Technical harmonisation in the EU is based on the Whole Vehicle Type-Approval System (WVTA). Under the WVTA, a manufacturer can obtain certification for a vehicle type in one EU country and market it EU-wide without further tests. The certification is issued by a type-approval authority and the tests are carried out by the designated technical services.
Directive 2007/46/EC sets out the safety and environmental requirements that motor vehicles have to comply with before being placed on the EU market. The Directive makes the EU-WVTA system mandatory for all categories of motor vehicles and their trailers. A large number of UNECE regulations are also made mandatory. These replace 38 Directives previously in force.
The major overhaul of the EU type-approval framework for motor vehicles was adopted on 30 May 2018.
The new regulation will make vehicle testing more independent and increase surveillance of cars already in circulation. It will:
It becomes mandatory for all new vehicle models as of 1 September 2020. The new rules go together with Commission initiatives such as the proposal for a new deal for consumers. In a Dieselgate-type scenario, this initiative allows victims of unfair commercial practices to obtain remedies collectively through a representative action.
Approval authorities are established or appointed by EU countries and notified to the Commission. The approval authorities have competence for:
Lists of approval authorities in the EU countries:
A certificate of conformity is a statement by the manufacturer that the vehicle conforms to EU type-approval requirements. EU countries cannot refuse to register vehicles if they are accompanied by a valid CoC that proves their compliance with EU law. The Commission has proposed simpler rules for the motor vehicle registration of a car already registered on one EU country to be registered in another.
A technical service is an organisation or a body designated by the national approval authority as a:
EU countries have to notify the Commission of the name and details of designated technical services for:
Lists of technical services for each EU country: