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Vehicle regulation

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Vehicle regulations are requirements that automobiles must satisfy in order to be approved for sale or use in a particular country or region. They are usually mandated by legislation, and administered by a government body. The regulations concern aspects such as lighting, controls, crashworthiness, environment protection and theft protection, and might include safety belts or automated features.

Government regulation in the automotive industry directly affects the way cars look, how their components are designed, the safety features that are included, and the overall performance of any given vehicle. As a result, these regulations also have a significant effect on the automotive business by generally increasing production costs while also placing limitations on how cars are sold and marketed. Automotive regulations are designed to benefit the consumer and protect the environment, and automakers can face stiff fines and other penalties if they are not followed.

— investopedia, [1]


Some countries have had national regulations for a long time. The first steps toward harmonizing vehicle regulations internationally were made in 1952 when WP.29, a working party of experts on vehicles' technical requirements, was created. This resulted in the 1958 Agreement on uniform conditions of approval and mutual recognition of vehicle approvals, components, and parts. This was one of the first international agreements on vehicle regulation, which initially focused on European countries. The European Union played a role in harmonizing regulations between member states. Later, the 1958 agreement was opened to non-European countries such as Japan, Korea, and Australia.

To join the WP.29, one has to send a letter signed by an important official from their country or regional economic integration organization (REIO) informing the secretariat of WP.29 that they would like to participate in meetings regarding the harmonization of vehicle regulations (United Nations).[2] The next step to participate would be to get the registration form completed by delegates who are also attending the meeting. Other parties such as Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) must be of certified advisory status to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

There was a new international agreement in 1998 whose objectives were to improve global safety, decrease environmental pollution and consumption of energy and improve anti‐theft performance of vehicles and related components and equipment through establishing global technical regulations (GTRs) in a Global Registry based on UNECE Regulations or national regulations listed in a Compendium of candidates, GTR harmonizing them at the highest level. In 2000, WP.29 became the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations that is a working party of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

In 1947 the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) was established to reconstruct Europe after the war took place, expand profitable activity, and nourish relationships between European countries and the rest of the nation. With the help of UNECE, it is used as policy dialogue, economic dialogue, and assist countries in their intermingling into the global economy. UNECE attempts to maintain amicable relationships amongst other countries involving transport, trade, statistics, energy, forestry, housing, and land management (UN. ECE).[3] UNECE is multisector that is a tool used to tackle hardships that may arise providing solutions when possible.

Geographical regulations[edit]

Table of regulations[edit]

Global regulations and their relation with national / regional law[edit]

Status of the Agreement, of the Global Registry and of the Compendium of Candidates, Revision 31, UNECE, 16 november2021
Global regulation
Global regulation
Australia Canada PRC EU India Japan Russia US
1 Door locks and door retention components into national law into national law Transposition
UN Regulation No.11
into national law Transposition
UN Regulation No.11
1 Am 1 Door locks and door retention components Transposition
UN Regulation No.11
UN Regulation No.11
2 Measurement procedure for two-wheeled motorcycles (...) with regard to the emission of gaseous pollutants, CO 2 emissions and fuel consumption Regional law
3 Motorcycle brake systems Transposition
UN Regulation No.78
UN Regulation No.78
into national law Transposition
UN Regulation No.78
4 (...) natural gas (NG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...) the emission of pollutants (WHDC) Transposition
UN Regulation No.49
UN Regulation No.49
5 on-board diagnostic systems (OBD) for road vehicles Transposition
UN Regulation No.49
UN Regulation No.49
6 Safety glazing Transposition
UN Regulation No.43
UN Regulation No.43
7 Head restraints
8 Electronic stability control systems into national law with amendments and exemptions transposed into national law with amendments and exemptions Transposition
UN Regulation No.13-H
UN Regulation No.13-H
9 Pedestrian safety Regional law into national law into national law
9 Am 1 Pedestrian safety Transposition
UN Regulation No.127
National law
10 Off-cycle emissions (OCE) Transposition
UN Regulation No.49
11 (...) agricultural and forestry tractors (...) emissions of pollutants by the engine Transposition
UN Regulation No.96
into national law with amendments
12 Location, identification and operation of motorcycle controls, tell-tales and indicators Transposition
UN Regulation No.60
13 hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles
14 Pole Side Impact
15 Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP)
16 Tyres
17 Crankcase and evaporative emissions of L-category vehicles
18 On-Board Diagnostic (OBD) systems for L-category vehicles
19 EVAPorative emission test procedure for the Worldwide harmonized Light vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP EVAP)
20 Electric Vehicle Safety (EVS)
21 Determination of Electrified Vehicle Power (DEVP)

Specific national / regional regulations[edit]

Europe Europe[7] and EU laws[8]
United States USA[9] United Nations Global[10] India India[11] Japan Japan China China South Korea South Korea Australia Australia Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf Gulf
Doors UN R11 FMVSS 206 GTR 1 IS 14225 GSO 419/1994, GSO 420/1994
Steering wheel UN R12 FMVSS 203, FMVSS 204 AIS-096 GB 11557-2011
Seat belts UN R14 FMVSS 209 AIS-015 GSO 96/1988, GSO 97/1988
Child restraint system UN R44, R129 FMVSS 213 AIS-072 JIS D 040122000 GB 14166-2013 KMVSS 103-2 AS/NZS 1754:2013; AS/NZS 3629:2013 GSO 1709/2005, GSO 1710/2005
Head restraints UN R17 FMVSS 202a GTR 7 IS 15546 GSO 1598/2002
Seats UN R17, UN R80 AIS-016, AIS-023
Occupant head impact UN R21 FMVSS 201 IS 15223 Art. 20 GB 11552-2009 KMVSS 88 ADR 21
Rear impact UN R32, UN R34 FMVSS 202a, FMVSS 301 AIS-101 Art. 15‐J017‐01 GB 20072-2006 GSO 37/2012
Bumper impact UN R42 FMVSS 581 AIS-006 GB 17354-1998 GSO 41/2007
Side windows UN R43 FMVSS 205, FMVSS 226 GTR 6
Rollover FMVSS 208
Roof strength UN R66 FMVSS 216, FMVSS 216a AIS-031 GB 26134-2010 GSO 39/2005
Offset frontal impact UN R94 FMVSS 208 AIS-098 Art. 18 GB/T 20913-2007 KMVSS 102 ADR 73/00 GSO 36/2005
Side impact - moving barrier UN R95 FMVSS 214 GTR 14 AIS-099 Art. 18 Attachmt. 24 GB 20071-2006 KMVSS 102 ADR 72/00 GSO 1707/2005, GSO 1708/2005
Pedestrian protection UN R127, EC R78/2009, EC R631/2009 GTR 9 AIS-100 Art. 18 Attachmt. 99 GB/T 24550-2009 KMVSS 102-2
Side pole impact UN R135 FMVSS 214 GTR 14 Art. 18 GB/T 37337/2019 KMVSS 102-4 ADR 85/00
Side door intrusion / Side door strength FMVSS 214 IS 12009 ADR 29/00 GSO 38/2005
Full frontal impact UN R137 FMVSS 208 AIS-096 Art. 18 Attachmt. 23 GB 11551-2014 KMVSS 102-3 ADR 69/00 GSO 36/2005
Sleeper coaches AIS-119
Vehicle interior noise (proposal)[1] 49 CFR 393.94 IS-12832
Vehicle exterior noise (noise pollution) UN R9, UN R41, UN R51, UN R63 40 CFR 205.52 Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules
Electric vehicle warning sounds (AVAS) Regulation 540/2014, UN R138 FMVSS 141
Motorcycle helmets UN R22 FMVSS 218 IS 4151 JIS T 8133:2000 AS/NZS 1698
Automotive lights FMVSS 108
Front underrun protection UN R93 AIS-069
Rear underrun protection UN R58 FMVSS 223, FMVSS 224 IS 14812
Lateral protection devices UN R73 IS 14682
Truck cabs UN R29 AIS-029
ABS UN R8 (motorcycles)
Speed limitation UN R89
Airbag UN 114 & UN R94 FMVSS 208
Replacement wheels UN R124
ESC UN R140 FMVSS 126 ADR 88/00
AECS (eCall) UN R144
Blind Spot Information System UN R151
AEB UN R152, UN R131 ADR 98/01

Other shared regulations[edit]

UNECE regulations[edit]

Countries participating in the (1958 agreement) World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations

Japan applies and is a member of the following UNECE regulations[12]

  • 3, approval of retro-reflecting devices for power-driven vehicles and their trailers
  • 4, illumination of rear registration plates of power-driven vehicles and their trailers
  • 6, approval of direction indicators for power-driven vehicles and their trailers
  • 7, front and rear position lamps, stop-lamps and end-outline marker lamps for motor vehicles and their trailers
  • 10, electromagnetic compatibility
  • 11, door latches and door retention components
  • 12, protection of the driver against the steering mechanism in the event of impact
  • 13, braking
  • 14, safety-belt anchorages
  • 16, various safety belt related considerations
  • 17, seats, their anchorages and any head restraints
  • 19, front fog lamps
  • 21, interior fittings
  • 23, reversing and manoeuvring lamps for power-driven vehicles and their trailers
  • 25, head restraints (headrests), whether or not incorporated in vehicle seats
  • 26, external projections
  • 27, advance-warning triangles
  • 28, audible warning devices and of motor vehicles with regard to their audible warning signals
  • 30, pneumatic tyres for motor vehicles and their trailers
  • 34, prevention of fire risks
  • 37, filament light sources for use in approved lamps of power-driven vehicles and of their trailers
  • 38, rear fog lamps for power-driven vehicles and their trailers
  • 39, speedometer and odometer equipment including its installation
  • 41, motor cycles with regard to noise
  • 43, safety glazing materials and their installation on vehicles
  • 44, Child Restraint Systems
  • 45, headlamp cleaners, and of power-driven vehicles with regard to headlamp cleaners
  • 46, devices for indirect vision and of motor vehicles with regard to the installation of these devices
  • 48, installation of lighting and light-signalling devices
  • 50, front position lamps, rear position lamps, stop lamps, direction indicators and rear-registration-plate illuminating devices for vehicles of category L
  • 51, motor vehicles having at least four wheels with regard to their sound emissions
  • 54, pneumatic tyres for commercial vehicles and their trailers
  • 58, Rear underrun ...
  • 60, two-wheeled motor cycles and mopeds with regard to driver-operated controls including the identification of controls, tell-tales and indicators
  • 62, power-driven vehicles with handlebars with regard to their protection against unauthorized use
  • 64, vehicles with regard to their equipment which may include: a temporary use spare unit, run flat tyres and/or a run flat system and/or extended mobility tyres
  • 66, large passenger vehicles with regard to the strength of their superstructure
  • 70, rear marking plates for heavy and long vehicles
  • 75, pneumatic tyres for L-category vehicles
  • 77, parking lamps for power-driven vehicles
  • 78, vehicles of categories L1, L2, L3, L4 and L5 with regard to braking
  • 79, steering equipment
  • 80, seats of large passenger vehicles and of these vehicles with regard to the strength of the seats and their anchorages
  • 81, rear-view mirrors of two-wheeled power-driven vehicles
  • 85, internal combustion engines or electric drive trains intended for the propulsion of motor vehicles of categories M and N with regard to the measurement of the net power and the maximum 30 minutes power of electric drive trains

OECD regulations[edit]

European union follows OECD regulations for tractors, for instance:

  • code 6: structures de protection montées à l'avant des tracteurs agricoles et forestiers [à voie étroite,[13]
  • code 7: structures de protection montées à l'arrière des tracteurs agricoles et forestiers à voie étroite.[14]

Bilateral agreements[edit]

Some trade agreements such as the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement may contain reference to a matching mapping of local requirements, for instance such mappings exists in appendix 2-C of the EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement.[15][16]

Example of differences[edit]

Vehicles meeting EU standards offer reduced risk of serious injury in frontal/side crashes and have driver‐side mirrors that reduce risk in lane-change crashes better, while vehicles meeting US standards provide a lower risk of injury in rollovers and have headlamps that make pedestrians more conspicuous.

— Carol A. Flannagan, Andrée Bélint, ..., Comparing motor-vehicle crash risk of EU and US vehicles, 1 January 2015[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "How Does Government Regulation Affect the Automotive Sector?".
  2. ^ "World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29)". United Nations Digital Library System. 2019.
  3. ^ "FAQ - Transport - UNECE". www.unece.org. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
  4. ^ Bailey, R. Sadler (2018-10-31). "The "New NAFTA" and its Effects on Safety and the Environment". Bailey & Greer. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  5. ^ Infrastructure. "Vehicle Standard (Australian Design Rule 4/05 - Seatbelts) 2012". www.legislation.gov.au. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  6. ^ Rheinl, TÜV; Japan (24 November 2015). "Electric Cars: The Role of Standards in Japan and Abroad - Japan Industry News". Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  7. ^ "Regs 1-20 - Transport - UNECE". Archived from the original on 2018-11-24. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  8. ^ the column contains few non UN regulations
  9. ^ "Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and Regulations". one.nhtsa.gov. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  10. ^ "Global Technical Regulations (GTRs) | UNECE". unece.org. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  11. ^ "Automotive Research and Development, Automotive Service Provider, India, Vehicle Type Certification, Automotive Testing and Calibration, Vehicle Design Labs, Advanced Automotive Design Standards, Automotive Engineering Course".
  12. ^ "World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. 2020" (PDF). UNECE. Retrieved 27 February 2023.
  13. ^ OCDE codes. Tracteurs code OECD (in French)
  14. ^ OCDE codes. Tracteurs code OECD (in French)
  15. ^ "Access2Markets EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement". trade.ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  16. ^ Appendix 2-C Official Journal of the European Union
  17. ^ Flannagan, Carol A.; b\Ue1Lint, Andr\ue1s; Klinich, Kathleen D.; Sander, Ulrich; Manary, Miriam A.; Cuny, Sophie; McCarthy, Michael; Phan, Vuthy; Wallbank, Caroline; Green, Paul E.; Sui, Bo; Forsman, \uc5sa; Fagerlind, Helen (2018). "Comparing motor-vehicle crash risk of EU and US vehicles". Accident Analysis and Prevention. 117: 392–397. doi:10.1016/j.aap.2018.01.003. hdl:2027.42/112977. PMID 29482897. S2CID 3587667.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

External links[edit]

  • Synoptic about International Regulations
  • "The World Forum for the harmonization of vehicle regulations (WP.29)". United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and Executive Committee -Sustainable Transport Division.
  • ECE, UN. “World Forum For Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29).” World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29): How It Works, How to Join It, Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), 2019, digitallibrary.un.org/record/3824138?ln=en.
  • Nations, United. “GENERAL QUESTIONS RELATED TO WP.29 AND ITS SUBSIDIARY BODIES.” UNECE, ECOSOC, Feb. 2019, www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/faq.