ETRMA calls for clarity over upcoming EU regulations
6 Dec 2023
Industry association urges policymakers to synchronise rules, avoid mish-mash of requirements on tire makers
Brussels – The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) has urged EU policymakers to avoid ‘double-regulation’ of tires in upcoming legislation on product sustainability.
Tires have been listed as a 'priority product' in the ‘ecodesign for sustainable products regulation’ (ESPR), which mandates the European Commission to develop secondary legislation for specific product groups.
Welcoming the listing, ETRMA secretary general Adam McCarthy said it would reinforce the tire industry's “long-standing commitment” to making its products more sustainable.
However, the industry association is seeking assurances that “all tires, whether OE or replacement,” will be regulated under ESPR umbrella to avoid 'double regulations'.
Leaving some OE tires out of the regulation could generate "legal uncertainty and unpredictability at a time of already considerable challenges for the industry," said the ETRMA leader.
McCarthy went on to stress the need to “synchronise the legislations,” noting, for instance, issues around which tires are to be covered by upcoming EU ‘end-of-life vehicle regulation’ (ELVR).
Designed to introduce circular-economy provisions for vehicles, current ELVR proposals only deal with passenger cars and light trucks, so that some OE tires will not be covered by the regulation.
Furthermore, critical tire properties, such as rolling resistance, wet grip and noise, are already regulated, with tire-abrasion requirements currently being negotiated within the Euro 7 regulation.
“Any further regulatory requirements need to take these performance parameters into account, particularly those related to road safety,” ETRMA emphasised.
Consistent and harmonised
The association went on to urge legislators to consider "consistent and harmonised definitions of remanufacturing/refurbishment across different legislations."
Regulation, it added, should aim to ensure that parts removed from a vehicle, which are suitable for reuse, remanufacturing or refurbishment, are not considered waste.
According to the association, the ELVR legislation should be designed to ensure a continued "high level of end-of-life tire management."
Furthermore, it stated, replacement tires should be subject to the same tire digital product passport (DPP) obligations as the OE ones in the ELVR regulation.
The policy should also be aligned with international regulations covering the reusability, recyclability, and recoverability of vehicles, recommended ETRMA.
Last but not least, it said, ELVR should set "an interface" with REACH and other chemical legislations to avoid inconsistency and unnecessary administrative burdens.