International Harmonization

International harmonisation of technical regulations and their prescriptions is an important element to achieve a better harmonisation in global trade. This is especially true with global products, such as tyres. Therefore, a global dialogue on options to harmonise the measurement methods, standards and performance requirements, as well as a mechanism for establishing effective cooperation in practice, must be actively promoted.

The UNECE 1958 Agreement plays a key role in attaining this objective since it allows manufacturers to operate to a common set of type-approval standards, in the knowledge that the product will be recognised by the contracting parties as being in conformity with their national legislation(s).

An example of a mutually beneficial regulatory cooperation is that of the one between Indonesia and the EU; the Commission has supported Indonesian accession to the UNECE 1958 Agreement through targeted training programmes. The positive experiences and the prospects of mutually beneficial situations should be communicated to the wider ASEAN area.

Concerning some important world economies (e.g. China, Russia), the bilateral regulatory dialogues have proven to be important forums to exchange information and address specific issues on a political level. ETRMA has actively co-operated with the Commission on these dialogues. There is also a regulatory dialogue being established with India which ETRMA deems especially important, as major obstacles remain in accessing Indian tyre market. Further dialogues would be beneficial too, for example, with ASEAN countries. Indonesia could be good initial partner due to co-operation in previous years, as would dialogue with Latin American countries.

However, regulatory dialogues are not sufficient; some of our global trading partners tend to resort increasingly in non-tariff barriers, be they technical or administrative in nature, to hamper our access to their markets. For this reason, ETRMA calls that the Commission systematically introduces binding chapters on NTBs in all trade agreements with third countries.