The Tyre Labelling Regulation has been in place since 2012 and provides consumers across Europe with essential information on fuel efficiency, safety, and noise by detailing the tyres’ rolling resistance, wet grip, and external rolling noise. This labelling system provides consumers with transparent and objective information about the quality of the tyres they buy. As a result, they can make better informed choices taking into consideration their type of driving, the climate and road conditions they are likely to encounter.
For passenger cars and light commercial vehicle tyres, the information is available at point of sale on a sticker on the tyre or on a label accompanying the tyre. For all tyres, including heavy commercial vehicle tyres, the label information must also be included on the supplier’s web pages, brochures, technical promotional documentation of the manufacturer, price lists, and on or with the tyre invoice given to the buyer.
Further to the European Commission’s proposal in May 2018, in November 2019, the European Institutions reached a provisional agreement on the review of the European Tyre Labelling Regulation and the final Regulation (EU 2020/740) was published on 5 June 2020.
The agreed text will further increase consumer awareness of the tyre label and promote healthy competition between manufacturers. Key elements of this review include strenghtening market surveillance and enforcement in Member States, supported by the introduction of a Product Information Database, which will strenghten the information chain between manufacturers and authroties. Due to this review, the very appearance of the label will change, introducing a QR code and logos indicating if the tyre is for use in snow/ice conditions.
More information on the agreed text towards the Review of the European Tyre Label can be found at this link.
The new Regulation will enter into force on 25 June 2020 and it will apply from 1 May 2021. Until then, the current tyre label remains in use.
For questions and answers on the Tyre Labelling Regulation (EU 2020/740), please click here.
Type approval is given to a product that meets a minimum set of regulatory, technical and safety requirements.
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).
To be allowed on the market, tyres need to comply with the following regulations:
- Passenger car type approval regulation: UN ECE Regulation 30;
- Truck tyre type approval regulation: UN ECE Regulation 54;
- Motorcycle tyre type approval regulation: UN ECE Regulation 75
- Agricultural Tyre type approval regulation: UN ECE Regulation 106
The commonly called General Safety Regulation (EC-661/2009), adopted in 2009, harmonised at Community level technical requirements with regard to numerous safety and environmental elements in order to avoid requirements differing from one Member State to another.
The technical requirements set in this Regulation are established at UNECE Level by Regulation 117 and its successive amendments.
The General Safety Regulation had also the merit of recognising for the first time the importance of tyres in contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions from transport, as well as to improve road safety.
This Regulation was reviewed in the course of 2018 and the new text ((EU) 2019/2144) was published on 27 November 2019, for implementation starting from 2022.
The new regulation text establishes requirements for the type-approval of vehicles, systems, components and separate technical units designed and constructed for vehicles, with regard to their general characteristics and safety, and to the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users.
The Review of this regulation has the merit of extending the obligation of fitting tyre pressure monitoring systems also on commercial vehicles, which was first introduced for passenger cars in the 2009 original Regulation.
Tyre specific measures from the agreed text are summarised at this link.
Winter tyres obligations across Europe
The obligation to fit vehicles with winter tyres differ greatly across Europe as it depends on regulations established at national, or sometimes even regional, level.
EU legislation requires that winter tyres for use in severe snow conditions exhibit a minimum level of performance on snow for both braking and traction. If a tyre passes the respective test, it can be marked with the three-peak mountain snowflake symbol.
The map gives an overview of winter tyre regulations across Europe and it is regularly updated (last update July 2019).
Retreaded tyres are tyres in which the worn-out tread is replaced with a new one.
These are Regulated in the EU through the Council Directive 89/459/EEC on the tread depth of tyres of certain categories of motor vehicles and their trailers; and through the Council of the European Union Decision enacting provisions of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulations 108 and 109, which set compulsory condition for the placing on the EU market of retreaded tyres.
Furthermore, in the future, the new tyre label (for which a provisional agreement was achieved in November 2019) will also cover the labelling of retreaded tyres.
In order to assess whether this is technically feasible, the European Tyre and Rim Technical Organization (ETRTO) has conducted and financed an extensive research program. Three experiments, using measurement methods based on Regulation 1222/2009 and standards for new tyres (EC 661/2009), have been organized in order to:
(1) Check the impact of the collected casing on the rolling resistance of the retreaded tyre,
(2) Check the impact of the manufacturing process on the rolling resistance, wet adherence and rolling sound emission of the retreaded tyre.
This document summarises the findings of these experiments, and includes all the data resulting from the measurements.
Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO)
The Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool (VECTO) alongside the Monitoring and Reporting Regulation and the HDVs CO2 Standards are the major building blocks of the complex legislative framework on Heavy Duty Vehicles (HDVs).
The European tyre industry has played an essential role in shaping the VECTO simulation tool to guarantee its accuracy.
As of 1 January 2019, all new HDVs placed on the market will need to be accompanied by CO2 certificates including for original equipment tyres. ETRMA member companies have already started preparing to undergo these additional strict certification procedures in order to meet the tight deadlines. The certified rolling resistance coefficient will also need to be reported and included in a Central Register for Data on Heavy Duty Vehicles (as established in the Monitoring and Reporting Regulation), which will enable the creation of full market transparency on HDVs’ performances with regard to CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
As shown above, tyres are the most regulated part of the vehicle and market surveillance is a key element to ensure the competitiveness of the European industry. It is essential to establish a level playing field, making sure that all the manufacturers play by the rules and compete on fair grounds.
With regard to the Tyre Labelling Regulation, ETRMA supported the market surveillance project TYRES 2015 (MSTyr15) launched in April 2016. The final report of this project was published in July 2019 and its work focussed on passenger car tyres, with the participation of fifteen market surveillance authorities from the EU and Turkey under the coordination of PROSAFE.
A total of 12.241 labels on C1 passenger car tyres were checked. Of the 2.888 tyres examined in web shops and 21.7% were non-compliant and 6.1% of those checked in tyre depts proved to be non-compliant.
The main non-conformities consisted of either the label not showing at all or having the wrong format. Of the 131 passenger car tyres were sampled and sent to be tested for Wet Grip (WG) and Rolling Resistance (RR), 3.8% were found to be non-compliant concerning WG, while 6.9% did not meet the requirements for RR. No tyres failed both WG and RR. Furthermore, 38% of the technical documentation checked were either incomplete or failed to be delivered on time.
This experience is limited to tyre labelling, but ETRMA has long been an advocate for better market surveillance activities, starting in 2010 when ETRMA launched two PAH-rich oil test campaigns, which have shown that about ten percent of imported tyres do not abide by EU rules.
In this context, ETRMA welcomed the adoption of new rules on Market Surveillance of Regulation 2018/858, which will apply across Europe from 2021 and which will concern tyre labelling as well as type approval.