak of air pollution in some of the greatest cities of France.

17.01.2017 - Attention, new: According to a new announcement from the French authorities, it will be possible to order a vignette for vehicles non-registered in France from 01.02.2017.
This means, that the vignette Crit’Air will be available for all vehicles, no matter in which country they are registered.
Advance orders are possible here from 24.01.2017!

12.12.2016 - After Paris and Grenoble the Crit’Air vignette has been introduced in Lyon
The prefect of the department Rhône has decided in an order dated 1212.2016 to introduce the Crit’Air vignette in Lyon and in the neighbor town of Villeurbanne. The vignette is combined with the system of alternate traffic circulation, which prohibits the circulation for even or odd registration plate numbers every second day in case of a pollution peak.
The Crit’Air vignettes electro, 1, 2 and 3 will not be concerned by the alternate traffic circulation, independently of the number of their registration plate, even or odd.
However, after 4 consecutive days of pollution peak, the vehicles bearing the Crit’Air vignette 3, the orange ones, will also be concerned by the system of alternate traffic circulation.
Like in Grenoble, Lyon introduces then a “sporadic” environmental zone, in which the vignette will be mandatory for all vehicles in case of a persistent pollution peak.

Picture: Beginning and end of a ZCR environmental zone

The French Environmental Zones ZCR

French environmental zones are called in France “Zones à Circulation Restreinte”, the short version is “ZCR”. The term ZCR is rarely applied. The term ZCR describes an area with a “restricted traffic-ability”. Not really a term which causes a relation to environmental protection zones.

The setting-up of low emission zones in France is in the responsibility of the respective local authority and is ruled by a national decree Décret ZCR 2016-847 vom 28.06.2016. The permission to drive in an environmental zone, being defined by the respective local authorities in France, is achieved by means of a Crit'Air Vignette which can be allocated in 6 categories.

The local authority decides what kind of Crit'Air category is allowed to enter the environmental zone at what time, this by applying an additional label below the ZCR plate. The additional label indicates days and times of day when a passenger car is allowed to enter the environmental zone with a Crit'Air Vignette.
However, more probable advantages are supposed to result from the environmental zones as there are, for example, separate parking lots which can be occupied. But this will be controlled by the responsible local authority in France.

Currently a French environmental zone ZCR can be entered by means of all 6 Crit'Air categories. But this will change in the course of the coming years. The responsible local authority will restrict the categories, either by means of more additional labels to Crit'Air or by means of messages in the media where it will be announced what category has the permission to enter the environmental zone. It is conceivable, for instance, that under bad weather conditions only categories 0-4 would be allowed to enter Paris from Monday to Friday in a period between 8 am to 8 pm which would mean that the grey Crit'Air Vignette had to stay outside – a rule being published beforehand by the media.

Air pollution
Nitrogen Oxides and fine dust, particularly from diesel vehicles, are the reason why France introduced ZCR zones and the Crit'Air Vignette. People who want to know how and where nitrogen oxide and fine dust have an effect on health and harm humans in whichever way can get detailed information here ...
Questions may occur when ordering a Crit'Air Vignette for a vehicle being registered in France. You can get the answers here. An order for vehicles not registered in France is necessary and possible only in March 2017. Until then these vehicles are allowed to drive without Crit'Air Vignette ...
Here you find an overview of the different badge types that are issued by national authorities regarding Fine dust, Nitrogen oxides, CO2, Electro mobility and additional environmental matters. From us you can obtain the required badged for each country in Europe ...
All the European vignettes and their corresponding circulation signs for environmental zones in one pack of cards. With this pack of 32 cards, you’ll play quartet as well as poker or will play learning games. All the information about the current and the soon applicable vignettes and badges are written on the cards. You will find more information here ...
Grüne Plakette B MK 5653 (Guilloche)
The German environmental badge, also called emissions sticker, is provided for Euro-4 vehicles which intend to enter into German environmental zones. Information about the German emissions sticker is offered in 21 languages and can be purchased through us within 24 hours ...
Green-Zones provides on more as 40 European websites in more than 20 languages information on the subject of fine particulates / nitrogen oxides, environment and CO2, on the increasing restrictions of movement in the European countries through the establishment of environmental zones ...