Brussels, 23 July 2010
New Regulation proposed on tractors to strengthen safety and to cut red tape
The European Commission has proposed to simplify EU law on agricultural and forestry vehicles (tractors, trailers and towed equipment): 50 Directives and the related implementing legislation of 27 Member States would be replaced by just five Regulations. The proposal also foresees increased safety for these vehicles. For braking systems the new rules would require inter alia: mandatory fitting of anti-lock braking systems on some categories (T5 fast tractors and their trailers suitable for speeds over 40 km/h); higher deceleration performance and improved compatibility between tractor and trailers/towed equipment. The proposal will now be forwarded to the EU's Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for adoption.
European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "Today’s proposal is an example how we can make EU legislation lighter while increasing the safety of agricultural vehicles. Working with 50 different Directives and the many pieces of national implementing legislation is more costly and burdensome for the industry than necessary. Today’s proposal would increase safety of tractors while reducing administrative costs and scratching unnecessary legislation.”
Following the recommendation from the CARS 21 report to simplify the current whole vehicle type-approval regulatory framework, the proposal would significantly simplify the type-approval legislation by replacing 24 base Directives (and around 25 related amending Directives) in the field of agricultural and forestry vehicle technical requirements with one Council and Parliament Regulation.
All in all, more than 50 Directives would be repealed. In concrete terms the existing framework Directive 2003/37/EC and all the separate legislative acts of EU legislation laying down detailed technical requirements for the type-approval of tractors would be repealed by one single new Council and Parliament Regulation. At the same time, 27 sets of national implementing legislation in the Member States would disappear because a Regulation is directly applicable.
As a result the “Mother Regulation” would be joined by only three delegated acts containing technical 'details' and test procedures as well as an implementing act for administrative aspects.
The proposed Regulation would lead to new requirements on one advanced safety measure, namely anti-lock braking systems, together with some further updates concerning the braking requirements, like shorter braking distances and the introduction of hydrostatic systems. New technologies like ABS (anti-lock braking systems) are now available and can be implemented in the near future, which will dramatically improve vehicle safety. Research has indicated that there would be significant benefits if such technologies were introduced as standard on new vehicles. Setting common mandatory requirements would also prevent the fragmentation of the internal market resulting from varying product standards emerging across Member States.
The proposal can be consulted here