COLOGNE, Germany (Feb. 18, 2011)—The European Union is setting up a market surveillance program to assess compliance with legislation covering tires.
The initiative probably will investigate levels of polycyclic-aromatic-hydrocarbon oils in tires made, sold and imported into the EU.
High-PAH oils have been banned in tires in the region since January 2010, but early evidence suggests that some importers, notably from China, are not adhering to the law, the EU said.
Reports suggest that most in the market intend to comply, but high natural rubber prices have forced them to reduce other material costs, and this has led to a higher level of illegal imports than expected.
Philippe Jean, head of the Automotive Industry Unit within the Directorate for Enterprise and Industry told an audience of tire professionals that the study would be the second in the EU, and be set up later this year.
The first such project would cover the motorcycle market in Italy where up to 30 percent of motorcycles and scooters are believed to be illegal, he said.