The ASEAN Member States (AMS) have different national standards, technical regulations and conformity assessment procedures involving the safety and quality of automotive products. Automotive products that are regulated or controlled in one country require compliance to its existing regulations which usually refer to a specific standard as a basis of compliance to the safety and/or quality of the product. Harmonisation of standards and MRA are the initiatives to support the facilitation of trade of automotive products in ASEAN.
The AMS have agreed to harmonise the technical requirements of automotive products based on United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulations. Initially, 19 UNECE Regulations have been agreed to be harmonised in ASEAN. A Member State who has existing national standard belonging to any of the 19 UNECE regulations must align her standard with the applicable UNECE Regulation/s. On the other hand, a Member State who does not have national standards is not obliged to develop a standard. However, if she decided to develop a national standard, the standard must be aligned with the applicable UNECE Regulation/s.
Another initiative undertaken is the ASEAN MRA on Type Approval of Automotive Products which provides a mechanism to recognise the testing and inspection results of the product from the source country in ASEAN by the importing AMS. The testing and inspection will be conducted based on the harmonised standard of the 19 UNECE regulations.
The MRA facilitates the flow of automotive products in the region without compromising the safety and quality of the products. The MRA also supports the development of automotive industry through compliance with internationally accepted standards. With the harmonised standard for these products, the manufacturer will not be burdened to produce different product designs to meet and market their products to ASEAN that complies with safety and quality requirements. This will provide greater exchange of automotive parts and components to ASEAN automotive manufacturers.