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NHTSA updates industry on global tire regulations

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On Oct. 10, the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a notice in the Federal Register outlining its activities under the 1998 Global Agreement.

According to the notice (Docket No. NHTSA-2003-14395, Notice 3), the GRRF (Working Party on Brakes and Running Gear) began work to develop a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) for light vehicle tires in Sept. 2006, which was scheduled following approval by WP.29/AC.3 at the June 2006 session.

For this GTR, WP.29/AC.3 provided a working framework by outlining each of its major elements prior to the beginning of technical development. This approach was taken by WP.29/AC.3 because of lessons learned from past GTRs, where much of the technical development was encumbered by policy considerations being undertaken by technical experts at the working group level.

By settling many of the policy decisions early, it is expected that the technical development will progress smoothly and in the least amount of time possible, according to NHTSA.

France is the GTR's technical sponsor. The United Kingdom will be chairing the informal working group meetings.

NHTSA, under Article 5 of the 1998 Agreement, also submitted a request for six Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) to be included in a compendium of candidate technical regulations. Of particular note is FMVSS 139 -- New Pneumatic Radial Tires for Light Vehicles.

To facilitate the review and consideration of these standards by other "contracting parties," NHTSA is arranging translations of these

documents.

For more information, contact Ezana Wondimneh, division chief,

International Policy and Harmonization (NVS-133), National Highway

Traffic Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington DC

20590. His phone number is (202) 366-0846; his FAX number is (202) 493-2290.

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