ABU DHABI // Motorists could soon be able to determine a tyre's history by scanning its barcode with their smartphones.
A regulatory system being proposed by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (Esma) would require all tyres to be given a registration number in barcode form.
This number would then be added to a database so that Esma, police officials, transportation authorities and consumers could track and monitor the entire life cycle of the tyre, from the moment it enters the country until the moment it is destroyed.
"This information will include any accident the tyre may have been involved in and the information will be accessible to everyone," said Mohammed Saleh Badri, the acting director general at Esma.
"We are working on developing an iPhone app where consumers can scan the barcode and immediately bring up the tyre's history, and we will also be developing a website."
The proposed regulations, which are being established in collaboration with the government and the Ministry of Interior, would monitor the manufacture, handling, storage, retreading and maintenance of all tyres, including those not previously covered, such as motorcycle and heavy vehicle tyres. They would also govern how such tyres should be disposed of to ensure environmentally friendly practices.
Esma would provide vehicle workshops and manufacturers with a set of maintenance guidelines.
A task force comprised of the country's largest suppliers and manufacturers, including Nissan, Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Naboodah and Al Futtaim, has been assembled to look at the technical aspects of the regulations.
Under the current system, the GCC Standardisation Authority requires all tyres to be certified the moment they enter the country.
However, Mr Badri said this failed to deal with problems that arose from the way tyres were stored or maintained.
Recent figures from Al Futtaim Motors indicate that one in four Toyota spare parts are counterfeit. However, Mr Badri said, the proposed system would make life hard for counterfeiters.
"Currently, it's very difficult to track the tyres. The new system will help us do just that," he said. "And with the barcode procedure, consumers can immediately identify whether a tyre is valid or counterfeit."
Random samples would be picked up from the market and inspected to ensure that guidelines were being followed.
The proposed regulations will be presented to the Cabinet in September. If approved they could be rolled out to other GCC countries, Mr Badri said.