Since the late 1950s, the UNECE has been working in Geneva on the cross-border harmonization of technical regulations. The United Nations EEC Convention of 20 March 1958 on the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts which may be Fitted and/or Used in Wheeled Vehicles, as well as the conditions for mutual recognition of approvals granted on the basis of these rules, laid a milestone towards a uniform technical regulation for registration. Within the EU, there is full harmonisation of registration rules and mutual recognition. Outside the EU, not all signatory countries apply all the rules. Many countries, such as Russia, have incorporated the rules into their national registration law. The same is true in Japan. However, even if few EEC-EEC regulations are applied, this is already a first step towards harmonization. A UN working group WP.29, the World Forum on Harmonization of Technical Regulations for Vehicles, is working on this. The 1958 agreement will be extended to create harmonised rules not only for systems or components, but also for the whole vehicle. To this end, an EEC Regulation 0 is drawn up, describing an entire vehicle approval. The 1959 Agreement is based on the type-approval procedure. An independent audit institution shall prepare a report to confirm the validation of the UNECE requirements. On that basis, an authority shall grant type-approval.
As a result, the United States is in principle prohibited from acceding to the 1958 Agreement. This is due to the fact that the self-certification procedure used in the United States is incompatible with type-approval. For this reason, another agreement has been set up under the auspices of the United Nations: these are designated as global technical regulations under the 1998 UNECE Agreement (“Global Technical Requirements for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts that Can Be Fitted and/or Used in Wheeled Vehicles”). The agreement was signed by 33 countries, including some EU Member States, the People`s Republic of China, South Korea and the United States of America. In order to facilitate the use of IWVTA by developing countries and thus make accession to the agreement more attractive, the draft under discussion leaves the parties room for a more flexible approach to the rigour and breadth of requirements within different countries. . . .