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Ministerial Ordinances, etc., Concerning International Reciprocal Recognition for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles were Enacted A New Mechanism for International Reciprocal Recognition Starts to Function

Jointly with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) took part in the formulation of the United Nations Regulation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles (HFCV) for international reciprocal recognition. In June 2015, this United Nations (UN) regulation entered into force.

Accompanying the enforcement of this regulation, METI enacted Ministerial Ordinances, etc., such as the Container Safety Regulation Relating to the International Reciprocal Recognition and made legal amendments as required.

Under these Ministerial Ordinances, etc., fuel containers for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles that are in conformity with related laws and regulations of member countries, including the High Pressure Gas Safety Act of Japan, may be approved under member countries’ laws and regulations, and this will contribute to further facilitating the import and export of such containers.

1. Background of legal amendments

Based on the Agreement Concerning the Adoption of Uniform Technical Prescriptions for Wheeled Vehicles, Equipment and Parts Which Can Be Fitted and/or Be Used on Wheeled Vehicles and the Conditions for Reciprocal Recognition of Approvals Granted on the Basis of These Prescriptions (Treaty No. 12 of 1998, hereinafter referred to as the 1958 Agreement), which was formulated in Geneva in 1958 (Japan acceded to this Agreement in 1998), the EU and the Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA) presented a draft of the United Nations Regulation on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles (UNR134) that provides for the specifications, etc., necessary for reciprocal recognition. UNR134 was enacted in June 2015.

In order to introduce UNR134 in Japan, METI enacted the “Container Safety Regulation Relating to the International Reciprocal Recognition,” “Public Notice to Specify Detailed Specifications, etc., of Containers and Container Reinspection Methods, etc., Based on the Container Safety Regulation Relating to the International Reciprocal Recognition,” and “Notice on the Operation of the Functionality Standards of the Container Safety Regulation Relating to the International Reciprocal Recognition,” and amended part of the “Container Safety Regulation,” “General High Pressure Gas Safety Regulation,” “Safety Regulation on Industrial Complexes, etc.,” “Designated Equipment Inspection Regulation,” “Ministerial Ordinance on Designated Examining Bodies under the High Pressure Gas Safety Act,” and “Internal Rules on the Operation and Interpretation of the High Pressure Gas Safety Act and Relevant Ministerial Ordinances.”

2. Major content

  1. Introduction of the specifications under UNR134
    • The specifications under UNR134 apply as the specifications of containers and accessories (hereinafter referred to as “containers, etc.”).
    • However, no consensus has been reached with regard to materials (anti-hydrogen embrittlement measures) under UNR134 and the confirmation of the safety of materials is left to the discretion of each member country. Therefore, the Japanese specifications remain applicable to materials.
  2. Deemed provisions relating to the mechanism for international reciprocal recognition
    1. Deemed provisions relating to the specifications of containers, etc. approved under UNR134
      Containers, etc., approved by member countries of the 1958 Agreement that adopt UNR134 (hereinafter referred to as “countries adopting UNR134”) are deemed to be in conformity with the specifications of containers, etc., in Japan as well.
      However, as mentioned in (1) above, the confirmation of the safety of materials is left to the discretion of each member country. Therefore, this applies only to containers, etc., whose materials are approved to be in conformity with the Japanese specifications of materials.
    2. Deemed provisions relating to stamping on containers, etc. approved under UNR134
      With regard to containers, etc. that are approved to be in conformity with the specifications under UNR134 and the Japanese specifications of materials, stamping, etc., affixed by countries adopting UNR134 based on UNR134 are deemed to be effective in Japan as well.
    3. Methods of labeling attached to filler necks, etc.
      • Details of labeling attached to filler necks, etc., are to be specified in light of UNR134.
    4. Quality management methods, etc.
      • Quality management methods and standards for inspection organizations are to be specified in light of UNR134.
    5. Content of stamping on containers, etc.
      • Content of stamping on containers, etc., is to be specified in light of UNR134. E-Marks show conformity to the specifications.
    6. Others
      • Accompanying the enactment of the Container Safety Regulation Relating to the International Reciprocal Recognition, etc., amendments are required for the “Container Safety Regulation,” “General High Pressure Gas Safety Regulation,” “Safety Regulation on Industrial Complexes, etc.,” “Designated Equipment Inspection Regulation,” “Ministerial Ordinance on Designated Examining Bodies under the High Pressure Gas Safety Act,” etc., METI took necessary measures therefor.

    Release date

    June 30, 2016

    Division in Charge

    High Pressure Gas Safety Office, Distribution and Industrial Safety Policy Group

    Related Information

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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