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Overview of European winter tyre regulations

  • EU-wide overview for the use of winter tyres and snow chains
  • Alpine symbol becomes mandatory in Germany
  • Scandinavia winter tyres exceed requirements of M+S and 3PMSF symbols


Hanover, 23 November. Continental has been developing and producing winter tyres for almost 80 years. Today, the company uses these many years of experience to produce high-performance winter tyres, which make a significant contribution to economic efficiency and safety in winter driving. For the transport market and its users, Continental is once again releasing an overview of the European regulations regarding winter equipment for trucks and buses, which also provides further information on the performance of winter tyres. This can be found online at:


The overview of the regulations for tyres and snow chains in European countries, including Turkey, is supplemented by useful hints such as using studded tyres or carrying snow shovels and sand. The website also explains what tyre manufacturers do to ensure optimal traction and driving safety even on cold, wet or icy roads as well as what the M+S, Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) and the snowflake symbol on the side walls of Continental winter tyres mean.

Especially important for forwarding agents: legal changes in 2017

Forwarding agents who operate across Europe should always keep an eye on the legal regulations for winter tyres and snow chains in the various countries, which can sometimes differ significantly. For example, in Germany a change in the winter regulations came into force as of 1 June 2017, stipulates new minimum requirements for tyres in the winter. Accordingly, tyres on permanently driven axles must now display the 3PMSF alpine symbol. A transition period permits the use of M+S tyres produced before 31 December 2017 until 30 September 2024. For tyres on the front axle, the requirement for the alpine symbol applies only from 1 July 2020. This change in the law does not apply to the trailer axle.

Constantin Batsch

“We welcome these new requirements because they place higher demands on the performance of winter tyres, which we as a manufacturer also apply to our products,” says Constantin Batsch, Vice President Truck Tires EMEA. Often, legislators only require the drive axle to be fitted with tyres with the M+S symbol and varying tread depths for a specified season. However, the weather is becoming increasingly unpredictable as recent years have shown. Vehicles with simple M+S tyres often fail even on small inclines, meaning that delivery deadlines can no longer be met.

To overcome these critical situations, tyre developers from Continental recommend their Scandinavia winter tyres with the snowflake symbol on the tyre wall, which they have specially developed for the cold season. “Compared with M+S tyres, our Conti Scandinavia winter tyres make considerable improvements in safety and economic efficiency thanks to better traction in winter driving conditions. They even significantly exceed the requirements of the Three-Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMSF) symbol,” says Constantin Batsch.

Continental can look back on a tradition of innovation spanning more than 140 years and is recognized as a leading technology supplier in the automotive industry. The company developed its first truck winter tyres in 1937 and, since then, has continuously improved its tyres and related services. This has been supplemented by innovative solutions for professional tyre management. The company’s commitment and high level of expertise are just some of the many reasons why tyres from Continental are amongst the most efficient and the safest for trucks and buses.

Media Enquiries Contact
Kashini Krishnamurthy

Marketing Communications Specialist

Truck Tyres Asia Pacific

Continental Tyre PJ Malaysia Sdn Bhd

4, Jalan Tandang, 46050 Petaling Jaya

Selangor, Malaysia

+603 7787 4117