Association, Inc.

Issue No. 4, 2010

Japan proposes a mutual recognition framework for whole vehicle type-approval

Japan has proposed to develop a common global system for the type-approval of whole vehicles, expanding upon the current framework for reciprocal recognition of type-approval for motor vehicle parts and equipment.

At present, every country has its own type-approval system. The current framework for type-approval of motor vehicle parts and equipment is governed by the UN/ECE 1958 Agreement, which is overseen by the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP 29).  Japan made a proposal at the March 2010 meeting of the WP 29 to create a framework for international whole vehicle type-approval (IWVTA).

The Japanese proposal was adopted unanimously, and an Informal Group was established to work on developing the framework and to review the 1958 Agreement.  In November 2011 this Informal Group will submit its roadmap for the WP 29’s deliberation on the framework.

Moving to a common international system would have numerous benefits for manufacturers, consumers and society in general.  It would ensure high levels of safety and environmental performance across the global market; reduce the financial cost and time required for complying with different regulations and approval procedures; and aid in the development of safer, greener and more affordable automobiles.

JAMA therefore supports this initiative wholeheartedly, and sees in the proposal an opportunity to strengthen its relations with other Asian countries, where the automotive industry is rapidly developing, and can be supported by strong, common vehicle regulations and type-approval systems.

JAMA will proactively support the Japanese Government’s efforts to ensure early establishment of the international framework for whole vehicle type-approval, as part of the Government’s new growth strategies.  Japanese automobile manufacturers are present in markets across the globe, where they are strong catalysts for growth, through the large numbers of people they employ and the investments they make in research, production and sales facilities.

Furthermore, the efficiencies allowed by a global framework would enable JAMA members to contribute even further to investment and growth in Europe and elsewhere, due to the reduced cost of complying with many regulations.  Strong global safety and environmental standards will also assist in the development of next-generation vehicles, where Japanese automobile manufacturers are very successful through their advanced technological expertise.

On 29 June this year at JAMA’s annual reception in Brussels, Ms Ruth Paserman, Cabinet member of DG Enterprise Commissioner Tajani, gave a strong message that the Commission strongly supports Japan’s proposal for establishing IWVTA.  Thus, JAMA believes that reciprocal cooperation between the EU and Japan in promoting IWVTA will bring bilateral advantages that will not only cover improvements in global market access, but also the integration of the economic relationship on both sides.