UN R129 (i-Size) status
On the 9th of July 2013 the new UN R129 (i-Size) legislation has officially been adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). In the meantime 60 countries, including all EU countries, have adopted this new regulation. The complete list of countries can be consulted on page 171 of the UN agreement.
The official UN R129 (i-Size) legislation document can be consulted here.
EU Countries have to follow the agreements that are established at the level of UNECE but some of them may have to adapt these rules in national laws. France and the Netherlands have already officially included and enforced UN R129 (i-Size) car seats in their national law.
i-Size is an evolution of the current ISOFIX ECE R44-04 car seats, and is often referred to as super ISOFIX. i-Size car seats have always been intended to be “backwards compatible” with ISOFIX cars. UNECE has adopted an amendment to the seat belt wearing directive (UN regulation R14 and R16) that concerns the approval of vehicles equipped with seat belts, restraint systems and child restraint systems. The amendment, applicable from the 15th of July 2013, clearly describes that an ISOFIX position in a car also allows to install UN R129 car seats. The amendment can be consulted here.
i-Size is the first effective part of the new UN R129 regulation and concerns car seats that are usable for children from birth to 105 cm and offer ISOFIX installation (similar to ECE R44-04 ISOFIX installed group 0+ and group 1). By the end of 2014, UN R129 will be extended for seat belt installed car seats up to 105 cm (similar to ECE R44-04 SEAT BELT installed group 0+ and group 1), and ISOFIX or seatbelt installed car seats from 100 to 150 cm (similar to ECE R44-04 installed group 2/3).
UN R129 will run in parallel with the current safety regulation ECE R44-04 in the coming years. It is expected that in the future UN R129 will replace the ECE R44-04 legislation. Until then, car seats complying with ECE R44-04 can continued to be sold and used safely.
UN R129 (i-Size) leads to an increased safety
UN R129 (i-Size) will further increase the safety level for children transported in cars. Car seats approved according to the i-Size regulation provide the following major safety improvements:
- Better protection for the head and neck of babies and toddlers due to rearward facing transport until the age of 15 months.
- Side impact requirements for better protection of head and neck thanks to a new dynamic test reproducing a lateral impact with the intrusion of a door inside the vehicle.
- Promoting ISOFIX and therefore reducing misuse.
- Easier choosing the right car seat because of length classification, similar like clothing sizes.
- Better compatibility between car and child car seats.
As Dorel, we care for precious life. Dorel has very actively participated in the establishment of the new UN R129 (i-Size) regulation and we fully support its implementation. UN R129 (i-Size) approved child car seats are even safer than ECE R44-04 approved child car seats, and therefore we support their commercialization and use. It is our duty to develop and commercialize child car seats that comply with the highest safety standard possible. The enforcement of UN R129 will increase the level of safety requirements for child car seats in the market.
 UN R129 (i-Size) has no official upper length limitation. However, compatibility constraints with cars including mass and volume limitation physically limit the design of car seats to a maximum child stature of 105 cm.
You can also download the i-Size statement as pdf.