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New EU vehicle type-approval framework in place

On the 1st September 2020, the Regulation (EU) 2018/858 on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles started to apply 

The Regulation was adopted in May 2018 to replace the Directive 2007/46/EC establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles, their systems and components. The main change is that the new regulation significantly overhauls and tightens the previous type approval and market surveillance system. It will raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing, increase checks of cars that are already on the EU market and strengthen the overall system with European oversight. 

The key elements of the Regulation (EU) 2018/858 are: 

  • Independence and quality of testing before a car is placed on the market: Technical services performing tests will be regularly audited and national approval authorities subject to peer reviews. 
  • Checks on cars already on the market: Member States will be required to regularly test a minimum number of cars and will be now able to take safeguard measures against non-compliant vehicles on their territory without waiting for the type approval authority to take action. 
  • Additional European oversight: the European Commission will now be able to carry out compliance and conformity checks on vehicles in laboratories or on the road. It can order EU-wide recalls and even impose sanctions on non-compliant manufacturers of up to € 30 000 per vehicle. 

The new rules contained in the Regulation were proposed by the European Commission in the wake of the Dieselgate scandal in 2015. However, the reform is also part of the Commission’s wider effort for a clean, sustainable and competitive car sector as laid down in its Communication “Europe on the Move”. 

Answers to frequently asked questions about the reform can be found in a recently updated document of the Commission Questions and answers: New EU type-approval rules for safer and cleaner cars which can be found here 

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