New regulation on the labelling of tyres gets approval in the EU Council

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The EU gets one step closer to updating the new Regulation on Labeling of Tyres as the Council has adopted its negotiating position today. Once approved, after negotiations with the European Parliament, tyre labels will be displayed more visibly for consumers and will include more information. The Regulation has a significant impact on manufacturers and distributors of tyres, but while it can massively improve energy performance at European level.

The transport sector accounts for a third of the Union’s energy consumption, and road transport was responsible for about 22 % of the Union’s total greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. Tyres, mainly because of their rolling resistance, account for 5 % to 10 % of the fuel consumption of vehicles. A reduction in the rolling resistance of tyres would therefore contribute significantly to the fuel efficiency of road transport and thus to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new rules will benefit customers, who can make an informed choice on the safety and fuel efficiency of their tyres.

Anton Anton, Minister for Energy of Romania and chair of the Council said today, in Brussels, that the updated label mandates the inclusion of information on snow and ice grip. In addition, „new requirements regarding the display of the label, including for distance selling and sales on the internet, will improve its visibility to customers and ensure that they are fully informed when making purchasing decisions.”

The regulation adopted by the Council will replace the one in force since 2009 and extend its scope to tyres for heavy-duty vehicles (C3), which consume more fuel and cover more kilometers per year than cars (C1) and vans (C2) tyres. Therefore “the potential to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles is significant”.

The regulation also improves enforcement by creating an obligation to register tyres in a product database.

The Council position also allows for the future inclusion of re-treaded tyres, once a suitable testing method to measure the performance of such tyres has been developed. A review clause provides the possibility for a future inclusion of mileage and abrasion as a parameter for the label when suitable testing methods are available. The Eu council supports the Commission to promote the development of such a method and assess the possibility to include such parameters in the scope of the present Regulation “which will take into full consideration all state-of-the-art internationally developed or proposed standards or regulations as well as the work carried out by the industry”.

Currently, the label includes three pictograms representing the fuel efficiency class, wet grip and external rolling noise of the tyres. In addition, the future label will also include information on snow grip performance and ice grip performance. For both these parameters, the measured value must not be less than the minimum index values set out by the European Commission’s experts.

All the information relevant for consumers and distributors should be made publicly available in the public part of the product database. “That information should be made available as open data”, writes the EU Council proposal, “so as to give mobile application developers and other comparison tools the opportunity to use it. Easy direct access to the public part of the product database should be facilitated by user-oriented tools, such as a dynamic quick response code (QR code), included on the printed label”.

Three of the major European tyre manufacturers also have plants in Romania: Pirelli (Slatina), Michelin (Floreşti, Prahova and Zalău, Sălaj), Continental (Timişoara).

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