Historically, some European Member States may have operated their own set of national requirements for trailers. However, Directive 2007/46/EC, as amended, introduced a European wide certification scheme for these vehicles, which is currently being phased in. Existing national arrangements will apply until the application dates outlined below. The key application dates are:
Some of the terminology used in the table above may be unfamiliar. Vehicle category definitions and a glossary of frequently used terms may be accessed using the links below.
Type approval is the confirmation that production samples of a design will meet specified performance standards. The specification of the product is recorded and only that specification is approved.
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.
VCA is the designated UK Approval Authority and a Technical Service for all type approvals to automotive EC Directives and ECE Regulations.
Routes to certification
Until the relevant application date for your particular vehicle category (outlined above), existing national arrangements will be in place. However, once the relevant application date applies, the following routes to certification will be available to you:
EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) is based around EC Directives and provides for the approval of whole vehicles, in addition to vehicle systems and separate components. This certification is accepted throughout the EU without the need for further testing until a standard is updated or your design changes.
Low volume/Small Series Manufacturers
Full EC whole vehicle type approval (ECWVTA) won’t suit everyone, particularly those manufacturing vehicles in low numbers. In recognition of this fact in the UK there are other National approval routes available which may be more suitable.
Note that in the UK the national regulations covering vehicles which are in-service have certain exemptions for tipping vehicles. For example safety equipment such as spray suppression, lateral protection and rear underrun protection are not required in use and are not tested as part of the annual roadworthiness test. However, these exemptions are not carried over into any of the approval schemes, and so these safety devices and equipment must be fitted in order to gain approval and in subsequent production
(National Small Series Type Approval) is a UK national scheme for low volume manufacturers who intend to sell only in the UK. The advantages of NSSTA are relaxed technical requirements for some subjects, reduced Conformity of Production (CoP) requirement, and reduction in administrative requirements. Like ECWVTA, once the design is approved, individual vehicles do not need to be tested.
Individual Vehicle Approval) is a UK national scheme and the most likely route for those manufacturing or importing single vehicles or very small numbers. IVA does not require CoP as it is based upon inspecting each vehicle, although most bodybuilders and converters will work with manufacturers to ensure there is no warranty compromise.
* Customers in North America should contact us here to make an application, or for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow these links to either a PowerPoint presentation, or PDF version of a recent seminar on O1 (up to 750kg) and O2 (750kg to 3500kg) Category Trailers:
Other related information
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