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The Road Vehicles (Approval) Regulations 2009

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The primary purpose of these Regulations is to implement Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and trailers and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, known as the “Framework Directive” (OJ No L263, 9.10.2007, p.1). The Directive has been amended by Regulation (EC) No. 1060/2008, which, for the most part, updated its technical and administrative requirements (OJ No L292, 31.10.2008, p.1). The Regulations extend to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Part 1 (regulations 1 to 5) provides for general preliminary matters.

Regulations 3 and 4 define terms used in the Regulations, both general and those specifically concerning vehicles. Regulation 3 introduces Schedule 2 which provides for the interpretation of references to requirements in regulatory acts (i.e. Community instruments and UNECE Regulations).

Regulation 5 specifies the types of vehicle to which the Regulations apply. It provides for exemptions, optional application and, with Part 1 of Schedule 3, for the gradual application of the Regulations to vehicles of different categories and classes.

Part 2 (regulations 6 to 11) prescribes conditions relating to vehicle approval which must be satisfied before a vehicle may be registered or put into service on a road in the United Kingdom.

Regulation 6 provides that a motor vehicle may not be registered or granted a first licence under the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 unless it is covered by an appropriate approval. It also introduces Part 2 of Schedule 3 which provides for alternative requirements to apply in certain cases, either indefinitely or during a transitional period, and for certain temporary exemptions.

Regulations 7 to 10 prescribe the conditions to be satisfied by suppliers of trailers in respect of the first use of such vehicles. They provide that a large trailer may not be put into service unless the approval authority (the Secretary of State) has given consent and that consent may only be given if the vehicle is covered by an appropriate approval. They further provide that a record of “pertinent information” must be kept for each trailer, in the case of a large trailer by the approval authority and in the case of a small trailer by or on behalf of the supplier. With Part 3 of Schedule 3 they make alternative provision for some trailers during a transitional period.

Regulation 11 creates offences of supplying and using trailers without complying with prescribed conditions.

Part 3 (regulations 12 to 23) makes provision for EC type approvals and related matters.

Regulation 12 provides for applications for type approvals by reference to Directive 2007/46/EC and regulation 13 provides for the approval procedure and prescribes (also by reference to that Directive) the requirements which must be fulfilled for the grant of EC type approval. Regulation 14 provides for amendment to approvals. Regulation 15 requires manufacturers of vehicles which are type approved to issue certificates of conformity in the prescribed form. Regulations 16 and 17 provide for conformity of production procedures to be observed and regulation 18 for manufacturers of vehicles and equipment to co-operate by the appropriate exchange of safety information. Regulation 19 provides for the withdrawal or suspension of EC type approval in the event breach of the requirements as to conformity of production. Regulation 20 makes special provision for EC type approval of vehicles produced in small numbers (“small series”). Regulations 21 to 23 provide for cases where parts or equipment may compromise safety and for the recall of vehicles which are a risk to public safety or the environment.

Part 4 (regulations 24 to 28) makes provision for vehicle approvals which are valid in the United Kingdom only and for related matters.

Regulation 24 provides for applications for national type approval of vehicles produced in small numbers. Regulation 25 provides for the type approval procedure and prescribes, with Schedule 4, the technical requirements which must be fulfilled for the grant of such approvals. It also makes provision for conformity of production and the issue of certificates of conformity, the numbers of vehicles which may be produced being limited according to the type of vehicle in question (limits being specified in a table). Regulation 26 specifies the procedure for recognition of national type approvals issued in other Member States. Regulation 27 provides for individual approval of particular vehicles by the approval authority, including the recognition of vehicles approved under the national regimes of other Member States and, with Schedule 5, prescribes the technical requirements which must be fulfilled for the grant of such approvals. Regulation 28, with Schedule 6, prescribes the form of national certificates.

Part 5 (regulations 29 to 32) makes provision about the validity of type approvals.

Regulation 29 specifies the circumstances in which EC type approvals cease to be valid and regulation 30 the circumstances in which national small series type approvals cease to be valid. Regulations 31 and 32 provides for “end-of-series” vehicles, i.e. vehicles which have been produced in conformity with an EC or national type approval which has since ceased to be valid. With the consent of the approval authority vehicles manufactured 3 months or more before the date when the type approval ceased to be valid may be registered for a specified period after that date (12 or 18 months according to the number of stages of manufacture).

Part 6 (regulations 33 to 42) makes provision for miscellaneous matters, including enforcement and the review of approval authority decisions.

Regulation 33 creates offences of forgery of approvals and certificates of conformity and of making false statements, supplying false information or using a false document (e.g. a record of test results) for the purposes of the Regulations. Regulation 34 empowers the approval authority to enter premises used for a purpose connected with the Regulations to inspect those premises and any vehicles, documents, data and so on found on them, to copy data found on the premises and to remove items from the premises when necessary. Regulation 35 imposes a duty on the approval authority to give reasons when issuing notice of specified decisions, regulation 36 provides for the review of the authority’s decisions on type approval applications and other matters relating to type approval and regulation 37 provides for appeals against decisions on individual vehicle approval applications. Regulation 38 provides for the issue of duplicate certificates to replace those lost or destroyed, and regulation 39 for the services of notices under the Regulations. Regulations 40 and 41 relate to the provision of testing stations and the designation of technical services and regulation 42 makes a saving for applications made under the Motor Vehicles (EC Type Approval) Regulations 1998 which are now revoked.

The effect of regulation 3(3) and Schedule 2 is to transpose also the following 3 Commission Directives:

  • Directive 2008/74 /EC of 18 July 2008 (OJ No L192, 19.7.2008, p.51), which amends the type approval requirements in Directive 2005/55 (OJ No L275, 20.10.2005, p.1) and 2005/78 (OJ No L 313, 29.11.2005, p.1) as respects emissions from light passenger and commercial vehicles (Euro 5 and 6) and access to vehicle repair and maintenance information;

  • Directive 2008/89 of 24 September 2008 (OJ No L257, 25.9.2008, p.14), which amends the type approval requirements in Directive 76/756/EEC (OJ No L262, 27.9.76, p.1) as respects the installation of lighting and light-signalling devices on motor vehicles and trailers; and

  • Directive 2009/1 of 7 January 2009 (OJ No OJ No L9, 14.1.2009, p.31), which amends the type approval requirements in Directive 2005/64/EC (OJ No L310, 25.11.2005, p.10) with regard to the reusability, recyclability and recoverability of motor vehicles.

Regulation 3(3) and Schedule 2 also re-enact provisions in the Motor Vehicles (EC Type Approval) Regulations 1998 which implement certain transitional provisions of Directive 2003/97/EC, Regulation (EC) No 715/2007 of the European Parliament and Council. (The Official Journal references are respectively L25, 29.1.2004, p.1 and L171, 29.6.2007, p.1.)

A full Impact Assessment of the effect this instrument will have on the costs of the business, voluntary and public sectors has been produced and is available from the Transport Technology and Standards Division, Department for Transport, Zone 2/01 Great Minster House, 76 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DR or may be accessed via the Department’s website at A copy has been placed in the library of each House of Parliament.

A Transposition Note is also available and may be accessed as above.

A copy of Directive 2007/46/EC may be obtained from the Office of Public Sector Information or viewed in the Official Journal of the European Union via the EU website at

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