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The European tyre label is a real revolution in the sector and trade associations are doing a lot to explain the essence of the new regulation, but checks are essential if the boomerang effect is to be avoided. Because it is so important, labelling has rightly become part of the tyre Identity Card

Sonia Pari

TYRE LABELLING (European Directive 1222/2009) became compulsory on 1 November 2012 for all car, light transport and truck tyres manufactured after 1 July 2012. It is an epoch-making change in the tyre world that must go hand-in-hand with considerable professionalism by all the players in the market, with clear and incisive information and appropriate checks that will protect fair competition, knowledgeable choices by end-users, and road safety. Labelling covers three main parameters: rolling resistance (low rolling resistance also means lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption), wet grip and noise.
“Tyre labelling is an advantage for consumers because they will have objective elements on which to base their choice that are in addition to those generally evaluated when buying”, stated Assogomma director Fabio Bertolotti. “But this development should be accompanied by effective monitoring of the market by the relevant authorities. A lack of checks would  encourage fraud and the sale of products that to not conform, which would be to the total disadvantage of end-users and honest manufacturers and thwart the technological efforts that have been made to improve economic and environmental efficiency and road safety. By its very nature, the label is open to possible incorrect use or even counterfeiting. So as quickly as possible Italy must set up a system of checks to prevent infringements that will harm consumers and law-abiding manufacturers alike. In the case of counterfeiting, the penalties that must be applied are those specified in the unified Consumer Protection Laws of 2005”.

The new tyre Identity Card
There can be no doubt that labelling is the start of a new era in the tyre sector and precisely because of its importance Assogomma and Federpneus, the associations that promote ‘Pneumatici Sotto Controllo’ (keeping tabs on tyres), have decided to maximize its content and communication by using a tool that is very useful and popular with sector professionals and users: the tyre Identity Card.
“Anything that contributes to improving transparency for consumers is welcomed by Federpneus”. – emphasized Federpneus chairman Guido Schiavon – “From this viewpoint, labelling is certainly a step ahead, so much so that the new version of the tyre Identity Card produced with Assogomma includes a chart for inserting the labelling data of sold tyres.
But let’s not forget that the new law covers only some aspects of tyre performance. The professionalism of specialist retailers is, therefore, indispensable because they give advice on choosing the right tyre in terms of vehicle requirements, driving style, vehicle use and, very important at this particular time, value for money”.
As the name suggests, the Card is a document that identifies the main data of customers’ tyres and also provides helpful information about use and maintenance. The new 2012 edition includes the contents of the tyre label to the advantage of drivers.
Enhanced by the support of the Ministry for Transport, the Card is a document that every private car and motorbike driver can receive free from retailers when buying tyres of any brand.
It was created to enable all consumers to get the best use out of their tyres and it can be given together with the receipt or invoice illustrating the terms of the warranty for consumer goods.
The document (it is not compulsory) was created some years ago and is still one of the most popular tools with specialist retailers.
The Identity Card is available in the homepage of the official website It can be completed online, printed for the customer and saved for filing in a PC.
The section on tyre data gives the brand, size, load index, speed rating, commercial name and dot, and now also the labelling parameters: 5 new columns - 4 dedicated to labelling with rolling resistance, wet grip and noise, and one to winter tyres. Thanks to a handy dropdown menu, the parameters for each tyre can be selected (from ‘A’ to ‘G’ for rolling resistance and wet grip, from 1 to 3 ‘waves’ for noise), with the addition of the relevant noise decibels.
The Identity Card is an effective communication tool for creating  loyalty and identifying a real ‘tyre professional’.

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