Akron, Ohio -- The world's tyre makers need to find ways to harmonise a growing collection of national technical tyre labelling standards that threaten to swamp the industry in paperwork and added costs, according to Pirelli Tyre SpA. CEO Francesco Gori.
Speaking at the annual US Tire Society meeting, Gori called these labelling requirements - some already in force, others being considered - â€œtechnical barriers to trade.â€
â€œMost [of these requirements] do not help the tyre industry,â€ he said. â€œThey may help one or the other individual company or national industry, but not the industry as a whole.â€
In particular Gori underlined national technical regulations coming into force in China, Indonesia and Nigeria as examples of these restrictions.
Taken to their extreme, these types of regulations would require tyre makers to mould specific technical specifications on tyre sidewalls for the respective countries.
At the same time, there are several new rules and regulations being promulgated in different parts of the world covering the environment, health, safety and mobility that eventually will impact the tyre industry as well, he said.
Among these are the Kyoto Protocol, the European Union (EU) Green Paper on Energy Efficiency and the EU's REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation of Chemicals).
Gori said under REACH European tyre makers have agreed to phase out the use of polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbon (PAH) rich extender oils in their tyres - considered a human health risk under certain circumstances - and now they want all tyres sold in Europe to meet these restrictions as well.
â€œBut how will imported tyres be measured and by whom?â€ he asked.
He said the REACH program covers more than 30 000 chemicals in its database, including about 4000 that are used in tyre manufacturing and each represents $60 000 (â‚¬47 322) to $1 million in costs to get them tested and catalogued.
According to Gori The top executives of 11 of the world's largest tyre companies have already started meeting to discuss harmonisation under the auspices of the World Business Council on Sustainable Development, a United Nations-sponsored body.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)