Brussels –The Global Technical Regulation (GTR) for passenger car tires is in the final stage of adoption and is expected to be voted in next week, a member of the European Commission told ERJ today.The move could significantly free up the tire trade between the EU and US.
“[The GTR] is scheduled for vote in the World Forum on Automotive Regulations (United Nations) next week (13/11/2014) in Geneva,” said the EC legislative officer Antony Larange adding that the vote was expected to be “positive”.
“After the vote on this new Global Technical Regulation, each contracting party will have to implement the agreed rules into its own legislation,” he said.
The US is the second most important destination for EU tire exports and yet both sides have strong divergent approaches to regulations and market surveillance.
The system for controlling the quality of tires sold in the EU is based on the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) 1958 agreement regulation, while the US one is based on regulations promulgated by the DOT-NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
The UNECE system is based on type approval, while that of the US is based on self-certification and strong market surveillance.
The GTR aims to harmonise these regulations and “is based on regulation no (EC) 661/2009 on the general safety of vehicles, tires and other and Regulations 30 and 54 and 117 of the UNECE,” said Larange. “Such requirements cover the tire resistance to load and speed, dimensions, noise, wet grip as well as side wall markings.”
Other sources for this new Global Technical Regulation come from, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 109, 119 and 139 requirements established in the US Regulations from Gulf States Organization (GSO), India and China.
“The adoption of a new Global Technical Regulation on tires developed under the United Nations' International Agreement on vehicle construction will ensure that the same testing procedure is adopted not only by Europe, but also by other countries such as the US, Canada, Japan, China, India and Korea, hence reducing market entry technical barriers and ultimately facilitating trade between major automotive markets,” Larange remarked.
On the limitations of the GTR, Larange said: “It is for the moment limited to passenger car tires and not fully aligned with the EU requirements for some of the testing requirements, e.g. the EU requirements on rolling resistance are not included in the GTR.”
“Therefore, the EU tire industry is pushing for a second phase for the GTR in order to align it with the requirement applied in the EU,” he said adding that the proposal still needed to be discussed with international partners.