On 21st and 22nd March, OECD held its regular tractor codes meeting. Originally scheduled for February and held in a hybrid format, the meeting was an opportunity to present both ongoing developments and a wish to review the working frame for the OECD tractors codes.

The University of Bologna, who since January 2022 has taken over from ENAMA as new Co-ordinating Centre of OECD to grant type-approvals, opened the event and gave an introduction. The OECD secretariat then presented several proposals:

  • amending the field of application to: “Tractors and agricultural vehicles”, to be submitted to an enquiry for approval. This extension would ensure proper coverage of some equipment for which there are specific national ROPS (roll-over protective structure) standards in US – such as for example side-by-side vehicles, which are considered in some regions as tractors. The present technical requirements given in the ROPS tractors codes need to be checked to ensure that they are compatible with such vehicles.

This remains a general proposal: any addition of a specific equipment will be considered on a case by case basis.

  • nominating two different Chairs: one for safety working group (proposal to have France), and one for performance working group (proposal of Turkish secretariat).
  • creating a specific group on the tractor codes limited to testing stations and the OECD Co‑ordinating Centre. The intent is to ensure harmonisation in the understanding of the requirements with potential clarification of the texts. The proposals for amendments will be submitted to enquiries which should ensure the involvement of stakeholders in the process.
  • amending the mandate of the subgroup dealing with electric tractors and electrical power off‑boarding to include electric tractors in the existing codes. So far, only the performance code was discussed for these equipment. This would include hybrid tractors although there are few manufacturers at the present time.
  • reviewing the mandate of the group dedicated to the accidents database, to focus on the harmonisation of accident reporting. CEMA had the opportunity to present its approach on taking into account accidents, stressing three main areas for intervention: vehicle product, workplace and operator. This was the opportunity to mention EN 16831 “Tractors and machinery for agriculture and forestry - Safety - Format for reporting accidents”, developed from a CEMA proposal.
  • creating a working group on climate change, intended to be used as a platform for exchange information. CEMA will take part to this group.
  • reviewing the variable fees for the participation to OECD, which are based on the values of the national GDPs taken twenty years ago. The contributions should therefore reflect the changes of the GDPs. Discussions are still ongoing on this specific subject.

The representative from the Co-ordinating Centre report

The next annual meeting is scheduled for 9-10 March 2023.