EU tyre labelling - Tyre labelling outside Europe

Tyre labelling outside Europe

EU tyre labelling Published the 29/11/2012 by Harry

To date, tyre labelling has only been adopted by Japan and South Korea. But other countries, such as the USA and Brazil are likely to follow suit. Performance criteria, grading scales, tyre label: Overview of the different legislations.

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The European Union is not the first to launch performance labels for tyres. In 2010, Japan introduced tyre labelling on a voluntary basis.  South Korea followed suit in 2011 and tyre labelling become mandatory in November 2012, at the same time as EU countries.   The label has attracted the attention of other leading countries.  The United States is refining their system, which should be implemented soon, whereas China and Brazil have launched their own research program on the subject.

Tyre labelling in Japan

Japanese tyre labelling is not very different from the European system.  However, it only covers two criteria: Wet grip and rolling resistance (directly correlated to fuel consumption).

The scale for rolling resistance has 5 grades





The scale for wet grip has 4 grades



For a tyre to carry the “Fuel efficiency” label (shown below), its rolling resistance must be graded A or above.

Example of a “fuel efficient” tyre:

Tyre label JapanCopyright © : All Rights Reserved

With an AA grade for rolling resistance and a C grade for wet grip, this tyre also displays the “fuel efficiency” icon.

Japan forecasts tougher conditions for this grading system in 2016.  Since tyres are responsible for about 20% of fuel consumption - and the corresponding CO2 emissions- the government would like to use this leverage to achieve the environmental objectives it has set.

Tyre labelling in South Korea

South Korea, which exports almost 30% of its production to Europe with brands such as Hankook, Kumho or Nexen, has decided to follow the European Union's example. After launching tyre labelling on a voluntary basis in 2011, the government has decided to make tyre labelling mandatory from November 2012, at the same time as European Union countries.

Like Japan, South Korea only takes two criteria into account: Fuel efficiency and wet grip. But its label clearly favours fuel efficiency over wet grip. The scales are simple: 5 grades (from 1 to 5) for both criteria.

In South Korea, the label applies to all tyres sold in the country.  For replacement tyres, the label must be applied directly to the tread area. For “original equipment” tyres (fitted to new vehicles) tyre performance information must be published in the vehicle’s handbook.

Tyre label South KoreaCopyright © : All Rights Reserved

Tyre labelling in the USA

Although no decision has been taken on its implementation, the American administration has already done a great deal of work on tyre labelling.  After conducting studies and consultations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a draft design for the label which appears to satisfy the various parties involved in the project.


The American label takes three factors into account: Fuel efficiency, wet grip and durability. The rating (based on 100 point scale with 100 representing the best performance) is the same for the three criteria. The United States has taken tread wear into account which may have an impact on legislation in other countries in the world.

Tyre label USACopyright © : All Rights Reserved