European Directive 2007/46/EC was published on 5th September 2007 and establishes a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles. This legislation, covering all kinds of road vehicles, has been introduced over a period of some five and a half years from April 2009 with goods vehicles and trailers being the last to be subject to enforcement on 29th October 2014.This summary of ECWVTA will describe goods vehicles having a maximum mass in excess of 3.5 tonnes and are completed in more than one build stage, e.g. a refuse collection vehicle comprising a chassis/cab supplied by a chassis dealer to which the bodywork, and possibly other separate technical unit(s), are fitted.
Replace the Member States` approval systems with a Community approval procedure based on the principle of total harmonisation
Ensure that new vehicles, components and separate technical units put on the market provide a high level of road safety, health protection, environmental protection, energy efficiency and protection against unauthorised use
Enable manufacturers to benefit from the advantages of the internal market by means of the Community type approval, i.e. a vehicle completed in one member country will be accepted without further approval in another member country.
European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA). A vehicle certified as having been completed in accordance with all the requirements of the Directive may be sold in any member state without having to undergo further examination and certification. The manufacturer is required to submit to full examination by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) of internal quality and conformity of production procedures. Following approval by VCA the manufacturer is given a type approval number and is then authorised to:
– affix an additional identification plate bearing its name, approval number, stage of approval, identification (serial) number and vehicle and axle maximum permitted masses.
– to issue a Certificate of Conformity for the completed vehicle enabling the vehicle to be registered for use on public roads.
2. National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA). A manufacturer of the completed vehicle may elect to follow this route if its annual production of a vehicle type is below 250 per annum for N2 and N3 categories and 250 per annum for O3 and O4 trailers. The procedure follows much the same lines as that for ECWVTA except the manufacturer may apply to the certification authority for relaxation of one or more of the provisions of one or more of the regulatory acts governing the construction of motor vehicles. Vehicles completed in accordance with NSSTA in one member state are not automatically approved for sale in another member state. A manufacturer may apply for certification in another member state but it is up to the certification authority in that state whether certification is granted.
3. Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA). In the case of very low annual production a manufacturer may opt for IVA in which case the completed vehicle is submitted to the certification authority of that state for examination and issuing of an individual approval certificate. As in the case of NSSTA the manufacturer may apply for relaxation of some provisions of the regulatory acts and the same conditions apply with respect to sales in another member state.
A new vehicle cannot be registered without submitting an approval certificate.