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Vehicle Type Approval – EU Exit Information

 

Background:

The purpose of this area of the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) website is to provide industry and other stakeholders with information around EU Exit and in particular, the type approval of vehicles and non-road mobile machinery. Information is outlined under the following headings

  • Ongoing discussions
  • Technical Notices – No deal contingency planning
  • Transferring European approvals issued by VCA – the ‘Commission Roadmap’

Ongoing discussions:

The Government has agreed in principle the terms of the UK’s smooth and orderly exit from the EU, as set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. The Government has also agreed the broad terms of our future relationship as set out in the outline Political Declaration, which puts us close to a deal. 

The Government has agreed the scope of the future relationship. The outline Political Declaration is a significant milestone, building on the progress that has already been made and signalling the ambition of both sides to embark on a new, deep and special partnership after the UK leaves the EU. It is in both the UK and EU’s interests to make sure that an agreement is reached to enable businesses to continue to operate in each other’s market as easily as possible. That remains the goal on both sides and we remain optimistic of a deal.

The UK aims to achieve this by pursuing mutual recognition of UK and EU type-approval certification. If this is achieved, industry would see little change with EU approvals issued in the UK and Europe being mutually accepted by both parties for the purpose of registration and the placing of goods onto the market.

As part of discussions, UK and EU negotiating teams have reached agreement on the terms of a time-limited implementation period, described as a bridge to the future. Subject to the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by both the UK and European Parliaments, the implementation period would start on 30 March 2019 and last until at least 31 December 2020.  To give businesses and citizen’s certainty, current rules will remain in place until the end of the period meaning businesses will be able to trade on the same terms as now up until at least the end of 2020.

This means that during the implementation period, businesses could continue to undertake compliance activity in the UK or overseas, which is overseen by UK-based authorities, such as VCA in case of type approval; it also follows that VCA issued approvals will continue to be valid in the EU during the implementation period.

It should also be borne in mind of course that VCA operates as part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) system and will continue to do so after the UK leaves the EU.  UNECE approvals issued by VCA, either historically, now or in the future, will not be affected by the exit of the UK from the EU.  

We do not want or expect a no deal scenario. It is however the duty of a responsible Government to continue to prepare for a range of potential outcomes including the unlikely event of no deal.  Extensive work to prepare for a ‘no deal’ scenario has been under way for almost two years and we are taking necessary steps to ensure the country continues to operate smoothly from the day we leave.

Technical Notices – No deal contingency planning:

The Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) has published 106 specific technical notices to help businesses, citizens and consumers to prepare for March 2019 in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario. These are available on gov.uk in a centralised location that is easy to access and use. The publication of the technical notices does not reflect an increased likelihood of ‘no deal’. 

The notice relating to type-approval of vehicles and non-road mobile machinery can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/vehicle-type-approval-if-theres-no-brexit-deal

It should be noted that UNECE type approvals are not affected by the withdrawal of the UK from the EU; all products with type approval and markings in accordance with UNECE type approval regulations will continue to be accepted by both EU and UK (subject of course to the status of either as a Contracting party to any particular regulation).  VCA will continue to be able to issue approvals in accordance with UNECE regulations in any case.

Contingency Planning

UK Type Approval Scheme

Following on from the publication of the technical notice on the type approval of vehicles and non-road mobile machinery the Department for Transport has set out proposals for the operation of a UK type approval scheme and measures aimed at ensuring the continuity of the supply of products into the UK market place.

In the event of ‘no deal’, existing EU type approvals (with the exception of e11 type approvals valid on 29 March 2019) would not automatically be recognised in the UK.

However, products which do not require registration for use on the road, i.e. trailers, engines for non-road mobile machinery and components, may continue to be placed on the market on the basis of existing EU approvals, at least until further UK legislation is introduced which is expected in 2019.

To help ensure the continued supply of automotive products into the UK market a new UK Type Approval Scheme is proposed.  In the event of ‘no deal’, the UK will issue a provisional UK approval to manufacturers with an EC approval that is valid at the time of exit (excluding e11 approvals that are valid on 29 March 2019 – these will continue to be valid in the UK).  This process will be completed on receipt of a valid application from a manufacturer or their authorised representative. This will be an administrative conversion process aimed at minimising the burden on industry. The provisional approval will be valid for a time-limited period of 2 years during which a full approval can be applied for.

This approach will prepare the UK and manufacturers for a ‘no deal’ scenario, whilst minimising unnecessary costs for industry if this scenario does not materialise.

To help industry and other stakeholders we have put together the following guidance, which provides more detailed information about the proposed scheme. 

https://www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/additional/files/general-information/eu-exit-type-approval/eu-exit-contingency-plan.pdf(277.5 KB)

It should be noted that UK National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) and UNECE approvals for systems and components remain valid.  The current UK IVA and MSVA schemes will also continue.

If you wish to obtain provisional UK type approvals from VCA please send an e-mail to;

‘No deal’ contingency - Stage 1

At the time the UK withdraws from the EU the UK technical requirements will be aligned with all existing EU requirements through retained EU legislation.

Existing EU type approvals which are valid at the time of withdrawal may be used to demonstrate compliance with the UK type approval scheme.

VCA are engaging with manufacturers to understand what EU approvals they hold and which are used in the UK market. On receipt of a correct application and by 30 March 2019 manufacturers will receive:

  • a letter from VCA on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport, and
  • an annex that lists all their UK provisional TA Numbers and the associated EU numbers

The letter from VCA will inform the manufacturer that:

  • This is a provisional approval, valid for at least two years;
  • Manufacturers are required to notify VCA of extensions to the EU approvals the provisional approvals are based on;
  • By the end of the two year period, all provisional approvals must be converted in to full UK approvals or will lapse; and
  • The VCA retain the right to request further documentation or carry out a physical inspection in a case of doubt about the validity of an EU certificate in order to issue full UK approval

‘No deal’ contingency - Stage 2

Over a period of two years, after receiving applications from manufacturers, VCA will convert provisional approvals into formal UK approvals.  This process will require the following:   Manufacturer to supply;

  • UK provisional type approval number
  • EU Type Approval Certificate
  • TA supporting documentation
  • Conformity of Production (CoP) supporting documentation

VCA assessment to confirm CoP procedures are in place. Approvals are granted only if satisfactory CoP measures in place. VCA issue a CoP Compliance Statement and then UK Type Approval Certificates.

VCA retain the right to request further documentation or carry out a physical inspection/audit in case of doubt about the validity of an EU certificate.

The legislation for the 2nd stage will set a date from which statutory markings must reflect the UK approval number and UK-specific Certificates of Conformity (CoC) are issued for vehicles. We currently believe a date 2 years from withdrawal would be appropriate however a final decision has not been made.

NB. We expect the legislation implementing the second stage to be in place shortly after exit. Until this is in place, manufacturers bringing new model types to market will continue to be issued with provisional approvals following the procedures set out in stage 1 or, if appropriate for their needs, National Small Series or Individual (Single) Vehicle Approvals.

Documentation

Information about the proposed scheme;

https://www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/additional/files/general-information/eu-exit-type-approval/eu-exit-contingency-plan.pdf (277.5 KB)

Application instructions;

https://www.vehicle-certification-agency.gov.uk/additional/files/general-information/eu-exit-type-approval/uk-scheme-application-instructions.pdf (97.2KB)

Transferring UK issued European approvals to another EU27 approval authority – the Commission roadmap

In April 2018 the Commission launched a consultation on its proposals aimed allowing holders of VCA issued European approvals to obtain a new type approvals for existing products from the Type Approval Authority of another Member State (EU27) approval authority in the absence of any other agreed arrangement. The current legislation does not allow manufacturers to apply for the approval of the same type in more than one Member State.

The aim of this initiative is to facilitate continued compliance with EU law by manufacturers who have obtained European approval from the UK and ensuring a level playing field with those having obtained approval from another Member State (EU27). 

You can find information about this at the links below:

https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2018-2236797_en

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/procedure/EN/2018_220

A proposal for the regulation itself can be found here;

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/AUTO/?uri=consil:ST_14682_2018_INIT

In the case of manufacturers that have products which are only type approved to an EU regulation or directive, and in the event of a ‘no deal’ scenario, any e11 type approvals you hold will no longer be valid in the EU. This means at least that;

  • In order to be able to sell, or place these products on the market in the EU, manufacturers will need to get a new approval from an EU27 type-approval authority.
  • Where these products are compiled into an EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) then these products will invalidate those EU WVTA. Manufacturers will need to discuss this situation with their customers.

VCA will be on hand to support you through the process of obtaining new approvals in other Member States, should that be necessary.

It should also be noted that UNECE approvals issued by VCA will not need to be transferred in any case and they are unaffected by UK exit from the EU.

If you would like to find out more about how we can support the transfer of e11 approvals to another Member State please send an e-mail to;

 

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