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What is Regulation 90?

UN ECER90, is a safety regulation which was introduced in 1999 for replacement disc brake pads and brake shoes. 


The aim was to establish a common minimum standard of braking performance, product integrity and quality across the whole of Europe. Previously, the market was unregulated and products of dubious performance and quality could be sold with impunity with consequent safety risks to all road users.

ECE R90:02 E-mark Regulation 90

Brake drums and discs were not included in ECE R90. These too are safety critical components and so the approval was extended in 2014 to include commercial vehicle products and in 2016 for light vehicles and it became known as ECE R90:02.

This regulation only applies to replacement parts for braking systems type-approved after the following dates:

Light Vehicles

​Pads and shoes - September 1999

Discs and drums - November 2016

Commercial Vehicles

Brake Pads - November 2014

Brake linings - November 2014

Discs and drums - November 2014


The approval of replacement parts for vehicles already in production before these dates will not be mandatory.

How is Product Tested?

ECE R90 for brake pads and shoes comprises of the following vehicle tests:

  • R13H (the legal tests used to approve new vehicle braking systems)

  • Type O cold performance

  • Type O high speed performance

  • Type 1 (Fade) test

  • Parking brake test (rear pads only)

  • Cold performance comparison With OE product (equivalence within 15% required)

  • Speed performance tests – 65/135 kph ( < 15% variation required)


Additionally ECE R90 sets minimum standards for:

  • Pad assembly

  • Shear strength

  • Conformance of production

  • Hot and cold compressive strength

  • Identification

  • Packaging    

ECE R90:02 for brake discs and drums comprises of the following vehicle tests:

  • Geometric Parameters

    • Disc thickness variation (DTV),

    • Cheek thickness variation,

    • Lateral run-out,

    • Parallelism,

    • Flatness & surface roughness

  • Performance tests

    • These tests are to check that a vehicle fitted with replacement parts meets the braking regulations that all new vehicles must meet before they can be released into the market by their manufacturer; to ensure vehicle safety, ECER90:02 requires that replacement brake discs and drums should provide performance levels within 8% of the OE part that it is replacing.

  • Structural Integrity Tests

  • Thermal Fatigue

  • High Load

    • The regulation incorporates very demanding thermal fatigue and high load tests. These tests are at the heart of ECER90:02 and are designed to ensure that replacement parts match the capability of OE parts in dissipating high levels of braking energy without excessive cracking of the braking surface or structural failure. 

  • Packaging

  • On-going conformance of production (CoP)

    • Chemical composition

    • Tensile strength

    • Hardness

How do I know if my product is approved to R90 standards?

All approved products will carry the “E” approval mark which will be of the following general form: 

CAR Pad Label

Above are examples showing where to find the appropriate approval number on each product.

In these examples “E11” indicates approval by the UK (other countries have different codes such as Germany which uses E1)

The next section:

"90R-01" indicates series 1 of the legislation, which ran from 1999 to 2016,

"90R-02" indicates series 2 of the amended regulation from 2016 onwards. 


The series 2 amendment numbers also indicate the product type tested, for example "A" denotes brake pads or shoes, "C” a brake disc and “D” for a brake drum,


The first series of digits (01820 or 0184 in the examples above) indicates the manufacturer (which is kept confidential but is known by the approving body) and the second series of digits indicates the specific part number tested.

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