The new ECE R22.06 helmet standard is set to be enforced from January 2024.
It is a welcomed debut, especially by consumers as motorcycles have gotten a whole lot faster since the ECE R22.05 standard was introduced in 2003. Also, more and more riders attach accessories such as action cameras and Bluetooth communicators to their helmets of late.
The new standard was rolled out in 2020. As such, helmet manufacturers are given a grace period to produce ECE R22.05 helmets until January 2024. They may choose to produce helmets that conform to the new standard, also.
Let us begin with the basics before delving into the details, beginning with an explanation of standard.
- “ECE” stands for Economic Commission for Europe. It was set up by the United Nations (UN) in 1958 to promote economic cooperation and integration among its member states. Thus, the ECE is under the UN’s jurisdiction.
- The ECE then established standards for every conceivable product sold in the region in terms of design, features, safety, etc. These include electrical appliances, equipment (all fields), so forth. Motorcycle helmets fall under personal protective equipment (PPE) for motorcyclists.
- The UN are not just involved in world politics but also in everything that involves humanity, including road safety among many others.
- Hence the UN ECE Regulation No. 22 (UN ECE R22) was issued in 1972, which contained the requirements for motorcycle helmets.
- The ECE standard is adopted by the UN as the worldwide standard for helmets thus you may see “UN R22.05” or “UN R22.06” or "UNECE R22.06" on different helmets.
- “.06”: stand for the revision number of the regulation. Thus, this is the sixth revision.
- The standard is recognised and implemented in 62 countries, including Malaysia. The tests and approval of helmets are carried out by official labs mainly in European Union countries but also in countries that adopt the standard such as Japan, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand.
In addition to the sticker on the back of the helmet, ECE-approved helmets have a tag sewn onto one of the chin straps. This tag contains further type approval (homologation) information. This tag can be found on all SHOEI and NOLAN helmets.
Referring to the sample label above:
- “E3” in a circle: The country in which the helmet was homologated. E3 stands for Italy. Please refer to the list below for the country codes.
- E1 – Germany
- E2 – France
- E3 – Italy
- E4 – The Netherlands
- E5 – Sweden
- E6 – Belgium
- E7 – Hungary
- E8 – Czech Republic
- E9 – Spain
- E10 – Yugoslavia
- E11 – United Kingdom
- E12 – Austria
- E13 – Luxemborg
- E14 – Switzerland
- E16 – Norway
- E17 – Finland
- E18 – Denmark
- E19 – Romania
- E20 – Poland
- E22 – Russia
- E23 – Greece
- E24 – Ireland
- E25 – Croatia
- E26 – Slovakia
- E27 – Slovenia
- E28 – Belarus
- E29 – Estonia
- E31 – Bosnia and Herzegovina
- E32 – Latvia
- E34 – Bulgaria
- E36 – Lithuania
- E37 – Turkey
- E39 – Azerbaijan
- E40 – Macedonia
- E42 – European community (this is unused)
- E43 – Japan
- E45 – Australia
- E46 – Ukraine
- E47 – South Africa
- E48 – New Zealand
- “0601245”: The first two digits, “06” means the helmet is homologated to the ECE R22.06 standard (ECE 22.05 if the digits are "05"), while “01245” is the approval number for this model.
- “P”: Tested and homologated as a full-face helmet with protective chin bar.
- “-123456”: Batch number of the test.
As for other types of helmets such as modular full-face (such as SHOEI NEOTEC 2):
- You may see “P/J” or “J/P”.
- Again, “P” means the chin bar is protective when lowered, and the helmet becomes a full-face.
- The “J” type certification (for jet helmet) is necessary because the rider may ride with the chin bar open or removed.
- Should the modular helmet only have “J” or “NP” (NOT the SHOEI NEOTEC 2) it means the chin bar was not tested or did not pass protective tests, hence not protective even when lowered and locked in place.
For open-face helmets such as the SHOEI J.O:
- You will see the letter “J” type certification (for jet helmet).