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Differences in national standards in the design and construction of road infrastructure as well as vehicles’ permissible weight, dimensions and emissions pose various challenges in international road transport. For example, overloaded/oversized foreign vehicles may not be compatible with the design of road network can therefore lead to serious impact on road infrastructure maintenance and safety. In addition, countries may have different emission standards applicable to the road vehicles. These factors could act as deterrent for countries to open their domestic roads for international transport and deny access of foreign vehicles to national roads.

In line with its objective to make cross-border and transit road freight transport more seamless and efficient for countries along the Asian Highway network and beyond, ESCAP undertook a study to develop recommendations that will facilitate the harmonization of national and sub-regional standards on weights, dimensions and emissions of road freight vehicles under the project of “Strengthening the capacity of ESCAP member States to harmonize standards on weights, dimensions and emissions of road vehicles for facilitation of transport along the Asian Highway network.”

The study report includes overview of existing applicable standards on weights, dimensions and emissions in countries along the Asian Highway network, as well as recommended harmonized standards for dimensions and weights of road freight vehicles taking into consideration various technical criteria, including the AH road design standards etc. Recommended standards on emission is also provided. In addition, the study report contains collections of regional experiences, best practices and recommendations on institutional steps on the implementations of the recommended standards.

For more information, please contact Mr. Edouard Chong (e-mail:, Economic Affairs Officer of the ESCAP Transport Division.

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