1. JASIC
Q1. When and for what purpose was JASIC established? What are its activities?
Q2. What types of materials are published by JASIC and how are they made available?
Q3. What regulations of which countries are provided by JASIC?

2. International Harmonization of Regulations
Q1. Why has each country or region developed its own unique automobile regulations over the years?
Q2. What are the merits of regulation harmonization? Why is it more widely recognized in recent years?
Q3. What are issues to be addressed in achieving harmonization of regulations?

3. WP29
Q1. What is WP29?
Q2. How is WP29 organized?

4. 1958 Agreement

 
<The basics of the 1958 Agreement>
Q1. What is the 1958 Agreement?
Q2. What kind of rights and obligations are assigned to the Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement"
Q3. How many Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement are there?
Q4. Does the Contracting Party accede to the 1958 Agreement need to have testing facilities?
Q5. What’s the necessary procedure to accede to the 1958 Agreement?
Who (what agency), when, and what should be submitted to the United Nations to accede to the 1958 Agreement?

Q6. Why does EU itself can accede to this Agreement?
Can ASEAN itself accede to the 1958 Agreement, and ensure 10 votes as well?

Q7. Regarding the establishment procedures of new Regulation, is the voting right entitled for all Contracting Parties?
Q8. Is Asian testing body admitted as authorized Technical Service for the UN Regulation? How do you verify the qualification of Technical Service?

 
<Application of the UN Regulations>
Q9. Does a Contracting Party to the 1958 Agreement have to apply all of the UN Regulations?
Q10. After the country becomes a Contracting Party to the 1958 Agreement, is there any penalty if the Contracting Party does not apply the UN Regulation(s)?
Q11. What kind of UN Regulations should we apply?
Q12. Please advise how to introduce the UN Regulation to the domestic law. Show the Japanese case as an example.
Q13. Isn't it enough profitable to introduce the UN Regulation(s) into the domestic law without acceding to the 1958 Agreement?

 
<The merits of the 1958 Agreement Accession>
Q14. What are the merits of acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
Q15. Does a country where the automobile industry hasn't matured yet get the benefit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement as well?
Q16. As one of merits of applying UN Regulations, it helps to protect local market from importing vehicles/components of poor quality which do not conform to the UN Regulations?
Q17. What's the demerit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
Q18. How much is the necessary cost on acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
Q19. How much is the necessary cost after the country becomes a Contracting party to the 1958 Agreement?

 
<Others>
Q20. What's going to be changed on amendment of the 1958 Agreement?

5. 1998 Agreement
Q1. What is 1998 Agreement?
Q2. What rights and obligations are assigned to Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement?
Q3. Which countries are Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement?
Q4. What is the future of a relationship between global technical regulations (UN GTR) and UN Regulations?





1. JASIC

1. When and for what purpose was JASIC established? What are its activities?
1. Japan Automobile Standards Internationalization Center (JASIC) was established in 1987 by joint efforts of government and industry for the purpose of supporting activities to promote internationalization of governmental standards and certification system for motor vehicles. For details of its activities, click here.

2. What types of materials are published by JASIC and how are they made available?
2. The following materials are published by JASIC:

(1) Automotive Regulations Information System (fee-based)
Subscribers of this service can access to vehicle regulations of Europe, the United States and Australia, including UN Regulations, whose significance is increasingly acknowledged in terms of global harmonization of standards. The regulations are available both in English and Japanese. Click here for details.

(2) Automobile Type Approval Handbook for Japanese Certification (fee-based)
All automobile regulations in Japan have been put on one CD-ROM, enabling an easy access to a variety of information. Click here for details.

(3) Japan's Country Report (fee-based)
This report provides comprehensive information on Japanese vehicle regulation system, safety and environmental standards, inspection and maintenance systems and so on through easy-to-understand examples. Click here for details.

(4) Pamphlets on Harmonization of Regulations (free)
These pamphlets present a simple explanation of the UN agreement concerning the mutual recognition of approvals (1958 Agreement) and the UN agreement concerning global technical regulations for vehicles, etc. (1998 Agreement). Click here for details.

3. What regulations of which countries are provided by JASIC?
3. Japanese vehicle regulations (translated into English), UN Regulations, EU Directives, the United States standards (on safety and emissions), and Australian Design Rules are available. Click here for details.


2. International Harmonization of Regulations

1. Why has each country or region developed its own unique automobile regulations over the years?
1. International standards have long been established for airplanes and ships, which often travel across and between continents and whose operations would be greatly hindered if each country had its own unique safety and environmental standards. On the other hand, there has been little need to consider across-the-ocean or across-the-border operations of automobiles since they are only used on land and usually in a relatively limited local area. For this reason, each country or region has developed its own vehicle standards according to its local traffic infrastructure and its own accident/environment realities.

2. What are the merits of regulation harmonization? Why is it more widely recognized in recent years?
2. The merits of international regulation harmonization include the reduction of development and production costs on the part of manufacturers and the expansion of choices on the part of consumers. The former can be achieved when design specifications of vehicles are unified by regulation harmonization and thus more common parts and components may be used for vehicles to be sold in different parts of the world. The latter becomes possible when certification procedures of each country are simplified by regulation harmonization and hence more vehicles are introduced into markets of different countries/regions. In addition, as vehicle manufacturers' operations are being expanded globally, the role of regulation harmonization in ensuring smooth trading of vehicles between nations is increasingly recognized.

3. What are issues to be addressed in achieving harmonization of regulations?
3. We are facing common global problems such as environment and safety. Nevertheless, climate, culture, and technology vary significantly from country to country. If all standards of all countries were simply put together into a single global regulation, then some countries might end up having to waste social resources without gaining any benefit. Therefore, it is necessary to create reasonable and effective standards while taking each country's situations into consideration; for example, performance requirements should be more focused on than structural requirements, and standards should be based on reasonable study results.


3. WP29

1. What is WP29?
1. Its official name is World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations. It is the only body within the United Nations to discuss the global harmonization of regulations. UN Regulations and global technical regulations (UN GTR) are formulated at WP29.

2. How is WP29 organized?
2. Click here for its organizational chart.


4. 1958 Agreement

 
<The basics of the 1958 Agreement>

1. What is the 1958 Agreement?
1. Its official title is "Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts Which Can Be Fitted and/or Be Used on Wheeled Vehicles and the Conditions for Reciprocal Recognition of Approvals Granted on the Basis of These Prescriptions".
This is a multilateral agreement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe done on March 1958.
Its purposes are to establish the uniform provisions on safety and environment performance for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts and to facilitate reciprocal recognition of approvals for such wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts.
Under the 1958 Agreement, regulations concerning for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts ("UN Regulations") are annexed.
These regulations are formulated and/or revised at UN/ECE/WP29 in consideration of the latest social needs and technological development.
In 1995, the Agreement was amended with the view of participation from non-European Countries, regional economic integration organization, users of self-certificate system along with introduction of majority voting, etc.
Following the amendment, non-European countries such as Japan, South Africa and Australia have also acceded to the Agreement.

2. What kind of rights and obligations are assigned to the Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement"
2.
<Rights>
Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement have the voting right in establishing the UN Regulations and amending the UN Regulations they apply.
Contracting Parties can apply UN Regulations arbitrarily for each equipment.
An Approval Authority with technical competence has the right to issue an approval for the applied UN Regulation(s) on condition that it verifies conformance with the Regulation(s).

<Obligations>
Contracting Party which applies a UN regulation has the obligation to accept the products approved by the other Contracting Parties applying the said UN regulation.
Those products shall be held to be in conformity with the legislation of all the Contracting Parties applying the said regulation.
Approval authority has the obligation to ensure that the products they approved satisfy with the arrangements for conformity of production (COP).
At the moment of accession, the new Contracting Party shall indicate which Regulations it does not intend to apply. If the new Contracting Party doesn't indicate any, it has the obligation to apply all Regulations.

In case of occurrence of incompliance to the regulation, or type approval requirements on approved products in market, the Contracting Party which approved the said products has the obligation to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to restore conformity of production as rapidly as possible.
The approval authority of a Contracting Party applying a Regulation through type approval shall inform on a monthly basis the approval authorities of the other Contracting Parties a list of the wheeled vehicle, equipment or parts, approvals of which it has refused to grant or has withdrawn during that month and, upon request, provide a copy of all relevant information on which it based its decision to grant, refuse to grant, or to withdraw an approval.

Reference for more detail: Para 5 of Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Para 1 of Article 6, Para 2 of Article 6, Appendix1 and Appendix2.1of the 1958 Agreement.

3. How many Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement are there?
3. As of March 2015, 52 countries and region have acceded to the Agreement.

Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, Belgium , Hungary, Czech Republic, Spain ,Serbia, United Kingdom , Austria, Luxembourg , Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Portugal Russian Federation, Greece, Ireland*, Croatia, Slovenia, Slovakia, Belarus, Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Latvia Bulgaria, Lithuania, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Macedonia, European Union, Japan, Australia, Ukraine, South Africa, New Zealand, Cyprus*, Malta*, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Montenegro, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Albania, Egypt, Georgia**

*: Ireland, Cyprus and Malta are not Contracting Parties to the Agreement, but by virtue of accession to the Agreement by the European Union
**: The effective date is 25th May, 2015 in Georgia.

Reference for more detail: Article 6 of the 1958 Agreement.

4. Does the Contracting Party accede to the 1958 Agreement need to have testing facilities?
4. When a Contracting Party grants the type approval, it needs technical competence, but does not always need to possess own testing facilities.
For instance, an approval authority can designate any third party technical service if it has technical competence, and the test can be conducted with its test facilities. Or, the Technical Service can conduct the test with the test facility of the manufacturer which is the applicant of the approval. Or, the Contracting Party can decide not to grant the approval, and only to accept the approval issued by the other Contracting Parties.

Reference for more detail: ECE/TRANS/WP.29/1059
(RESOLVING INTERPRETATION ISSUES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TECHNICAL SERVICES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE 1958 AGREEMENT)

5. What’s the necessary procedure to accede to the 1958 Agreement?
Who (what agency), when, and what should be submitted to the United Nations to accede to the 1958 Agreement?
5. Since the 1958 Agreement is a kind of multilateral treaty, a country can accede to the Agreement after the Minister for Foreign Affairs (or President, Prime Minister, Ambassador, etc.) who has the right to sign the treaty deposits an instrument with the UN Secretary-General.
(The decision making process and the domestic procedure to accede to the 1958 Agreement must be in accordance with the respective domestic law.)

Reference for more detail: Para 3 of Article 6 of the 1958 Agreement

6. Why does EU itself can accede to this Agreement?
Can ASEAN itself accede to the 1958 Agreement, and ensure 10 votes as well?
6. EU became the Contracting Party to the 1958 Agreement as Regional Economic Integration Organization (REIO). ASEAN can also be a Contracting Party as REIO only if all ASEAN member states transfer their right of the 1958 Agreement to ASEAN.
If ASEAN becomes the Contracting Party, 10 votes will be entitled to ASEAN for quorum, and for establishing the UN Regulations and amending the UN Regulations they apply.

Reference for more detail: Paragraph 1 and 2 of Article 6, Article 5 and 6 of Appendix 1of the 1958 Agreement"

7. Regarding the establishment procedures of new Regulation, is the voting right entitled for all Contracting Parties?
7. As for new Regulation, the voting right is entitled to all Contracting Parties acceded to the 1958 Agreement. In case a Contracting Party does not want to apply the new Regulation, it is necessary to send the notification of Contracting Party’s intention to the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
However, as for the amendment of a Regulation, the voting right is entitled only for the Contracting Parties which apply it.

8. Is Asian testing body admitted as authorized Technical Service for the UN Regulation? How do you verify the qualification of Technical Service?
8. According to the Guideline(ECE/TRANS/WP.29/1059), if the technical competence of the testing body is admitted by the Approval Authority of a Contracting Party, it is designated as "Technical Service(s)". The Contracting Party has to inform that to United Nations Secretariat then.

Reference for more detail: "D. Technical Service" of ECE/TRANS/WP.29/1059
(RESOLVING INTERPRETATION ISSUES AND REQUIREMENTS FOR THE TECHNICAL SERVICES IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE 1958 AGREEMENT)

 
<Application of the UN Regulations>

9. Does a Contracting Party to the 1958 Agreement have to apply all of the UN Regulations?
9. A Contracting Party is free to apply any UN Regulations. It may even not apply any UN Regulations.
The mutual recognition of the approval is applicable only for the UN Regulation(s) among the Contracting Parties applying the same regulation(s).
When a country becomes a Contracting Party, it may declare that it is not bound by certain Regulations. A Contracting Party which does not apply certain Regulations shall communicate to the Secretary-General of United Nations. (For the same purpose, a Contracting Party may also declare the UN Regulations which it intends to apply.)

Reference for more detail: Para 5 of Article 1 of the 1958 Agreement.

10. After the country becomes a Contracting Party to the 1958 Agreement, is there any penalty if the Contracting Party does not apply the UN Regulation(s)?
10. No penalty.
There is no obligation to apply the UN Regulation(s). A Contracting Party is free to apply any UN Regulations. At the moment of accession, the new Contracting Party shall indicate which Regulations it does not intend to apply. If the new Contracting Party doesn't indicate any, it has the obligation to apply all Regulations.

11. What kind of UN Regulations should we apply?
11. A Contracting Party can decide which UN Regulations it applies by prioritizing UN Regulations considering the country’s situation: traffic environment, actuality of traffic accidents, and automobile policy etc., and apply these UN Regulations step by step.

12. Please advise how to introduce the UN Regulation to the domestic law. Show the Japanese case as an example.
12. In Japan, there are two ways:
1. The contents of the UN Regulation are introduced in the text of the Japanese regulation.
2. UN Regulation is referred to in the Japanese regulation.

13. Isn't it enough profitable to introduce the UN Regulation(s) into the domestic law without acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
13. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
It would be more advantageous to accede to the 1958 Agreement and apply the appropriate UN Regulation(s) officially to obtain the merit of the 1958 Agreement. (Refer to A14, A15)

It is only possible for the Contracting Parties to the 1958 Agreement to take corrective action against the incompliance of the products approved by the other Contracting Parties according to the regulations which both Contracting Parties apply.

On the other hand if you do not accede to the 1958 Agreement, you are not entitled to have rights to vote and to notify your disagreement for the establishment and/or amendment of the UN Regulation(s). Even if any incompliance of the products approved by other countries is found, the corrective action to that country in the framework of the 1958 Agreement is not possible to be requested.

 
<The merits of the 1958 Agreement Accession>

14. What are the merits of acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
14. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
The government will benefit from the efficiencies when developing regulations and the approval procedures for new vehicles including the continued adaptation of the regulations to the technical progress.

The industry will benefit from unifying specification for the construction of new vehicles; reduce the cost by efficiency on development, production, and approval process and have access to the global market.

Consumers can expect to get safe and eco-friendly automobile at reasonable price by the internationally disseminated harmonized high level regulations.

15. Does a country where the automobile industry hasn't matured yet get the benefit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement as well?
15. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
Basically the consumer and the Approval Authority of the country also get the same merit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement and applying the UN Regulation regardless of the development stage of domestic automobile industry. The merit of the 1958 Agreement is dissemination of safer and environmental-friendly vehicles with reasonable price.
Concerning the 1958 Agreement's merits for industries, the more domestic automobile industry grows, the more industry get the merits, which are the reduction of the cost by efficiency on development, production, and approval process.

16. As one of merits of applying UN Regulations, it helps to protect local market from importing vehicles/components of poor quality which do not conform to the UN Regulations?
16. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
By applying the UN Regulations, approved vehicles/components by the UN Regulations will spread in the market, and a certain level of effect is expected to drive out the vehicles/components not complying with the Regulations. Furthermore, to establish the system to monitor the market, and to take corrective action is also effective measures to drive out these vehicles/components completely in each Contracting Party.

17. What's the demerit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
17. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
There is no demerit of acceding to the 1958 Agreement. A Contracting Party should follow the obligation of the 1958 Agreement. A Contracting Party may decide which UN Regulations it applies by prioritizing UN Regulations considering the country’s situation.

Reference: A2, A11

18. How much is the necessary cost on acceding to the 1958 Agreement?
18. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
Fee is not required for accession to the 1958 Agreement.

19. How much is the necessary cost after the country becomes a Contracting party to the 1958 Agreement?
19. [Views/Understanding of JASIC]
Necessary cost varies depending on whether your country already has the Type Approval test system or not.
For example, in case that a Contracting Party already has the Type Approval test system, it is not expected that much additional budgets are required for the administrative procedure and for establishing the testing facility to issue the approval.

 
<Others>

20. What's going to be changed on amendment of the 1958 Agreement?
20. The 1958 Agreement will be revised in order to:
(1) handle IWVTA (International Whole Vehicle Type Approval) Regulation.
(2) issue an approval according to a former version of UN Regulation
(3) allow later application after affirmative voting on newly established UN Regulations

Further,
(4) to ensure the operation of the 1958 Agreement:
① Conformity of production procedures (Schedule 1)
② Assessment, designation and notification of Technical Services (Schedule 2)
③ Procedures for UN type approvals (Schedule 3)
④ Numbering of UN type approvals (Schedule 4)
⑤ Circulation of approval documentation (Schedule 5)
⑥ Procedures for resolving interpretation issues in relation to the application of UN Regulations and granting approvals pursuant to these UN Regulations (Schedule 6)
⑦ Procedure for exemption approvals concerning new technologies (Schedule 7)
⑧General conditions for virtual testing methods (Schedule 8)

①~⑧will be set down as SAPP (Schedules of Administrative and Procedural Provisions)

And in order to expect fairness more on decision making,
(5) the current ratio, two-thirds for majority voting will be reconsidered.

(As of March 2015)
Reference: ECE/TRANS/WP.29/2015/40


5. 1998 Agreement

1. What is 1998 Agreement?
1. Its official name is Agreement Concerning the Establishing of Global Technical Regulations for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts Which Can Be Fitted and/or Be Used on Wheeled Vehicles. The purposes of the 1998 Agreement are to establish global technical regulations (UN GTR) concerning safety, environment, fuel economy and theft prevention performance of motor vehicles and to implement these regulations in line with the uniform provisions of UN Regulations. In other words, the 1998 Agreement takes into consideration those nations that are employing "self-certification system," in which manufacturers guarantee the conformity of their vehicles to relevant safety standards and the government confirm the conformity of vehicles after they are placed on the market.

2. What rights and obligations are assigned to Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement?
2. Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement have the voting right in establishing and revising the global technical regulations (UN GTR). Contracting Parties may adopt the global technical regulations (UN GTR) optionally for each equipment and incorporate them into their national standards.

3. Which countries are Contracting Parties to the 1998 Agreement?
3. As of June 2006, 28 countries have acceded to the Agreement. Click here for more on the Contracting Parties.

4. What is the future of a relationship between global technical regulations (UN GTR) and UN Regulations?
4. Global technical regulations (UN GTR) and UN Regulations are expected to incorporate newly-established provisions of each other into its own provisions. This makes it possible to harmonize regulations with countries employing the self-certification system. However, certification system prescribed in the UN Regulations, i.e., the system in which the government checks and guarantees the performance of vehicles, is not included in the global technical regulations (UN GTR).