Updates on Technical Harmonization Matters in ASEAN

The ASEAN Automotive Federation Technical Committee 3 (AAF/TC3), the most important industry regional forum on automotive technical regulations in Southeast Asia, held their 12th AAF/TC3 Meeting on the 24th March 2010. A day prior to the AAF/TC3 Meeting, bilateral consultative meetings on WG1 (Environment and Fuel), WG2 (Certification) and WG3 (UNECE Regulations Adoption and Safety) were also held with JAMA’s fuel, certification and regulations experts. The main objectives of these meetings are essentially to harmonise technical regulations with international regulations, and to achieve Mutual Recognition of Approval (MRA) and practices so as to reduce Non-Tariff Trade Barriers, and at the same time to address environmental and safety concerns of vehicles.

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Working Towards better Air-quality Environment and Fuel Properties

In response to the urgent call for environmental protection, the AAF/TC3 agreed to recommend the adoption of Euro 4 Emission Regulation and to work closely with their respective governments to achieve this target between 2012 and 2016.

For the effective implementation of Euro 4 Emission Regulation and to ensure safety and vehicle performance, the availability of corresponding fuels of adequate properties is also essential. In promotion of global harmonisation of fuel properties that corresponds well to Euro 4 Emission Regulation and at the same time address the issue of the increasing variety of bio-fuels in the market, JAMA has proposed updated AAF Fuel Specifications on Euro 4 Fuels (gasoline with up to 10% bio-ethanol (E10) and diesel fuel with up to 5% FAME (B5)) and also bio-fuels feedstocks (E100 and B100), based on the latest released World Wide Fuel Charter (WWFC)1’s bio-fuel guideline during the bilateral meeting.

Upon consideration and deliberation by the AAF/TC3 members, the AAF/TC3 agreed on JAMA’s proposed updates to the AAF Fuel Specifications, which includes some slight variations to the WWFC on a few minor perimeters to better reflect the needs in ASEAN climate.

The AAF/TC3 members will be recommending the updated specifications to their respective authorities and the ACCSQ-APWG2 for consideration.

Harmonization of Certification System

In the aspect of harmonisation of certification, generally each ASEAN country is progressing gradually towards the accession to United Nation WP29 (World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations)’s 1958 Agreement, which is the only international agreement providing legal basis for Mutual Recognition of Approvals (MRA) for auto parts and system. To move a step further, the AAF/TC3 and JAMA have been working on an industry roadmap and plan to achieve a MRA that extends from auto parts and system, to the whole vehicle in its recent bilateral meetings as well.
At the moment, a common application format for the facilitation of MRA for Vehicle Type Approval (VTA), based on Annex III of the ECE2007/46/EC has been drafted and is still under review by the AAF/TC3. The using of a common definition of new vehicle based on ECE2007/46/EC is also under pending by the AAF/TC3. Currently, most of the AAF/TC3 members have already expressed their agreement to the proposed draft and definition of new vehicle. A finalised decision on the two agendas is expected to be out by next AAF/TC3 Meeting.

During the bilateral meeting, JAMA also shared the good news on the United Nation WP29’s plan to develop an International Whole Vehicle Type Approval (IWVTA) system. According to a JAMA expert, an informal group under WP29 has already been setup, and even non-Contracting Parties could participate in this informal group to contribute the drafting of a MRA system, which its reciprocal recognition of approvals of auto parts and system will be extended to the whole vehicle. Upon hearing the good news, members of AAF/TC3 agreed to recommend their respective government to participate the making of this international framework.

Adoption of UNECE Regulations and Safety

A harmonised certification system cannot be completed without a set of harmonised vehicle safety and environmental regulations. To assist the AAF/TC3, JAMA has presented an updated study on the UNECE regulations suitable for adoption in ASEAN. Based on the study, the AAF/TC3 has developed a recommendation of UNECE Regulations Adoption List, which is divided into four steps with different recommended adoption timeline up to 2018. The Adoption List has been presented to ACCSQ-APWG for consideration, and it is reported that the adoption of 14 UNECE regulations from Step 1 and 2 is already in line with the roadmap of ACCSQ-APWG.

Overall Progress of Technical Harmonization

The AAF/TC3 have progressed very well in the formulation and execution of industry action plan to harmonize technical regulations and fuel properties, to certification and adoption of vehicle regulations these years. The continued efforts of the AAF/TC3 is expected to contribute to the market integration of automotive sector, which is one of the important sectors to be integrated under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and to be completed by 2015.

1 The WWFC spells out quality specifications for fuels recommended by the world auto industry. Its members are constituted of carmakers associations from America, Europe, and Asia, which include JAMA, Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI), China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), and Indonesia Automotive Federation (IAF), Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA), Thai Automotive Industry Association (TAIA), Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association (VAMA) and others.

2 ASEAN Consultative Committee for Standards and Quality-Automotive Product Working Group

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