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, 
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). 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). UNECE is multisector that is a tool used to tackle hardships that may arise providing solutions when possible.
- United Nations has a World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations related to three vehicle agreements.
- 1998 agreement, global agreement including 38 countries: (Global Technical Regulations). In the parties are Japan, Australia, Korea, Russia, European Union, United Kingdom, Canada, China, South Africa and the US.
- 1958 agreement, regional agreement including 58 parties: ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe). In the parties are Japan, Australia, Korea, Russia and the European Union and United Kingdom.
- United Nations has a World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations related to three vehicle agreements.
- Regional agreements and regulations
- United States: FMVSS (administered by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which also administers the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standard)
- Canada: CMVSS
- China: Guobiao standards
- South Korea: KMVSS
- Australia: ADR (Australian Design Rules) Australia applies some UNECE regulation such as regulation 16 and some FMVS 209 regulation.
- Japan: Test Requirements and Instructions for Automobile Standards. As a member of both the 1958 and the 1998 agreement Japan applies 64 regulations from those two set of regulations.
- India: AIS (Automotive Industry Standards), BSES (Bharat stage emission standards)
- United Kingdom: inherited EU laws and might comply with some UNECE regulations
- California state, United States: CARB (California Air Resources Board)
Table of regulations
Global regulations and their relation with national / regional law
|1||Door locks and door retention components||into national law||into national law||Transposition||into national law||Transposition||Transposition|
|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||Transposition||into national law||Transposition||Transposition|
|4||(...) natural gas (NG) or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (...) the emission of pollutants (WHDC)|
|5||on-board diagnostic systems (OBD) for road vehicles||Transposition||Transposition|
|7||Head restraints||into national law with amendments|
|8||Electronic stability control systems||into national law with amendments and exemptions||transposed into national law with amendments and exemptions||Transposition||Transposition|
|9||Pedestrian safety||into national law||into national law||into national law|
|10||Off-cycle emissions (OCE)||Transposition|
|11||(...) agricultural and forestry tractors (...) emissions of pollutants by the engine||Transposition||into national law with amendments|
|12||Location, identification and operation of motorcycle controls, tell-tales and indicators||Transposition|
|13||hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles|
|14||Pole Side Impact|
|15||Worldwide harmonized Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP)|
|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)|
Specific national / regional regulations
Europe and EU laws
|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|
|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|
|Vehicle interior noise||(proposal)||49 CFR 393.94||AIS-020|
|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|
|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|
|TPMS||UN R141||FMVSS 138|
|AECS (eCall)||UN R144|
|Blind Spot Information System||UN R151|
|AEB||UN R152, UN R131|
Japan applies and is a member of the following UNECE regulations
- 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
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,
- code 7: structures de protection montées à l'arrière des tracteurs agricoles et forestiers à voie étroite.
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 · .
- "World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) :". United Nations Digital Library System. 2019.
- "FAQ - Transport - UNECE". www.unece.org. Retrieved 2020-10-19.
- the column contains few non UN regulations
- 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.