A new European directive on whole vehicle type approval (ECWVTA) is coming into force with the aim of ensuring that all new commercial vehicles across the European Union meet the same safety and environmental standards.
The directive is being phased in so that it will apply to vans and light trucks from 29th October 2011, and heavy trucks and trailers from 29th October 2012. It has applied to cars since 1996.
Under ECWVTA manufacturers will be responsible for ensuring that their vehicles meet a series of construction requirements covering areas such as braking, lighting, crash safety and environmental standards.
In addition the manufacturer’s production processes will be assessed to confirm that each vehicle coming off the production line conforms to the same approval standards.
The Department for Transport has used provisions within the directive to implement national approval schemes which will be available at a lower cost.
Low volume manufactures wishing to sell in the UK only will be required to meet National Small Series Type Approval or Individual Vehicle Approval requirements rather than ECWVTA.