GENEVA (March 9, 2015) — Representatives of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) did not attend the tire and vehicle regulatory harmonization meetings in Geneva Feb. 16-20 but are expected to be present at the meetings scheduled for March 10-13, sources said.
Negotiations toward globalization of safety and quality standards for tires and vehicles have been ongoing for many years under the aegis of the World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations — also known as Working Party 29 or WP-29 — of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
Last Nov. 14, Phase 1 of the Global Technical Regulations (GTR) for international harmonization of tire regulations and markings was ratified in Geneva. The European Union, China, Canada, South Korea, India and other countries voted for the preliminary GTR, but the U.S. abstained.
NHTSA did not attend the Feb. 16-20 meeting because most of the negotiations at that meeting concerned regulations addressed under the UNECE's “1958 Agreement,” which the U.S. did not sign, sources said.