Vehicles sold and put into service in a country must comply with that country`s rules and standards. The registration procedure of this country requires the registration of the vehicle and/or its components. The existence of separate national licensing rules and procedures in different countries requires costly design changes, additional testing and duplicate approvals. It is therefore necessary to harmonize the different national technical requirements applicable to vehicles and to develop a single international regulation. When the vehicle or its equipment and parts are manufactured and registered in accordance with these regulations, they may be traded internationally without further verification or authorization. In addition, these rules must be constantly adapted to technical progress and new safety and environmental requirements. To reduce barriers to international trade and promote global trade in vehicles and their components, efforts are being made to create harmonized global vehicle regulation. The most important forum for this role is the Global Forum on the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulation (WP.29), within the framework of the UNITED Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-EEC). (more: www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/wp29wgs/wp29gen/wp29pub.html) Mutual recognition of the authorizations issued under the 1958 agreement is intended to facilitate international trade in vehicles and their components. When an item is approved by one of the parties to the 1958 agreement pursuant to a United Nations regulation, all other contracting parties that have signed the same regulation recognize that approval.
This avoids repeated testing and approval of components in different countries to which they are exported. This helps reduce design, manufacturing and registration costs and delays, as well as the commissioning of vehicles and their components. (more: www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/wp29wgs/wp29gen/wp29pub.html) The first signatories to the 1958 agreement included Italy (28 March), the Netherlands (30 March), Germany (19), France (26), Hungary (30 June), Sweden and Belgium. Initially, the agreement only allowed the participation of the ECEC member countries, but in 1995 the agreement was revised to allow the participation of non-MEMBERS of the ERC. Current participants include the European Union and its member countries, as well as non-EEC-UN countries such as Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Serbia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Tunisia, and even remote regions such as South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia. In the list of relevant official documents of each regulation (see TRANS/WP.29/343 status document, The fourth column mentions the WP.29 session, in which the last document of WP.29 and AC.1 was adopted, the fifth column displays the symbol (and number) of the corresponding WP.29 meeting report (available here www.unece.org/trans/main/wp29/wp29wgs/wp29gen/wp29rep.html) and the sixth column refers to the official document under which the original document is published.