STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION REGARDING AGREEMENT ON GLOBAL TECHNICAL REGULATIONS
March 24, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 24, 1998
Contact: Tim Hurd
Tel. No. (202) 366-9550
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency today announced that negotiators for the United States, Japan and the European Community have reached accord on the text of an agreement that will provide a global means for governments to develop and harmonize regulations regarding the performance and design of motor vehicles. The agreement, reached in Geneva, Switzerland, on March 12, establishes a process to continuously improve safety, environmental protection systems, energy efficiency and anti-theft performance of vehicles and related components and equipment through globally uniform governmental technical regulations. The agreement, to be known as the Agreement on Global Technical Regulations, ensures that regulatory activities will be carried out in an open manner and will give objective considerations to best available technology, related public benefits and cost effectiveness.
This Agreement on Global Technical Regulations, which will be established under the auspices of the United Nations' Economic Commission for Europe's Working Party on the Construction of Vehicles (UN/ECE/WP.29), has been under development for the past 18 months.
In a joint statement in Geneva, the three negotiating parties stated: "This Agreement on Global Technical Regulations offers an unprecedented opportunity for the cooperative development of environmental and safety regulations that will serve and protect our respective citizens and environment while providing a predictable regulatory framework for a global automotive industry."
The negotiators emphasized that the draft agreement accommodates several very different regulatory development systems and is built upon numerous multinational suggestions and comments from prior sessions of WP.29.
The text is being made available by the Secretariat of WP.29 for a final round of review, comments and negotiations by all interested governments. Written comments will be accepted by the Secretariat through April 30, 1998, for translation and distribution before the June 1998 meeting of WP.29. In addition, all governments participating in WP.29 retain the right to make further comments up to and during the time of the June meeting. The intent is to complete a final text by June 25, 1998, and open the agreement for signature at that time.
The document will be available on the Internet at www.itu.ch/itudoc/un/editrans/wp29.html
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