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ECE104 Explained

All registered HGV’s over 3.5 tonnes, busses, taxis, caravan and trailers will require reflective conspicuity markings that clearly outline the rear and sides of the vehicle to make it visible for up to 1000 metres at night. ECE R104 specifies the standard for the reflective material that must be used, and where and how it must be positioned on the vehicle or trailer.


About ECE104

  • ECE R104 is a regulation that establishes guidelines for the use of retro-reflective safety markings on the rear and sides of heavy goods vehicles.
  • It requires that homologated retro-reflective markings be applied to HGV’s with a mass over 3.5 tonnes, busses, taxis, caravans and trailers.
  • The reflective material must carry the “E-mark” which means the tape meets the minimum requirements of the regulation.
  • Yellow markings must be used for the sides and rear of vehicles, covering at least 80 per cent of its length.
  • Where practical restrictions prevent strict adherence to the regulations, some flexibility is provided for, but as much as possible, the idea is to mark the true dimensions of the vehicle so that it is obvious to other drivers.

Why Mark?

  • Conspicuity markings reduce accidents and save lives. Studies conducted over a 10 year period show that well marked trucks are 30 times* less likely to be involved in a road traffic accident
  • Improve safety and increase visibility of vehicles. Other drivers are able to notice marked vehicles 5 to 8 times faster**, allowing for considerably longer reaction time and safer driving/overtaking
  • Fewer accidents mean less downtime, less contracts missed and savings on repair costs
  • Improve corporate image through being more proactive about safety
  • Protect your company against potential legal action related to third party safety
  • Reassures and motivates drivers to know that your business takes their safety seriously
  • To meet the requirements under ECE R104

*Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany, 2004 **Ludwig Boltzman Institute, Vienna, Austria, 2002


Technical Downloads

For detailed product information download our data sheets:

Regulation ECE104 - Guidance (PDF 125.87KB)

Brochure Downloads

For a summary of features and benefits of our products, download our brochures:

Diamond Grade Vehicle Marking Tape 983 (PDF 49.52KB)


What is conspicuity?

Conspicuity enables a vehicle to be clearly seen, even when other road users are not actively looking for it

Is it easy to apply conspicuity tape and can it be applied by myself / in-house?

Yes, conspicuity tape is easy to fit and can be applied by yourself or in-house, For best results, follow 3M's Cleaning and Application Guide. (pdf, 174KB)

What is the expected durability of the 3M conspicuity tape?

The warranty for 3M™ Diamond Grade™ Vehicle Marking Film Series 983 when applied to rigid surfaces is 8 years. The warranty for 3M™ Diamond Grade™ Vehicle Marking Film Series 997 and 997S when applied to curtain sided vehicles is 3 years which is akin to that for the curtains themselves. This durability does not extend to the types of physical damage (scraping, gouging etc) that adversely affect vehicles.

What colour conspicuity tape should be used?

Sides - Yellow
Rear - Yellow

What is the “E-Mark”?

The E-mark is proof that the product has been extensively tested and certified by an independent and authorised centre. The E-mark will be granted only when the marking tape has met the requirements of regulation ECE104. The certification approval process for conspicuity products is done to ensure that they meet requirements for colour, reflectivity and durability set out in Regulation ECE104.

The E-mark is permanently printed within the approved marking tape at least every 50 cm. Without the E-Mark printed within the marking tape, the product is not compliant with the regulation. 3M Diamond Grade Vehicle Marking Film Series have met all the requirements of ECE104 and the E-Mark can be found printed on the material. The E-mark gives you piece of mind that the product will perform to a high standard


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