US-EU Free-Trade Negotiations Might Lead to Global Auto-Safety System image

The free-trade agreement negotiations between the US and the EU might lead the auto industry towards a global vehicle-regulatory system for the first time in history.

This means that FTA negotiators would have to recognize both the US and EU’s standards in vehicle-safety tests. The automotive legislation in the EU is based on the United Nations World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulation, while standards in the US are mainly employed by Canada. Analysts believe that the negotiations might lead to a truly worldwide system for the first time in history.

If the free-trade agreement negotiations will conclude successfully, the vehicles tested in the US will be sold in Europe without undergoing more tests, and vice-versa. An EU source said that the negotiations’ purpose is not to dramatically change legislation, but to reach a common ground and recognize the standards of each of the countries.

“There are many things that we can do in the regulatory framework without modifying the current legislation,” an EU official tells WardsAuto. “When it comes to cars, if we have equivalence between the U.S. and EU rules on the safety of cars, we can do that without modifying the legislation, as the legislation already foresees such equivalency.”