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ETRMA backs revised EU tire labeling text

The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) has welcomed a text agreed to by European regulators for a revision of EU tire-labeling regulations.

The new text, the ETRMA said, addresses what it sees as the shortcomings of the existing regulation: the lack of market uptake of highly graded tires and low market surveillance by EU members.

"Six years after the tire label's implementation, ETRMA supports the commitment and efforts by the European Institutions to pursue a new Tyre Labeling Regulation," the trade group said.The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agreed on the text of the updated European Tyre Labeling regulation — which is seen as an instrument to inform consumers and professional users on the fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise performance of the individual tire — on Nov. 13.The regulation, proposed by the Commission in May 2018, aims to make labels "more visible, more future proof and more accurate."

The new text aims to improve surveillance through "sanctions and penalties," while increasing the visibility of the label and introducing stronger obligations of member states, the ETRMA said.

In addition, a new feature of "product information database" is expected to strengthen the information chain between tire manufacturers and authorities. The new labels also include QR codes as well as the logos indicating if the tire is for use in snow/ice conditions.

"The review is a positive step toward an ambitious, forward-looking Tyre Labelling Regulation," ETRMA Secretary General Fazilet Cinaralp said.

The tire label, she went on to say, creates healthy competition among manufacturers "to produce the highest performing tire and informing consumers."

She also voiced the ETRMA's support of a European Commission's decision to develop "a suitable and reliable test method" to measure tire tread abrasion before assessing the feasibility of adding this information to the tire label.

This process, Ms. Cinaralp noted, "still (is) in its infancy" and needs to be completed before any measure can be introduced in this, or any other, regulation.

"The European tire industry is fully engaged in the environmental challenges of tires including the need for development of a reliable test method to measure abrasion performances, a work already initiated by the industry," she emphasized.Our ambitions are high, and we remain devoted to provide technical solutions that respond to societal needs, Ms. Cinaralp said.

Following the political agreement, the text of the regulation will have to be formally approved by the European Parliament and the Council.

Once endorsed by both co-legislators "in the coming months," the updated regulation will be published in the Official Journal of the Union and will enter into force 20 days after publication.

The new regulation will start to apply on May 1, 2021.

A recent assessment by the European Commission, however, has indicated a slow market uptake of high-grade tires, due in part to limited awareness surrounding the label.

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