European Tyre Industry welcomes EU agreement on Ecodesign regulation, but warns against legal uncertainty

05 December 2023

The European institutions reached a provisional agreement on the Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation (ESPR) today. The Regulation mandates the European Commission to develop secondary legislation on specific product groups.

The inclusion of tyres in the Regulation, if confirmed, "will reinforce industry's long-standing commitment to make its products more sustainable and contribute to the European Union's (EU) circular economy goals", said Adam McCarthy, Secretary General of the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA).

However, McCarthy noted, “whilst we wait for the provisional agreement's formal publication, the announced exclusion of vehicles raises concerns about which type of tyres will fall under its scope, risking creating regulatory uncertainty between different legislation".

Negotiations have started for the End-of-Life Vehicle Regulation (ELVR), which was proposed by the European Commission in July 2023 and will set circular economy provisions for vehicles. At present the ELVR only deals with M1 (passenger cars) and N1 (light trucks) vehicles, meaning that some original equipment tyres would be left out, "which could easily generate legal uncertainty and unpredictability at a time of already considerable challenges for the industry", said McCarthy.

Additionally, several tyre performances and characteristics, such as rolling resistance, wet grip and external rolling noise, are already regulated, and more are due to come, with tyre abrasion currently being negotiated within the Euro 7 regulation. Any further regulatory requirements need to take these performances into account, particularly those related to road safety.

The industry is looking for reassurances that all tyres, whether original equipment or replacement, will be regulated under ESPR. Adam McCarthy underlined that "the tyre industry is working on making its products more circular and more sustainable; we ask the EU Institutions to clarify and confirm that all tyre types will fall under the scope of ESPR umbrella to avoid double regulation".

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