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Frequently Asked Questions - ECWVTA

Some pointers on the new revised framework directive - 2007/46/EC

Other FAQ's available:

FAQ's - General

FAQ's - Type Approval

FAQ's - Importing A Vehicle

FAQ's - Fuel Consumption

Who will be affected by ECWVTA?

The majority of business affected will be the manufacturers and converters of commercial vehicles, namely Buses and Coaches, Goods Vehicles and Trailers. For a more comprehensive description of the vehicles affected please refer to the vehicle category definitions within the directive.

Two business sectors that will be particularly affected are body builders, i.e. those that take a chassis and build or modify a body of any description on it before selling it to the customer, and manufacturers of commercial vehicles imported from inside and outside Europe.

What are the Enforcement dates for the new Directive?

Categories New type - Optional New type - Mandatory Existing type - Mandatory

M1

NA

29 April 2009

NA

M1 Special Purpose

29 April 2009

29 April 2011

29 April 2012

N1 - Incomplete & Complete

29 April 2009

29 October 2010

29 October 2011

N1 - Completed

29 April 2009

29 October 2011

29 April 2013

N2, N3, O1, O2, O3, O4 - Incomplete & Complete

29 April 2009

29 October 2010

29 October 2012

M2 & M3 - Incomplete & Complete

29 April 2009

29 April 2009 (1)

29 October 2010

N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4 - Special Purpose

29 April 2009

29 October 2012

29 October 2014

N2, N3 - Completed

29 April 2009

29 October 2012

29 October 2014

M2, M3 - Completed

29 April 2009

29 April 2010 (1)

29 October 2011

O1, O2, O3, O4 - Completed

29 April 2009

29 October 2011

29 October 2013

 

Note (1): National approval available for a further 12 months subject to Art 45(4) 

70/156/EEC (the old Framework Directive) is repealed with effect from 29/4/09. The first stages of application  start to work in 2009, with voluntary whole vehicle approvals being available for all types of vehicle at that time.   Mandatory Approval will follow over the next few years, starting with buses and coaches (on the same date in 2009), with Whole Vehicle Approval for trailers bringing up the rear in 2013.   The table from Annex 19 of the Directive explains in full:

Why do I need ECWVTA?

If you are planning to make or import vehicles for sale in the UK or any other member state, you must have the relevant approval. Without it, vehicles cannot use the roads. In other words no approval, no sale!

What are the benefits to me of ECWVTA?

A key objective of ECWVTA is the harmonisation of the European market. No member state can refuse to register or permit the sale and entry into service of new vehicles (on the grounds of construction) if they are accompanied by a valid certificate of conformity (COC).

A certificate of conformity is, in effect, a statement by the manufacturer that the vehicle conforms to the relevant EC type-approval. Member states cannot refuse to register vehicles for use on their roads if they comply with a properly issued type-approval.

Why do I need to think about ECWVTA Now?

ECWVTA may affect your design, manufacturing and administrative processes.

What do I need for Whole Vehicle Type Approval?

To achieve type-approval for a new vehicle you will need to:

  • Consider the design and construction of your vehicle to ensure that all the relevant components comply; these are listed in the Directive.
  • Make certain you are working from the most up-to-date version of the Directive as it is revised from time to time to include new standards
  • Apply for type-approval. This requires:
    • A thorough examination of your pre-production vehicles (including some destructive testing where appropriate) to ensure that the vehicle meets rigorous safety and environment standards - not a quick or cheap process.
    • Your production process to be subjected to a Conformity of Production Assessment. You will need to provide detailed documentation of the production process to demonstrate that all vehicles of the same type manufactured following the process will conform to the type approved specification.

Once type-approval has been awarded you, as the manufacturer, will be solely responsible for ensuring the conformity of production (COP) for the period for which the approval is valid. You will then be able to issue a Certificate of Conformity for each vehicle of that type that you produce.

Ensuring Continuous Conformity

After approval has been given, the UK automotive approval authority must verify that the production arrangements of the manufacturer continue to be adequate. Verification must be carried out in accordance with certain procedures set out in the directive, and where appropriate, with the specific provisions of the separate directives.

Impact on Resources and Business Processes

To meet the new challenges presented by ECWVTA you may need to review your staff and financial resources to determine whether you need to bring in additional skills and how much more compliance may cost.

What if I only sell in the UK?

The UK Government realises that there is a significant number of small to medium businesses throughout the UK that build vehicles in small volumes or on an individual basis that are not for export to the European market and therefore the wider market benefits of ECWVTA do not apply. In addition, a number of national manufactures do not produce sufficient volumes of vehicles to make it cost effective to adopt ECWVTA if it were the only option. The Government has therefore agreed in principle that there should be national schemes for small series type approval (SSTA), which has a limit on the number of vehicles of a type that can be sold each year, and individual vehicle approval (IVA).

The national schemes maintain the same technical standards as defined in the Directive, but aim to keep the cost of compliance affordable. This will be achieved by having a less onerous approach to proof of compliance and documentation management and where appropriate proposing alternative technical requirements.

A vehicle that meets UK national approval will not automatically be accepted for sale elsewhere in Europe. You will have to apply to the type-approval authority in the relevant member state, and they will decide whether the type-approval meets their national requirements.

Do I have a say in how the national schemes are developed?

Yes. The DfT will be going out to statutory consultation and this will give you an opportunity to comment on the proposals for the national schemes. Details of when the consultation will take place will be posted on the DfT web site (www.dft.gov.uk). Alternatively you can register your interest in taking part by e-mailing your contact details to ecwvtaconsult@dft.gsi.gov.uk .

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