Labelling of tyres: Council endorses agreement to make labels more visible - EU monitor

EU monitor
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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Source: Council of the European Union (Council) i, published on Friday, November 22 2019.

EU Ambassadors today positively analysed a provisional agreement between the Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament on new rules on how tyres must be labelled with respect to parameters such as fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise. The aim of the regulation is to give consumers more information and enable them to choose tyres which are safer, more fuel efficient and quieter. The agreement was struck in the late evening of 13 November. The new rules still have to be formally adopted by the Council and the European Parliament.

Consumers will now be better informed when buying new tyres, so that they can choose those which are safest and most fuel efficient. This will help save lives and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the road sector.

Katri Kulmuni, Minister of Economic Affairs of Finland and chair of the Council

The new rules replace a previous regulation and introduce a number of important changes:

  • the label design is updated and includes icons for snow and ice grip, in accordance with international standards
  • labels will become more visible to consumers due to new rules on how to display them, including for distance-selling and in online advertisements
  • the lowest fuel efficiency classes, which are no longer in use, are deleted to make the scale clearer and easier to understand
  • tyres for trucks and buses (C3 tyres) will in future also have to carry the label
  • enforcement is improved thanks to an obligation to register tyres in a product database.

In addition, the regulation includes re-treaded tyres within its scope. The new rules will apply to them once a suitable testing method has been developed. It also includes provisions for adding parameters on mileage and abrasion once suitable testing methods are available. This is expected to have an impact on reducing the amount of microplastics getting into the environment due to tyre abrasion.

Background

The objective of the tyre labelling system is to increase road safety and public health and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution in the transport sector. The regulation aims to achieve this by better informing consumers about the fuel efficiency, safety and noise parameters of the tyres they buy. Road transport is responsible for about 22% of the EU's total greenhouse gas emissions, and tyres, mainly because of their rolling resistance, account for 20-30% of a vehicle's fuel consumption. A reduction of the rolling resistance of tyres therefore contributes to lowering emissions while also providing cost savings to consumers thanks to lower fuel consumption.

Repealing the current legislative framework had become necessary after its review showed that the tyre labelling scheme was not fully reaching its objective of improving safety and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector due to low visibility of the labels and a lack of proper tools to ensure enforcement.

Next steps

The new rules will be formally adopted by the Council and the Parliament at a later stage.


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