Issuing GB Type Approval

This page was last updated on 7th January 2021

Summary

This guidance is intended for manufacturers, importers and distributors of motor vehicles in Great Britain and sets out the details of the operation of the Provisional GB Type Approval scheme.

Scope

Since 1 January 2021 Great Britain has operated a Provisional GB Type Approval Scheme covering motor vehicles which are registered for use on the roads in Great Britain. The scope of the scheme currently extends to;

Motorcycles and quadricycles Category L
Passenger Vehicles Category M
Goods Vehicles Category N
Agricultural and Forestry Tractors Category T

Existing EU type approvals

Existing EU type approvals issued by EU-27 Type Approval Authorities (i.e. excluding UK issued ‘e11’ type approvals[1]) are no longer automatically accepted in GB for the purpose of registering vehicles for use on the road. Holders of EU-27 Type Approvals must apply for a GB provisional approval.

Exceptions

For vehicles which were already in the UK on 31 December 2020, EU-27 approvals will be accepted, as long as they remain technically valid (e.g. as regards emissions etc.).

Due to provisions in the Northern Ireland Protocol (NIP), EU approvals can still be used for placing on the market, sale and registration of vehicles, components and separate technical units in Northern Ireland (NI). Businesses in NI may also qualify for unfettered access allowing them to sell products in to GB on the basis of an EU approval.

Manufacturers who do not export outside the UK and do not hold an EU approval, can request a UK(NI) approval (issued by VCA according to the EU type approval regulations) to gain access to the NI market.

Products which do not usually require registration for use on the road, i.e. trailers, agricultural trailers, engines for non-road mobile machinery and components, may continue to be placed on the market with existing valid EU approvals until 1 January 2022.

Process

Manufacturers may apply for Provisional GB Type Approval, alternatively, a person with written authorisation may apply on behalf of a manufacturer.

On receipt of an application VCA will issue Provisional GB Type Approvals to manufacturers holding valid EU type approvals. This may include vehicles manufactured before 1 January 2021, and those not in the UK on 31 December 2020. Provisional GB Type Approvals will be valid for a maximum of two years from issue.

Manufacturers of new vehicle types launched after 1 January 2021 and brought to the GB market will need to obtain a Provisional GB Type Approval before vehicles can be placed on the market, sold or registered for use on the road. Applications may be based on an existing valid EU type approval.

It is expected that, a Comprehensive GB Type Approval scheme will replace the Provisional GB Type Approval scheme during 2021. This will also include details of GB type approval for trailers, agricultural trailers, engines for NRMM and components from 2022. DfT will be consulting on these proposals before they are applied.

Introduction of GB type approval

The GB type approval scheme will be operated in two stages:

  1. Issue of Provisional GB Type Approvals from 1 January 2021
  2. Conversion of Provisional GB Type Approvals to Comprehensive GB Type Approvals and issue of Comprehensive GB Type Approvals for new products (expected to be available during 2021)

The scheme took effect 1 January 2021. From this date manufacturers holding an EU Type Approval require a Provisional GB Type Approval to place motor vehicles on the market in GB or to register vehicles for use on the roads in GB.

Stage 1 – Issue of Provisional GB Type Approvals

To obtain Provisional GB Type Approvals, manufacturers already in possession of an EU type approval (except UK issued EU approvals, ‘e11’) will need to request a job number and provide VCA with:

  • a list of EU whole vehicle type approvals for vehicle types which they intend to place on the market in GB
  • the corresponding (and current) EU type approval certificates

To assist traceability, Provisional GB Type Approval numbers will be based on the EU type approval number. To differentiate between EU and Provisional GB Type Approvals the ‘e’ at the beginning of EU type approval numbers will replaced with a ‘p’ for Provisional GB Type Approvals.

Example of approval number format:

e1*2018/858*02349*00 → p1*2018/858*02349*00

This example represents the progression of a whole vehicle type approval issued in Germany (e1…) through to a Provisional GB Type Approval (p1…).

The Provisional GB Type Approval number does not need to be marked on a vehicle or certificate of conformity. DfT will be consulting on proposals to require markings from 1 January 2022.

Each successful application for Provisional GB Type Approval will result in a communication on behalf of the Secretary of State for Transport which specifies their Provisional GB Type Approval number(s).

The communication will be regarded as the type approval certificate and will contain the following information:

  • Provisional GB Type Approval number(s)
  • Validity of 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)
  • A requirement for the manufacturer to notify VCA of extensions to the underlying EU type approvals (so that the Provisional GB Type Approvals can be managed appropriately)
  • Within the two-year validity period, all Provisional GB Type Approvals must be converted in to Comprehensive GB Type Approvals

VCA retains the right to request further documentation or carry out a physical inspection in a case of doubt about the validity of an EU type approval certificate.

Costs

During 2021 VCA will charge;

  • £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)

Motor Vehicles

Provisional GB type approval only applies to whole vehicle type approvals. This means that it is not necessary to convert EU type approvals which exist for vehicle systems, separate technical units or components which form part of the whole vehicle type approval.

Vehicles with provisional GB type approval must continue to be provided with their original EU Certificate of Conformity and be fitted with the original EU statutory plate.

Where vehicles have an EU type approval obtained using the multi-stage approval process, a provisional GB type approval will only be mandated for the final stage of production, i.e. complete or completed vehicles. This means that an EU type approval to cover the base vehicle (whether incomplete or complete), or an intermediate stage need not be converted.

Non Road Mobile Machinery, Trailers and components

Manufacturers can continue to place these products on the market in GB on the basis of their existing valid EU approvals, or appropriate UNECE approvals in the case of engines for non-road mobile machinery or vehicle components. The DfT will consult during 2021 on applying Provisional GB Type Approval to these products in place of EU approvals from 1 January 2022.

Stage 2 – Comprehensive GB type approvals and conversion of provisional GB type approvals

New GB Type Approval Scheme

During 2021, further regulations will be made setting out the Comprehensive GB Type Approval scheme which is expected to cover:

  • Motor vehicles and their trailers
  • Agricultural and forestry tractors
  • Motorcycles and quadricycles
  • Non-Road Mobile Machinery
  • Certain components or separate technical units

Under this scheme new products brought to market for the first time in the GB will need to comply with GB type approval requirements in all respects, including markings, before they can be placed on the market, sold, registered or entered into service in GB.

We expect the legislation setting out the full details and implementing the second stage to be in place following consulting with stakeholders. It is expected that the following will be introduced under the comprehensive scheme:

  • GB approval number marked on the vehicle/product
  • GB Certificate of Conformity supplied with all vehicles
  • Manufacturer’s representative based in UK
  • VCA Conformity of Production checks.

Until this is in place, manufacturers bringing new model types to market will continue to be issued with Provisional GB Type Approvals following the procedures set out in Stage 1 or, if appropriate for their needs, National Small Series or Individual (Single) Vehicle Approvals.


¹National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) will also remain valid, holders of such approvals need take no action, the current UK IVA and MSVA schemes will also continue.