GB Type Approval Scheme – Frequently Asked Questions

This page was last updated on 22nd March 2022


This guidance is intended for manufacturers, importers and distributors of motor vehicles in Great Britain.

One of the options for registering vehicles in Great Britain is now the Provisional GB Type Approval Scheme.  This has been in place since 1st January 2021. The following is a selection of the most common questions asked:

What Categories of Vehicles are in Scope?

Currently, it is mandatory for motor vehicles (Categories M, N, L and T) to hold provisional GB approval.  Subject to the introduction of further planned legislation, from 1st January 2023, it will be mandatory for Non-Road Mobile Machinery (engines, trailers (O category) and components (which do not hold a approval) to hold a provisional GB scheme approval as well.

How should I apply?

You can apply for a provisional GB approval using the Type Approval application form available on our website:

Type Approval and CoP Form

You will require a unique VCA job number for each approval you are applying for.

What does it cost?

The cost for setting up a Provisional approval for NRMM engines, trailers and components will be free, if it takes place before the date it becomes compulsory. The costs for setting up Provisional approvals after that date, or for updating/extending any existing Provisional approval are as follows:

  • £110 for creating new Provisional GB Type Approvals where the underlying EU approval is a new approval (i.e. the extension number is at *00)
  • £151 for creating new Provisional GB Type Approvals where the underlying EU approval extension number is not at *00
  • £151 for extensions to Provisional GB Type Approvals (i.e. the underlying EU approval extension number is not at *00

What should I do if I don’t have an account?

To process your application, you will need to hold an account with us to support the payment process.  If you do not currently have an account with us, we recommend setting one up in advance of requiring a GB provisional approval to minimise any potential delays. You can do this by completing the Customer Account Application Form, which is available on our Vehicle Type Approval page.

Do I require a representative in GB to obtain a provisional GB approval?

At this stage, you do not require a representative in the GB to obtain a provisional GB approval.

What is the difference between a UK(NI) approval and a GB approval?

A UK(NI) approval is valid in Northern Ireland and currently also accepted in Great Britain.  UK(NI) approvals continue to follow EU rules and so manufacturers should have a representative based in the EU or Northern Ireland.  You will need to organise a representative in Northern Ireland or in the EU as soon as possible, unless you are already based there. From 1st January 2022, this will be a condition of VCA issuing extensions or revisions to your approval, and from that date this will be checked during Conformity of Production audits.

A new or extended UK(NI) approval will be in the format n11*2007/46*????

The GB Scheme is the new Type Approval scheme for Great Britain. This will replace the provisional GB scheme and is initially based on retained EU legislation as it applied in GB at the end of 2020. If you do not intend to sell in Northern Ireland and/or do not have a suitable representative based there, then GB approval would be the most appropriate route. A GB WVTA has no 4m height limit, and the GB National Small Series Type Approval (has higher numerical limits for the 2021 calendar year. A GB approval is valid in Great Britain and approval holders are required to have a representative based in Great Britain as soon as possible, if you are not based there. From 1st January 2022 this will be checked during extensions and at Conformity of Production audits.

A new or reclassified GB approval will be in a format such as g11*2007/46*????

A representative could be the approval holder or an additional third-party representative if the approval holder is not based in the required country.  The obligations on the representative where they are a third-party are set out in Article 15 of EU regulation 2018/858 as retained in the UK.

Can I Hold Multiple Approvals?

Yes you can.  You may hold UK(NI) and GB approvals for the same Type.  It is also possible to hold a European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (Full Series) from EU or UK(NI) in combination with UK(NI) Small Series approval, or similarly GB WVTA in combination with GB Small series.  It is not permissible to hold UK(NI) full series approval in combination with a European WVTA for the same Type.

I did not transfer my old e11 approval, what type of approval is this now?

Any e11 whole vehicle approval not transferred to an alternative EU Approval Authority prior to the end of the transition period is now considered an UK(NI) approval.  If you require a Full GB approval instead, then the UK(NI) approval can be re-classified as a GB approval following a written notification to your usual VCA contact. In this case, the UK(NI) approval will cease. If you wish to run both a UK(NI) AND a GB approval simultaneously, a new application and information document will be required for the GB approval – although it will be considered an existing type, the same as the UK(NI) approval.

What are the Small Series Limits?

Please refer to our National Type Approval in the UK information for limits for each vehicle category:  There is an increase in GB Small Series volume limits for 2021 only, for some categories of vehicles.  Please note that UK(NI) Small Series has different volume limits and there is no increase for 2021. The UK(NI) scheme has to stay within the limits set for the EU.

How long is a GB provisional approval valid for?

A provisional GB approval will have validity for at least two years (or less if the EU type approval on which it is based loses validity in the EU before two years has expired). Within the two-year validity period, all Provisional GB Type Approvals must be converted into Full GB Type Approvals.

When will the Full GB Scheme come into effect?

The full scheme is being developed, and the DfT hope to consult on new regulations covering categories M, N and O shortly. A consultation on separate regulations setting up the full scheme for motorcycles and tractors (categories L and T) will take place late this year, and it will be based on the same principles, where appropriate. It is to be proposed that approval to the full scheme will be available for the applicable vehicle categories as soon as the relevant regulations are signed and would be compulsory for new type approvals 6 months later. Provisional Approvals will remain valid for two years, although any Provisional Approvals issued after the full scheme legislation for that category is signed may have a shorter duration than two years.

What is happening about Conformity of Production (CoP) arrangements for the Full GB Scheme?

CoP requirements will come into force for manufacturers when they request an approval under the Full GB Scheme on its inception and will need to be satisfied before an approval is issued. Our CoP department will begin to engage with all manufacturers over the next 12 to 18 months and agree audit schedules.  We intend to hold a workshop later this year to fully explain CoP requirements. If you’d like to take part in that, please register your interest here.

What about Certificate of Conformity (CoC) and Vehicle Markings?

If you have an n11, g11 or e11 (which has not been transferred to another EU Authority) approval, the approval number should appear on the relevant UK(NI), GB or EU Certificate of Conformity (CoC) and be marked on the vehicle.  The statutory (VIN) plate should contain the same number.  From 1 Jan 2022, this will be checked at extensions or during CoP audits. Prior to this date, it is acceptable to continue to issue the EU CoC and have the EU (e11) approval number on the VIN plate, as long as records are kept linking VIN number to the correct form of approval (UK(NI) or GB).

If your approval was converted to another EU Type Approval Authority following the exit of the UK from the European Union, the previous e11 approval number no longer exists, and no products should be marked as e11.

The Provisional GB Type Approval number (for those manufacturers holding EU type approval from an EU-27 authority) does not need to be marked on a vehicle or CoC, although this is permitted. The Department for Transport (DfT) will be consulting on proposals to require markings in the future.

Is Heavy-Duty Emissions Step E required to register vehicles in Great Britain?

No, not currently. Step E is not retained within GB legislation, and therefore it is not needed to register a vehicle.  A vehicle which is approved or meets the requirements of Step E may be registered as it exceeds the required Step D requirements.  It is expected that Step E will become part of the GB requirements during 2022.

Is my Provisional GB Type Approval still valid if I hold an approval to Heavy-Duty Emissions Step D?

There are two aspects which we should highlight separately, validity for manufacturing a vehicle and validity for registration.

Validity for manufacturing a vehicle:

A Provisional approval is only valid for manufacture if the underlying EU type approval is still valid. Therefore, if you hold a Provisional GB Type Approval for a vehicle with approval to the Step D requirements, this approval will cease to be valid on the 1st January 2022, which means that no more Step D-engined chassis can be manufactured on or after that date.  This is because the Provisional GB Type Approval is linked to the EU approval which will become invalid on this date.

Validity for registration:

Registration is considered separately. Current GB retained legislation does not require Step E for registration and therefore all chassis manufactured before the above date may still be registered in Great Britain after the 1st January 2022.

Therefore, given the end of validity for manufacturing of a Provisional approval with Step D, it is recommended to apply for an extension of your Provisional GB Type Approval using your updated EU approval meeting the Step E requirements in advance of 1st January 2022 to avoid any delays, and to continue manufacturing, now to Step E.

Given that the Full Scheme Implementation is now 1st July 2023, what happens to my Provisional Approval from January 2023?

If your Provisional Approval is due to expire between 1st January 2023 and 30th June 2023 you can either apply for the Full GB Scheme or apply for a new Provisional GB Approval.  It will be possible to apply for a Provisional Approval up until the 30th June 2023.

Do you have a question not listed above? Then please get in touch.

If you have worked with us before, you should reach out to  your usual contact.  Alternatively, you can send your enquiry to us, using our Contact Us page. Please include ‘GB Type Approval’ in the subject line to ensure your email is directed to the correct team.