REGULATION (EC) No 1222/2009 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL requires that all tyres* produced after June 2012 and on sale in the EU from November 2012 will either need to bear a sticker or be accompanied by a label to be displayed at the point of sale.
An example of the new EU Tyre Label can be seen to the left. This is similar to labelling already in wide use for household goods such as washing machines and dishwashers.
More information about the new tyre labelling regulations as well as a list of FAQs is available from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA).
* Scope includes tyres for cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks.
The standardized tyre label that will be introduced by the European Union in 2012 will provide information on 3 specific tyre performances: wet grip performance, fuel efficiency, and exterior rolling noise.
Tyres are characterised by a number of parameters which are interrelated. Improving one parameter such as rolling resistance may have an adverse impact on other parameters such as wet grip, while improving wet grip may have an adverse impact on external rolling noise.
One of the forces influencing the fuel efficiency of a motorized vehicle is the Rolling Resistance of the tyres.
This phenomenon exists because a tyre deforms when rotating, resulting in energy losses in the form of heat. The higher the deformation, the higher the tyre rolling resistance, and consequently the more fuel required to move the vehicle forward. In other words, lower rolling resistance means lower fuel consumption and therefore lower vehicle emissions, including CO2.
Actual fuel savings and road safety depend heavily on the behaviour of drivers, and in particular the following:
- eco-driving can significantly reduce fuel consumption.
- tyre pressure should be regularly checked to optimize wet grip and fuel efficiency performance.
- stopping distances should always be strictly respected.
The new label will display different grades in "rolling resistance" where A is the most "fuel efficient" and G the worst in class. The black arrow (in this case B) next to the grading indicates the performance level of the product.
The most important role of a tyre is to provide safety - in all conditions. Wet adherence or grip is one of the most important performance characteristics.
However, higher adherence and lower rolling resistance are often contradictory objectives that have traditionally required a performance trade-off. Thanks to the new labelling regulation, customers will be able to see and choose for themselves their preferred performances.
The label will display a range of 7 grades where tyres with an "A" provide the highest levels of wet grip and "G" the lowest.
Traffic noise is a relevant environmental issue, determined by:
- Traffic intensity and vehicle types
- Driving style
- Tyre-Road interaction
Exterior noise levels are split into 3 categories and measured in decibel (dB) in comparison with the new European tyre exterior noise levels introduced in 2016.
1 black sound wave = 3dB less than the future tighter European limit.
2 black sound waves = already compliant with the future European limit.
3 black sound waves = compliant with the current European limit.
The regulation aims at increasing the safety and the economic and environmental efficiency of road transport by promoting safe and fuel-efficient tyres with low noise levels. It also establishes a framework for the provision of harmonised information across the industry on some tyre parameters.
Such information will, at all times, be available for customers through technical promotional material, including the websites of the manufacturers. Some tyres are excluded, such as retreaded tyres, off-road tyres and racing tyres.
The expected cumulative benefits from the increased use of fuel efficient tyres will lead to saving up to 4 million tonnes of CO2 per year (depending on the speed of market transformation towards fuel efficient tyres) , and will also drive the market towards improved wet grip performance.
Responsibilities of Tyre Suppliers (Manufacturers, Importers)
When tyres are delivered to any customer, they must be accompanied by a label for each size and type of tyre in the delivery, similar to the label shown above. This requirement can also be met by applying the label as a sticker on each tyre.
All sales promotion and technical material must show the label values for each tyre in an understandable way. Manufacturer's and Distributor's websites must also show the label information for tyres offered.
Responsibilities of tyre Distributors (Retailers, Business Selling Tyres to end Users)
For car tyres and light truck tyres they shall ensure that
- each tyre bears the label sticker in a clearly visible position
- before the sale of the tyre, the label information will be shown to the end user, and a label must be clearly displayed in the immediate proximity of the tyre.
The label information shall be provided also when tyres offered for sale are not visible to the customer.
For all tyres (car, light truck, truck and bus) distributors shall ensure that the label values for any tyres purchased must also be stated on or with the bill to the customer.
1 Commission Press Release IP/09/1820