Review of the work behind the proposal to clarify GTR 9, in particular concerning the definition of the headform testing/contact area for measurement purposes.
143. The representatives of the United States of America requested that AC.3 agree to a deferral of the vote on this item due to its final technical evaluation of the amendment earlier this year. They explained that technical experts in the United States had identified how the proposed amendment to UN GTR No.9 on Pedestrian Safety lowers the stringency of the underlying performance requirement for head impact protection. Due to important safety considerations, the United States of America requested additional time to discuss its scientific findings with GRSP. In addition to the need to further evaluate the underlying safety protections as proposed in the amendment, the representatives of the United States of America noted that there are no fewer than three additional amendments pending or being planned, from various contracting parties. Some of which will have a direct impact on the stringency of the UN GTR. In fact, one of these amendments has the potential to improve the stringency of the testing requirements. Therefore, they questioned why WP.29 would adopt the amendment at this session which reduces the stringency of the UN GTR, only to retighten or potentially improve it shortly thereafter. The representatives of the United States of America detailed some of their expert findings and urged the group to pay closer attention to how proposed amendments to UN GTRs relate to each other, take the time to make sure all parties are confident that they are based on the best available scientific evidence available before being presented for adoption to ensure the highest possible levels of safety are attained. The representatives of the United States of America also pointed out that the requested postponement would have no effect on Contracting Parties that operate under the 1958 Agreement because the pending amendment was already incorporated into UN Regulation No. 127. Furthermore, the representatives reminded AC.3 that according to the rules and procedures of the 1998 Agreement (Paragraph 184.108.40.206.), a proposal that is found to be inadequate may be returned to the originating Working Party for revision. Finally, the United States of America representatives also reminded AC.3 that the process of international harmonization of vehicle regulations is an inclusive process, initiated through regulatory activities within the scope of the 1998 Agreement and continued with corresponding activities under the 1958 Agreement, with the aim to encompass the largest representation at the global level.
144. The representative of the European Union argued that the request for postponement on such short notice was undermining the consensus reached by experts after more than six years of discussion in GRSP, based on which the amendment was submitted to the vote in March 2021 WP29 meeting. She stressed that this created a dangerous precedent, whereby any Contracting Party, in disregard of the outcome of work that had already been finalised and validated by the experts, can delay adoption of the legislation and disrupt the procedure at any time. GR level is the one to propose and discuss technical solutions until submission of the draft text for vote. United States of America despite request to this end formulated already in 2015, did not provide any elements for discussion supporting their position, only until March 2021 AC3 session. She stressed that this is not appropriate way of proceeding. She underlined that technical explanations provided by the expert from the United States of America were already examined by GRSP at length (the United States of America had a study reservation on the proposal since 2012), were not endorsed by GRSP and therefore could not be considered at this stage as a basis for postponement by AC.3. She also added that the allegations of lowered stringency of the proposed amendment, the provisions of which are based on UN Regulation No. 127 would create a precedent affecting the credibility of the 1958 Agreement. She underlined that no Contracting Party voiced concerns with regard to the safety levels of Regulation 127, which is a mirror legislation to GTR 9 with the suggested amendment.
145. The representative from Canada proposed to delay the vote until June 2021 in order to retain the work performed so far by GRSP.
146. The expert from Germany expressed his view on the necessary urgency for reaching a solution and called on GRSP to immediately commence with appropriate activities, having in mind the short timeframe between the upcoming GRSP session in May 2021 and the next AC.3 and WP.29 sessions scheduled for June 2021.
147. Upon repeated consultations with the Committee concerning positions of AC.3 members with respect to the possible establishment of the amendment, the Chair of AC.3 concluded that the support from the Committee to reach consensus was not adequate.
148. AC.3 agreed to defer vote under this agenda item to its June 2021 session pending further discussions concerning the proposal for Amendment 3 to UN GTR No. 9 at the next session of GRSP, scheduled to take place in May 2021. AC.3 requested GRSP to give highest priority to the task and to report back to AC.3 and WP.29 with the greatest urgency on the progress towards a resolution of outstanding matters in this context. AC.3 agreed to keep this item on its agenda for the next session with the expectation to vote on the amendment.