Working Party 29
    UN - Global Regulations on Pollution and the Environment

Organization United Nations

Identification Working Party 29 - Global Regulations on Pollution and the Environment
Global Technical Regulations (GTR)

Hydrogen Vehicles -
Liquid Hydrogen, Gaseous Hydrogen


Safety regulations for hydrogen vehicles. Government level activity. US represented by the US Department of Transportation.


Global Technical Regulations (GTR) is:

1.     Process for developing and promulgating motor vehicle safety standards and/or regulations for motor vehicles by participating countries, and

2.     The standards and/or regulations emanating from that process.


The GTR concept was created by the 1998 UN Global Agreement to harmonize, internationally, vehicle regulations and make vehicle parts produced under GTR’s available for sale in any country. The signatories to the Global Agreement include:

   · United States

   · European Community

   · Canada

   · Japan

   · Germany

   · Russian Federation

   · Republic of Korea

   · Peoples Republic of China


(efforts are being devoted to establish one or more GTR’s that address safety requirements for hydrogen powered fuel cell vehicles) 

The World Forum for Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN/ECE/WP29) has the lead role in the global harmonization of automotive regulations - focusing on vehicles at the time of manufacturing.



The UN ECE informal GRPE working group on hydrogen/fuel-fuel cell vehicles (GRPE-H2FCV) has been operative for several years now. In June 2005, WP.29/AC.3 agreed on a proposal by Germany, Japan and United States of America regarding how to manage the development process for a Global Technical Regulation (GTR) on hydrogen-powered vehicles. However because of different circumstances it was not until April 2007 that the group received a clear mandate and a roadmap in order to achieve its goal of establishing a GTR for this class of vehicles (ECE/TRANS/WP.29/AC.3/17). The following premises have to be kept in mind when defining the GTR:


1. The aim is to attain equivalent levels of safety as those for conventional gasoline powered vehicles;


2. The GTR shall be performance based and


3. The GTR shall not be restrictive for future technologies.


Given that hydrogen powered vehicle technology is still emerging, WP.29/AC.3 agreed that input from researchers is a vital component of this effort. Based on a comparison of existing regulations and standards of HFCV with conventional vehicles, the following has to be investigated and considered:


1. The main differences in safety and environmental aspects and


2. Which items need to be regulated and the justification behind it.


Under the agreed process, once AC.3 had developed and approved the action plan for the development of a GTR, two subgroups has been formed to address the safety and the environment aspects of the GTR:

1 The subgroup safety (HFCV-SGS) which is chaired by Japan and the USA reports to GRSP.

2. The environmental subgroup (HFCV-SGE) which is chaired by the European Commission (JRC) and reports to GRPE.

In order to ensure communication between the subgroups and continuous engagement with WP.29 and AC.3, the designated project manager (Germany) coordinates and manages the various aspects of the work ensuring that the agreed action plan is implemented properly and that milestones and timelines are set and met throughout the development of the GTR.

The GTR will cover fuel cell (FC) and internal combustion engine (ICE), compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) and liquid hydrogen (LH2).

The final goal of the environmental informal sub-group (HFCV-SGE) is to investigate the possibility of harmonization of environmentally related requirements and to propose actions in those cases where harmonization might not be possible.



Christoff Albus