UK type approval update consultation just around the corner

Publication of long-awaited consultation on a significant update to UK legislation based on European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) as it applies to heavy and light commercial vehicles is thought to be imminent.
The Department for Transport (DfT) has been conducting what it describes as “informal consultation” on the changes for several months.
Following a similar process, the Irish Republic’s Road Safety Authority published its consultation on “proposed amendments to the European Communities (Road Vehicles: Type Approval)
Regulations 2009 (Statutory Instrument number 158 of 2009)” last month, just before Christmas, with a closing date for responses set at 29 January 2016.
The UK’s DfT is expected to follow suit within a matter of weeks with broadly similar proposals, not least because of “mutual recognition” arrangements between the UK and Irish Republic on type approval matters.
Truck and trailer manufacturers in the UK are hoping that the consultation will include reference to the numerical limits for National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA), even though there is no mention of this in the Irish consultation. This remains a thorny issue because a four-metre truck height limit is in force throughout the EU for international journeys. In the Irish Republic the national limit is 4.65 metres. There is no limit in the UK. Truck manufacturers, trailer makers and bodybuilders at present need to obtain multiple NSSTAs to satisfy the demand for vehicles exceeding 4.00 metres.
Central to the Irish Republic’s consultation, and expected to be in the UK’s, are measures to close the National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) and Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) loophole which has allowed small numbers of trucks and buses with Euro-V engines to go on being built and sold in the UK and Irish Republic beyond the nominal final Euro-VI registration deadline of 1 January 2014.
Top of the list of changes highlighted by the RSA in its consultation document is: “Compulsory compliance with Euro-VI heavy-duty emissions for all vehicles manufactured after 1 July 2016. Vehicles whose build is finished before this date can be Euro-V.”
Reference to a change in type approval rules for “hydrogen fuelled vehicle” would seem to be of little concern to UK truck makers and bodybuilders. But actually it could be, because it applies to vehicles fuelled by liquid natural gas (LNG) as well.
The SMMT will host an event to brief companies on these changes. This is a member-only event and will take place on 2 March 2016. For more details on this, e-mail Nigel Base: