New European tyre label confirmed, extended to include retreads

Following the news that there will be a new EU tyre label in 2021, the Council of the European Union has announced that it will officially adopt its position relating to the new label on 25 February 2020. In short the new tyre label has been confirmed and will in time be extended to include retreads. At the same time, the rescaling of fuel efficiency and wet grip measures has been halted.

At the end of 2019 the European Commission made a detailed proposal relating to the label, suggesting a number of modifications to the existing concept. These included: re-scaling the rolling resistance and wet-grip values; redesigning the pictogram; adding mileage performance; adding ice grip performance; and widening the coverage of the label to include retreads.

However, while it affirmed the extension of tyre label scope to include retreads, the Council of the European Union decision includes a number of qualifications.

Firstly, Article 13, which relates to the rescaling of “fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise classes through delegated acts” was modified. In short, retreads will be subject to the information requirements “by two years after the date of entry into force of the new regulation” as long as “a suitable testing method is available.”

And secondly, the new European tyre label should feature “information requirements for tyre abrasion and mileage” as soon as “reliable, accurate and reproducible methods to test and measure tyre abrasion and mileage are available”. This will be subject to two conditions. One – that a thorough impact assessment has been carried out by the Commission; and two – that a proper consultation of the relevant stakeholders has been conducted (again, by the Commission).

In addition, plans to rescale the existing fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise classes have been halted. However, the label will still be cleared up and the December 2019 draft layout appears to have been adopted.

Regarding “ice grip tyre” classification plans, the Council of the European Union has added a new provision that allows distributors to clarify that “ice grip tyres are specifically designed for road surfaces covered with ice and compact snow” and that “using ice grip tyres in less severe climate conditions could result in sub-optimal performance” particular in terms of “wet grip, handling and wear”.

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