ESSEN, Germany-A European retreading standard is the hoped-for outcome of a meeting of representatives of the major national tire dealer and retreader associations scheduled for June 14 in Munich, Germany. This meeting was called after representatives of associations from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the United Kingdom failed to agree on a proposal at meetings during Reifen '94 in Essen, under the auspices of the international federation of associations, Bipaver.
The June 14 meeting is expected to be conducted with a certain sense of urgency in that the European Union has set a deadline of year's end for the industry to produce and submit a proposal for retread standards.
If nothing is submitted by then, the EU Commission can appoint its own ``experts'' to draft a standard.
In the meantime, the national governments in Germany, Italy and the U.K. have asked their respective national representative bodies to submit their proposals by mid-year in order to have time to review them before taking the matter to the EU.
Complicating the exercise is the fact that European rubber product manufacturers will also have an opportunity to comment on the Bipaver proposal or even submit their own draft.
Differences between these two groups' proposals eventually could have to be resolved through arbitration.
There are three primary retreading standards in Europe, those of Germany, Italy and the U.K.
While these national standards have a great deal in common, there are enough key differences to cause problems, those involved in the talks said.
Among the sticking points are whether V-rated retreads should be allowed and whether passenger casings should be approved for more than one retreading.
Before the June 14 meeting, each national body will translate its own standard into an English version, which will be the working language for the final document, according to Marangoni SpA's Brenno Benaglia, head of the Bipaver technical committee.
Common standards for truck tire retreading also will come up for discussion later this year, but these involve even more potential complications, such as noise limitations now being imposed on trucking companies.