49 CFR Appendix C to Part 553, Statement of Policy: Implementation of the United Nations/Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE) 1998 Agreement on Global Technical Regulations - Agency Policy Goals and Public Participation
Continuously improve safety and seek high levels of safety, particularly by developing and adopting new global technical regulations reflecting consideration of current and anticipated technology and safety problems.
1. Adopt and maintain U.S. standards that fully meet the need in the U.S. for vehicle safety.
2. Harmonize U.S. standards with those of other countries or regions, particularly by raising U.S. standards at least to the level of the best practices in those other safety standards.
3. Enhance regulatory effectiveness through regulatory cooperation with other countries and regions, thereby providing greater safety protection with available government resources.
A Contracting Party submits a proposal for either a harmonized or new global technical regulation to the Executive Committee of the 1998 Global Agreement (i.e., the Contracting Parties to the Agreement). If appropriate, the Committee then refers the proposal to a working party of experts to develop the technical elements of the regulation.
When a working party of experts recommends a harmonized or new global technical regulation, it sends a report and the recommended regulation to the Executive Committee. The Committee then determines whether the recommendations are adequate and considers the establishment of the recommended regulation.
If the Executive Committee reaches consensus in favor of that recommended global technical regulation, the global technical regulation is established in the Global Registry.
Each year, NHTSA will publish a notice concerning the motor vehicle safety, theft, and energy efficiency aspects of the annual program of work for the UN/ECE's World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29). Each notice will include:
1. A calendar of scheduled meetings of WP.29 participants and working parties of experts, and meetings of the Executive Committee; and
2. A list of the global technical regulations that:
a. Have been proposed and referred to a working party of experts, or
b. Have been recommended by a working party of experts.
NHTSA will hold periodic public meetings on its activities under the 1998 Global Agreement. If the extent of recent and anticipated significant developments concerning those activities so warrant, NHTSA will hold a public meeting within the 60-day period before each of the three sessions of WP.29 held annually. At each of these public meetings, NHTSA will:
1. Brief the public on the significant developments that occurred at the session of WP.29, the meetings of the working parties of experts and the meetings of the Executive Committee since the previous public meeting;
2. Based on the availability of provisional agendas, inform the public about the significant issues to be addressed at upcoming session of WP.29 and meetings of the working parties of experts and any votes scheduled at the next session of the Executive Committee on recommended global technical regulations; and
3. Invite public comment and questions concerning those past developments and upcoming issues and votes and the general positions that the U.S. could take regarding those votes, and concerning any other significant developments and upcoming matters relating to pending proposed or recommended global technical regulations.
a. Proposals by the U.S. (See Figure 1.)
Before submitting a draft U.S. proposal for a global technical regulation to WP.29, NHTSA will publish a notice requesting public comments on the draft proposed global technical regulation. In the case of a draft proposal for a harmonized global technical regulation, the notice will compare that regulation with any existing, comparable U.S. standard, including the relative impacts of the regulation and standard. In the case of a draft proposal for a new global technical regulation, the notice will generally discuss the problem addressed by the proposal, the rationale for the proposed approach for addressing the problem, and the impacts of the proposal. NHTSA will consider the public comments and, as it deems appropriate, revise the proposal and any of its supporting documentation and then submit the proposal to WP.29.
b. Proposals by a Contracting Party other than the U.S. (See Figure 2.)
After a proposal by a Contracting Party other than the U.S. has been referred to a working party of experts and has been made available in English by WP.29, NHTSA will make the draft proposal available in the DOT docket (http://dms.dot.gov/). The agency will then publish a notice requesting public comment on the draft proposal and will consider the comments in developing a U.S. position on the proposal.
If a working party of experts recommends a global technical regulation and sends a report and the recommended regulation to the Executive Committee, NHTSA will make an English language version of the report and the regulation available in the DOT docket (http://dms.dot.gov/) after they are made available by WP.29. The agency will publish a notice requesting public comment on the report and regulation. Before participating in a vote of the Executive Committee regarding the establishment of the regulation, the agency will consider the comments and develop a U.S. position on the recommended technical regulation.
If a global technical regulation is established in the Global Registry by a consensus vote of the Executive Committee, and if the U.S. voted for establishment, NHTSA will publish a notice requesting public comment on adopting the regulation as a U.S. standard. Any decision by NHTSA whether to issue a final rule adopting the regulation or to issue a notice terminating consideration of that regulation will be made in accordance with applicable U.S. law and only after careful consideration and analysis of public comments.
As we obtain English versions of key documents relating to motor vehicle safety, theft or energy conservation that are generated under the 1998 Agreement (e.g., proposals referred to a working party of experts, and reports and recommendations issued by a working party), we will place them in the internet-accessible DOT docket (http://dms.dot.gov/). Within the limits of available resources, we will also place the documents on an international activities page that will be included in our Website (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/international/index.html).