Motor vehicle type approval

Motor vehicle type approval is the method by which motor vehicles, vehicle trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles achieve Type approval in Europe.


This is outlined in framework directive Directive 2007/46/EC[1] rules approval schemes of the new motor vehicles and their trailers in the European Union:[2]

The European Commission shall adopt amendments to this Directive which are necessary to lay down technical requirements for small series vehicles, vehicles approved under the individual approval procedure and 'special purpose vehicles'.[1]

ECE Regulations to which the Community has acceded and which are listed in Part I of Annex IV and in Annex XI of the frame Directive are part of the EC type-approval of a vehicle in the same way as the separate directives or regulations. They shall apply to the categories of vehicles listed in this Annexes. When the Community has decided to apply on a compulsory basis a UNECE Regulation for the purpose of EC vehicle type-approval in accordance with Article 4(4) of Decision 97/836/EC,[4] the annexes to the Frame Directive shall be amended as appropriate in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 40(2) .The UNECE Regulations listed in Part II of Annex IV are recognised as being equivalent to the corresponding separate directives or regulations in as much as they share the same scope and subject matter. Where the Community has decided to applya new UNECE Regulation or a UNECE Regulation as amended, Part II of Annex IV shall be amended as appropriate.[1]

Automotive EC Directives and ECE Regulations require third party approval - testing, certification and production conformity assessment by an independent body. Each member state is required to appoint an Approval Authority to issue the approvals, and a Technical Service to carry out the testing to the Directives and Regulations.

An approval issued by one Authority will be accepted in all the Member States.[5] If a vehicle is produced in a very small quantity (e.g. M1 maximum 75 per year), single EU Member States can grant exception on a discretionary basis, however the validity of the Type Approval is limited to the boundaries of those Nations which concede to it.[6]

Cornerstones of the Type Approval process are:[6]

A particular country’s Type Approval may consist of one or more of the following forms:

  • Component Type Approval ─ approval of a component that may be fitted to any vehicle (e.g., seat belts, tires, lamps)
  • System Type Approval ─ approval of a set of components or a performance feature of a vehicle that can only be tested and certified in an installed condition (e.g., restraint system, brake system, lighting system)
  • Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) ─ approval of a vehicle in its entirety[7]

There are multiple methods of type-approval:[1]

  • multi-stage Type Approval: a procedure whereby one or more Member States certify that, depending on the state of completion, an incomplete or completed type of vehicle satisfies the relevant administrative provisions and technical requirements of this Directive
  • step-by-step Type Approval: a vehicle approval procedure consisting in the step-by-step collection of the whole set of EC type-approval certificates for the systems, components and separate technical units relating to the vehicle, and which leads, at the final stage, to the approval of the whole vehicle
    • mixed Type Approval: means a step-by-step Type Approval procedure for which one or more system approvals are achieved during the final stage of the approval of the whole vehicle, without it being necessary to issue the EC Type Approval certificates for those systems
  • single-step Type Approval: a procedure consisting in the approval of a vehicle as a whole by means of a single operation

EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (also called Pan European Type Approval) is to prevent trade barriers, and at the same time guarantee the level of safety and restricted environmental influence of a vehicle. Thanks to that, the car can be registered in each European member state without additional national tests or approval. This harmonisation results in reduced costs and lead time for the manufacturer, importer as well as the consumer. Mandatory compliance date for ECWVTA for M1 vehicles was 2009-04-29.[8] However cars that already have an ECWVTA but are imported from non EC countries often need to be re-approved when entering the EC.[9]

In the United Kingdom, this function is performed by the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA).[10] This body has the power to issue International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certifications.

Electric vehiclesEdit

Electric vehicles are rules by Regulation No 100 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UNECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of battery electric vehicles with regard to specific requirements for the construction, functional safety and hydrogen emission[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles (Framework Directive) Text with EEA relevance". - Access to European Union law. - Publications Office of the European Union. 9 October 2007. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  2. ^ "Motor Vehicle Approval Schemes". Ireland: National Standards Authority of Ireland. 1 April 2009. Archived from the original on 17 June 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  3. ^ "EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval - Introduction". UK Vehicle Certification Agency, Department for Transport. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 27 September 2009.
  4. ^ "EUR-Lex - 31997D0836 - EN - EUR-Lex".
  5. ^ "Type Approval for Cars".
  6. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Resaffa Nogueira Martins, Henrique. Overview of Type Approval Homologation and Self Certification. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31708.39041
  8. ^ " - Home" (PDF).
  9. ^ "Homologation - International Container Shipping".
  10. ^ "Vehicle Type Approval through VCA worldwide". Archived from the original on 26 September 2006. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
  11. ^ "EUR-Lex - 42009X0214(01) - EN - EUR-Lex".

External linksEdit