An Update on Technical Harmonization Activities in the Region


Pushing on with efforts to promote technical harmonization even during difficult times, JAMA’s fuel, certification and regulation experts and other stakeholders of the Asian auto industry met over three regional meetings?the 11th AAF/TC3-JAMA meeting, the 14th RACE (Asian Regulation and Certification Experts) Meeting and the 14th JASIC Asia Government/Industry Meeting from 23 to 27 November 2009 in Hanoi. These back-to-back meetings, each focusing on different regional strategies and specific themes, acted as a fast track and effective communication channel to discuss technical harmonization issues with various stakeholders from the industry and government.

Harmonization of Fuel Properties and Emissions

 
 
 
 
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During the AAF/TC3-JAMA meeting, many AAF members reported on having difficulties meeting the targeted schedule to avail fuel of Euro 4 emission standards by 2012. As an optimum measure, the auto industry concluded that the implementation of the Euro 4 emission regulation should be given more preparation time to avoid technical incompatibilities, which could result in potential damage to vehicles.

On the bio-fuel specification front, JAMA experts proposed the use of ‘Recommended Bio-Fuel Specifications for B100 (used for FAME-blended diesel with blending ratio of a maximum of 5%) and E100 (used for ethanol-blended gasoline with blending ratio of a maximum of 10%)’ with some revisions to a few parameters of the Worldwide Fuel Charter Biofuels Guidelines, taking into account the tropical climate in the region. AAF/TC3 members are reviewing the recommended specifications currently, the outcome of which will be announced at the next meeting.

Certification

Japan, as one of the Contracting Parties to the United Nation’s WP29 (World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations) 1958 Agreement, is currently working on a proposal to be submitted to the UN to extend the Agreement from parts/system to whole vehicle?-International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA). The IWVTA will lead to the global application of the ‘tested once, accepted everywhere’ principle.

During the AAF/TC3-JAMA Meeting and RACE meetings, JAMA experts proposed to establish the definition of ‘New Vehicle Type’ for whole vehicle based on Annex IIB of EU Directive 2007/46/EC (European Whole Vehicle Type Approval System) in order to unify its definition in Asia. This proposal has been endorsed by both meetings and was presented in the JASIC Asia G/I Meeting.

From the government side, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism reported to the JASIC Asia G/I Meeting on the progress on the establishment of an informal working group under the WP29 to identify the main factors to develop a roadmap to materialize the IWVTA proposal.

Safety Regulations

In circumstances where the authorities may implement unique national regulations on certain safety items such as safety belts and tyres, the industry agreed to strongly recommend their authorities to accept the latest UNECE certificates as parallel to these national regulations, so as to promote the utilization of MRA under the Agreement.

Malaysia and Thailand--the two ASEAN members that have already acceded to the 1958 Agreement--shared their valuable experiences on the accession and adoption plans with other countries yet to be Contracting Parties of UNECE. Malaysia has announced its adoption of 13 UNECE Regulations (M1 Category), which are planned for enforcement from 1 January 2012 for new models. For Thailand, its Department of Land Transport (DLT) will announce 28 UNECE Regulations in batches for type approval beginning 2009 till 2018. All regulations upon the date of announcement by DLT will be given a two years’ lead time prior to the enforcement for new models, and another two years’ lead time prior to enforcement for existing models.

As for other vehicles manufacturing countries in ASEAN region that have yet to accede the 1958 Agreement, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam are targeting for the accession in 2010

The Next Step

The ASEAN industry’s positions on technical harmonization matters have been presented to the respective authorities in this JASIC Asia G/I Meeting, which will be submitted to the coming ACCSQ-APWG (ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standard and Quality-Automotive Product Working Group)? working group and important decision making body made up of respective government authorities from ASEAN countries? for official consideration and implementation. As the JASIC meeting has contributed towards better understanding between industry and authorities in ASEAN, subsequent deliberation between the industry and APWG is expected to be fruitful. The coming APWG Meeting will be held in January 2010 in Chiang Mai.
 
 
 


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