Tighter auto emissions standards, which were due to come into effect July 1, are likely to be put on hold after the National Development and Reform Commission said the deadline was impractical and standards should instead be phased in over several years. The new standards, essentially the same as the Euro III rules imposed in the EU seven years ago, require improvements to car engines and exhaust systems, as well as the use of cleaner gasoline. The NDRC said oil refiners couldn't produce cleaner fuels in sufficient amounts for the changes to be implemented nationwide. Rather, standards will be imposed in the big cities first, with Beijing having already brought in Euro III. In most of China, emissions standards are equivalent to the lower level Euro II rules, used in Europe between 1996 and 2000. Curiously, officials at oil companies Sinopec and PetroChina said they were already in a position to roll out Euro III-level fuels and are waiting for government permission to do so, the Wall Street Journal reported.