Documents considered by the Committee on 27 February 2019 Contents

4Third mobility package: Proposal for a Regulation on the labelling of tyres

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; but scrutiny waiver granted for a General Approach to be sought in the Energy Council of 4 March 2019

Document details

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009

Legal base

Articles 114 and 194 TFEU; ordinary legislative procedure; QMV

Department

Transport

Document Number

(39740), 9185/18 + ADDs 1–5, COM(18) 296

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

4.1The proposal under scrutiny would repeal and replace Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009 on the labelling of vehicle tyres (The Tyre Labelling Regulation or TLR). The proposal would maintain and reinforce most of the TLR’s existing provisions as well as introducing new tyre labelling requirements—including on safety and noise reduction—with the aim of improving the EU’s current scheme to ensure cleaner, safer and quieter vehicles.

4.2A further objective is to improve the accuracy, relevancy and ease with which consumers can compare tyres. The proposal falls under the ‘clean mobility’ heading of the Commission’s ‘third mobility package’ of legislative initiatives and non-binding actions (which is focussed on ensuring Europe’s future mobility system is “safe, clean and efficient for all EU citizens”). Legally, the proposal would mandate and harmonise how EU standards on tyre labelling are displayed to consumers in Europe.

4.3A full background to the proposal—including the Committee’s initial assessment of its legal and political importance—can be found in our Fortieth Report to the House of 17 October 2018. The proposal was retained under scrutiny pending satisfactory answers from the Government to the questions asked—and requests for further information made—by the Committee By way of response, Minister of State at the Department for Transport (Jesse Norman MP), wrote to the Committee on 23 November 2018. This letter has since been supplemented by correspondence dated 19 February 2019 requesting clearance of the proposal from scrutiny ahead of a General Approach expected to be sought by the Romanian Presidency in the Energy Council of 4 March 2019.

Minister’s letter of 23 November 2018

4.4The Minister’s letter addresses three substantive points raised by the Committee in its first Report on the proposal.

4.5First, the Committee asked for the Government’s views on the Commission’s plans to add an Article 194(2) TFEU legal basis to the Tyre Labelling Regulation. The Government supports the addition of an energy legal base to the TLR on the grounds that an objective of the Regulation is to “improve the effectiveness of the tyre labelling scheme so as to ensure cleaner, safer and quieter vehicles and to maximise the scheme’s contribution to the decarbonisation of the transport sector”. This objective is said to be closely aligned with that of Article 194 to promote energy efficiency and energy saving.

4.6Second, the Committee was interested to hear the Government’s thoughts on plans to extend the scope of an existing delegation of power to the Commission in order for it to be used to adopt acts covering changes to the content and format of tyre labelling. The Minister is satisfied that the redrawn delegation is clear in its aims, content and scope, however, states that the Government will continue to engage with the Commission and Member States over the detail of the delegation as—of 23 November—negotiations on the proposal are at an early stage.

4.7Finally, the Committee raised concerns with the omission from the Commission’s proposal of a requirement for third-party verification of label testing. The Minister appears broadly happy with the Commission’s plans to ensure conformity with the Regulation by requiring tyre manufacturers to submit label declarations through type approval processes and retaining the oversight of market surveillance authorities. He does, however, caution that industry groups do have concerns—although these are not specified—and commits to continue consultations with affected parties.

Minister’s letter of 19 February 2019

4.8The Minister wrote to the Committee on 19 February 2019 requesting clearance of the proposal from scrutiny in order for the Government to support a General Approach likely to be sought by the Romanian Presidency in the Energy Council of 4 March 2019.

4.9In his letter, the Minister provides an update on the progress of negotiations. On the Commission’s proposal to extend the existing delegation of power under the TLR to cover changes to the content and format of tyre labelling, the Minister informs the Committee that, following working group negotiations, the introduction of mileage and abrasion parameters from the scope of the delegation have been removed. This is because Member States are said to have been concerned that suitable testing methods do not currently exist. As a compromise, the draft Regulation now provides for the Commission to assess the introduction of these parameters once suitable testing methods have become available.

4.10The Minister also provides further information on the Commission’s proposal to rescale tyre performance parameters. He acknowledges that the future development and improvement of tyres is likely to lead to a need for the rescaling of label parameters, however, raises concerns that the Commission has not provided evidence to support the conclusion that this point has been reached. This concern is said to have been made by Member States during working group negotiations and as a consequence the new parameter proposals have been dropped (so that the original performance markers provided for by the TLR would be retained).

4.11The Minister states that the Government is broadly content with the proposal and believes that the Romanian Presidency will be able to achieve a General Approach on its form at the March Energy Council.

4.12We thank the Minister for his letters of 23 November 2018 and 19 February 2019. We are grateful for the comprehensive way in which he has addresses our questions and requests for further information.

4.13As we wish to follow the development of the proposal up to adoption, we do not believe clearing the file from scrutiny is appropriate at this time. We are, however, satisfied that the Government has outlined its position on the proposal and its voting intentions for the March Energy Council. As such, we grant a scrutiny waiver for the Government to vote in favour of the General Approach likely to be sought by the Romanian Presidency.

4.14We request an update on the progress of the file within six weeks of the March Council.

Full details of the documents

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1222/2009: (39740), 9185/18 + ADDs 1–5, COM(18) 296.

Previous Committee Report

Fortieth report HC 301–xxxix (2017–19) chapter 7 (23 October 2018).





Published: 5 March 2019