106. The expert from South Africa presented informal document WP.29-174-12, providing the World Forum with a comprehensive summary of the national governance structure for the application of the 1958 and 1998 Agreements, including an overview of main stakeholders in the country and their specific roles within the structure. He introduced the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), elaborating on its roles in the administrative structure of South Africa and relationship with other stakeholders in legislative, regulatory, approval and market surveillance activities.
107. The expert explained that the NRCS reports to the Ministry of Trade and Industry and that its mandate was to administer technical regulations in the interests of public safety and health for environmental protection, and to ensure fair trade. He provided an overview of the structure of NRCS, its departments and their roles, and the organizations business process. He also described the main activities of NRCS, which include pre-market approval, market surveillance inspections, sampling and testing and enforcement of sanctions in cases of non-compliance, and informed WP.29 of the authorities that inspectors of the NRCS have. He highlighted the challenges faced by the scope of non-compliance in the country and expressed his expectation that the DETA system, once it is operational, will support inspectors in market surveillance activities directed at eradicating non-compliance.
108. The expert elaborated on the role of NRCS Automotive in the regulation of new and aftermarket products, and provided a list of vehicles, their parts and equipment that NRCS approves before sale. He also explained that in accordance with the mandate given to the organization by the South African Ministry of Transport, NCRS carries out, among others activities, the inspection and approval of vehicles that have been “modified” within the definition of the Road Traffic Act, and the approval of all manufacturers and importers of motor vehicles.
109. The expert provided the World Forum with a brief overview of participation of South Africa and its institutions, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) and the NRCS, in WP.29 and its GRs. He also elaborated on the process of transposing and applying UN Regulations in South Africa, as guided in the framework of the 1958 and 1998 Agreements, and the pertaining roles of NRCS and SABS therein.
110. In conclusion, the expert underscored a number of challenges that South Africa is facing. According to the expert, these included the establishment of accredited test facilities (e.g. to apply UN Regulation No. 47), due primarily to financial constraints. He also referred to existing uncertainty as to the validity of “E” mark products, which resulted from potential falsification of product specifications and test results, where assistance by DETA, as already highlighted, was expected to offer solutions. WP.29 noted the potential general product safety issue reported by the expert who described that, despite attempts at corrective actions, unsafe vehicles were able to enter the market in South Africa, providing examples of a specific vehicle model that had more than seventy cases of igniting and as a result causing fatalities. The Chair of WP.29 urged delegates to provide advice in how to overcome these matters. He thanked the delegation from South Africa for their efforts, due to the geographic distance, to participate in the WP.29 sessions.
111. The Chair of WP.29 thanked the expert from South Africa on the comprehensive presentation. He invited delegates to review WP.29-174-12 on the full presentation of the expert from South Africa and, on its basis, to discuss forms of cooperation that may assist the country in overcoming the challenges described by the expert.
112. The representative of the Russian Federation thanked the expert from South Africa on the detailed presentation. He stated that the Russian Federation had faced similar challenges as those described in the expert’s presentation, specifically with communication of type approvals. He reminded the World Forum that mechanisms in response to such challenges had been discussed at the 173rd session of WP.29, namely the exchange of information on official type approvals, and that these had been reflected in the final report of that session. The representative of the Russian Federation underlined the importance of resolving this matter.