In a bid to help European carmakers to better access international markets, the European Commission is steering a reform of the UNECE 1958 Agreement on international vehicle regulations. This initiative brings together the 27 EU Member States represented by the Commission, Japan, Russian Federation, South Korea, South Africa, Australia.
These countries have agreed on harmonised safety and environmental regulations for vehicles enabling carmakers to enjoy the benefits of lower compliance costs and economies of scale. The reform proposals steered by the Commission aim at establishing a worldwide type approval for cars, based on the principle a car "tested once, accepted everywhere in the world". This means that in the future any car produced in conformity with these regulations can be marketed in every contracting party to the Agreement. The Commission has also presented to the World Forum for the Harmonisation of Vehicle Regulations in Geneva (UNECE/WP.29) proposals to let emerging countries more easily join the Agreement. With more countries joining, its geographical coverage will expand to the benefit of EU car producers.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "With this step the Commission is delivering first results of the CARS 2020 action plan presented in November 2012. With the reform of the UNECE 1958 Agreement we aim to make access to third markets more easy for our carmakers. This reform will also provide a powerful tool for eliminating non-tariff barriers in our negotiations on Free Trade Agreements with our major trading partners."
For more information please see the press release.