Lahore High Court (LHC) has directed the Engineering Development Board (EDB) to ensure the compulsory installation of airbags in locally manufactured vehicles.
Sources told Propakistani that the Secretary Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC) informed this during the last meeting of the Auto Industry Development Committee (AIDC) held at the Board of Investment (BOI).
Secretary AIDC informed the meeting that Pakistan has adopted WP Regulations and has been allocated the symbol E-64 for official communication. The Engineering Development Board (EDB) and the Ministry of Industries and Production submitted regulations mentioned in the relevant table as an annex to the accession document, but the annex forwarded by EDB has not been forwarded by the UN Secretary-General Office to WP 29 Secretariat in Geneva.
The EDB sought clarification from WP 29 Secretariat, which was replied to by foreign counterparts. Pakistan can now opt for any regulation under the 1958 Agreement in addition to agreed regulations. He explained that no joining fee, no lab infrastructure is required for the adoption of WP-29 regulations. He further clarified that third-party certification or certification by the principal, if accredited, can be accepted by EDB.
He informed that few issues were raised by part manufacturers which were forwarded to UNECE’s WP 29 Secretariat and a reply was shared with the industry. Industry requested a clarification meeting which was held between industry and Director-General UNECE’s WP 29.
He further informed that Lahore High Court ordered EDB to ensure the compulsory installation of airbags in a recent judgment, which needs to be included in the agreed list. The safety regulations agreed by the stakeholders shall be included in the Federal Board of Revenue’s exemption notification i.e. SRO 656 with timelines, the extension of which may be the prerogative of the EDB.
Ali Asghar Jamali, Chairman Pakistan Automotive Manufacturers Association (PAMA) said the industry agrees to implement WP-29 regulations in a phase-wise manner. Mr. Tariq Ahmed Khan, Director (Technical), IMC endorsed Chairman, PAMA, and said a grace period is required in case of Airbags. Chairman, EDB asked the opinion of the new entrants on the matter.
All new entrants showed agreement on the adoption of said regulations. Secretary AIDC explained that the new entrants are legally bound to adopt WP-29 regulations, under the Agreement signed between MoIP and New Entrants. Chairman, PAMA agreed to the adoption of 16 regulations including airbags with timelines. He said that PAMA has already submitted the proposal that is agreed by all PAMA members.
However, he added that third party/certification by the principal should be accepted or if facilities are created in Pakistan; PAMA members can get their vehicles tested from Pakistan. He further said, “If we want to increase production and want to protect the environment that there should be an old vehicle retirement policy. The decades-old vehicles are unsafe and are destroying the environment.”
Zaheer-ud-Din Dar, CEO, Dartways questioned that whether vendors of tyres or lights will require to comply with WP-29.
It was decided that 16 shortlisted regulations will be submitted to the government for inclusion in the SRO 656 (exemption notification of the FBR with appropriate timelines, the extension of which may be the prerogative of EDB.