New, and more visible, European tire labels on the horizon

The EU is set to update the rules on energy performance tire labelling and extends its scope to include heavy-duty tires. The labels will be more visible to consumers and will include information on grip on snow and ice. The European Council adopted its negotiating position on the proposed new rules on 4 March. "The new rules will benefit customers, who will be able to make informed choices about the safety and fuel efficiency of their tires. They will also help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thus help the EU meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement", said Anton Anton, Romania's Energy Minister and President of the European Council. The Council's position clarifies and broadens the scope of the current regulatory framework, besides updating the label and requiring the integration of information relating to grip on snow and ice. New label requirements, including online sales, will improve the visibility of the label and guarantee that customers be fully informed when making purchasing decisions. Furthermore, the Regulation provides also for a mandatory creation of a database in which tires must be registered. The scope of the Regulation will be extended for the first time to truck and bus tires (C3 class tires). So far, only passenger cars and van were included in the rules. The Council's position allows retreads to be included in the future, as soon as a suitable performance testing method becomes available. A review clause determines the possibility of including mileage and abrasion parameters on the label in the future, as soon as appropriate testing methods are available. The objective of the tire labelling scheme is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and noise pollution in the transport sector and to increase road safety by better informing consumers about the fuel efficiency, noise and safety parameters of the tires before purchasing them. Road transport is responsible for around 22% of the total EU greenhouse gas emissions and tires, mainly due to their rolling resistance, account for between 5 and 10% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption. Reducing the rolling resistance, therefore, contributes to reducing emissions allowing, at the same time, consumers to save on costs through lower fuel consumption. The rules needed a thorough review of the current regulatory framework as the previous labelling scheme did not fully reach its objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector due to scarcely visible labels and insufficient enforcement of the rules. Inter-institutional negotiations will be opened once the European Parliament makes its position clear on the dossier.

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