CO2 emission rate for company vehicles as from 2021

Author: Peggy Criel (Legal Expert)

What CO2 emission rates will be taken into account from 2021 onwards when calculating the taxable benefit in kind for a company car? We will briefly remind you of the rules. 

Multiple CO2 emission values

Since 1 September 2018, all new registered cars have been subject to a stricter test, the WLTP test (Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure). It replaces the old NEDC test procedure

Up to and including 31 December 2020, car manufacturers must calculate for these WLTP cars, in addition to the WLTP value, a theoretical NEDC value, called the NEDC 2.0 value.

CO2 emission value(s) mentioned on the COC

From 1 January 2021 onwards, car manufacturers may still calculate a NEDC 2.0 value for WLTP cars, but this is no longer an obligation. An exception is made for new passenger cars with a measured NEDC 2.0 value of less than 50 grams of CO2 per kilometre. For these vehicles, both the NEDC 2.0 value and the WLTP value will have to be indicated on the certificate of conformity (the CoC) up to and including 31 December 2022.

If the car manufacturer voluntarily mentions the NEDC 2.0 value on the CoC, the Belgian Vehicle Registration Service (DIV) will continue to register this NEDC 2.0 value.

Consequently, the following situations will be possible from 1 January 2021:

  • the vehicle is homologated according to the old NEDC test and the CoC only indicates an NEDC value ('NEDC 1.0') on the CoC;
  • the vehicle is homologated according to the new WLTP test and the CoC mentions both an NEDC 2.0 value and a WLTP value;
  • the vehicle is homologated according to the new WLTP test and the CoC only mentions a WLTP value.

Applicable CO2 emission rate from 2021

When determining the taxable benefit in kind for a company car, the vehicle’s CO2 emission rate as available from the DIV is taken into account. The law does not specify whether this is the NEDC value or the WLTP value.

For this reason, the FPS Finance stipulates that the following must be taken into account:

  • the NEDC 1.0 CO2 value when the vehicle only has an NEDC value;
  • the WLTP CO2 value when the vehicle only has a WLTP value;
  • the NEDC 2.0 CO2 value or the WLTP CO2 value (free choice) if the vehicle has both an NEDC 2.0CO2 value and a WLTP CO2 value.

If the vehicle has 2 CO2 emission rates, it is therefore best to choose the lowest CO2 emission rate for determining the taxable benefit.

These rules apply until, if necessary, new legal provisions should enter into force. No legislative initiatives have yet been taken.

Consult the CoC

The CoC of the vehicle allows you to check whether a vehicle has 1 or 2 CO2 emission rates. If this is the case, the NEDC CO2 value is indicated under section 49.1 and the WLTP CO2 value under section 49.4 of the CoC.

Certificates of registration issued before 1 July 2019 mention only one CO2 value without any further specification (WLTP or NEDC). Since 1 July 2019, the certificate of registration no longer mentions any CO2 value. Via the "My vehicle, my plate application, you can request the CO2 value of the vehicle by entering the chassis number.

As mentioned above, the NEDC value or the WLTP value as available from the DIV is taken into account. In principle, these values correspond to the NEDC and WLTP values as mentioned on the CoC (under sections 49.1 (NEDC) and 49.4 (WLTP) respectively, taking into account the 'combined, weighted' CO2 value for plug-in electric vehicles and the 'combined' CO2 value for other types of engines).

No CO2 emission rate data available from the DIV

If the CoC mentions a CO2 emission rate (NEDC and/or WLTP) but the certificate of registration does not do so and the DIV has no information about the CO2 emission rate, the following CO2 emission rates are taken into account:

  • 205g/km for petrol-, LPG- or natural gas-powered cars;
  • 195 g/km if the vehicle is powered by a diesel engine.

False hybrid vehicles

Special rules apply when calculating the taxable benefit in kind of false hybrid vehicles (see our Infoflash of 17 February 2020). These are rechargeable hybrid vehicles purchased, leased or rented as from 1 January 2018 and:

  • either are equipped with an electric battery having
     an energy capacity of less than 0.5 kWh per 100 kilograms of the car weight;
  • or, have an emission of more than 50 g CO2/kilometre.

If these vehicles have 2 CO2 emission rates, you are also free to choose the appropriate CO2 emission rate to assess whether the vehicle is considered a false hybrid vehicle.

And what about the CO2 contribution?

The NSSO contribution, the so-called CO2 contribution, is also based on the vehicle’s CO2 emission rate. The NSSO has already specified that the NEDC value mentioned in the table (code 49.1) of the CoC must be used until the end of 2020. Until that date, the WLTP value (code 49.4) should not be taken into account. The NSSO has not yet expressed an opinion on the situation from 1 January 2021.

Source: FPS Finance, cars question 41.

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