BRUSSELS—The Global Technical Regulation for passenger car tires is in the final stage of adoption and is expected to be voted in the next week, according to a member of the European Commission. The move could free up tire trade significantly between the European Union and the U.S.
Antony Larange, the EC legislative officer, said the vote in the World Forum on Automotive Regulations is scheduled for the week of Nov. 10 in Geneva, Switzerland, and he said 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 U.S. is the second most important destination for EU tire exports, 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 1958 agreement regulation, while the U.S. system is based on regulations administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The UNECE system is based on type approval, while that of the U.S. is based on self-certification and strong market surveillance.
The GTR hopes to align these regulations, including ones based on the general safety of vehicles, tires. “Such requirements cover the tire resistance to load and speed, dimensions, noise, wet grip as well as side wall markings,” Larange said.
Other contributions to the Global Technical Regulation originate from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard requirements that were established in the U.S., and regulations from the Gulf States Organization, 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 U.S., Canada, Japan, China, India and Korea, hence reducing market entry technical barriers and ultimately facilitating trade between major automotive markets,” Larange said.
Larange said the limitations of the GTR “is for the moment limited to passenger car tires and not fully aligned with the EU requirements for some of the testing requirements.” For example, the EU requirements on rolling resistance are not included in the GTR, according to Larange.
“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.