Motor Vehicles and Trailers

This page was last updated on 25th February 2022

This guidance provides information for those involved in the manufacture and distribution of motor vehicles and their trailers.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

If you only wish to sell products in these categories in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, you can find out more about the schemes that operate in the UK here .

Type Approval in European Union

For motor vehicles and their trailers destined for placing on the market, registration or first use in the European Union (EU) the only whole vehicle type approval available is prescribed under an EU scheme.

EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EUWVTA) is based around Regulation (EU) 2018/858 (which replaced 2007/46/EC), a Type Approval Framework, and a suite of subordinate instruments and provides for the approval of whole vehicles, in addition to vehicle systems, components and separate technical units.  This certification is accepted throughout the EU without the need for further testing until a standard is updated or a vehicle design changes.

The 2007/46/EC framework directive was repealed on 1 September 2020 by the replacement EU framework regulation – EU 2018/858.

This EU regulation applies to all Member States without transposition into the national law of each Member State, although Member States will need to enact certain requirements of the regulation into their national law as directed by the regulation.

Once the manufacturer has demonstrated compliance with the technical requirements, documented the design of the product and demonstrated that adequate arrangements exist to ensure CoP a type approval may be granted by an approval authority.

A manufacturer holding an EU type approval can produce unlimited numbers of vehicles for distribution in the whole of the EU (including Northern Ireland).

EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval

Within 2018/858 there are options of European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) routes;

  • EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval for categories M, N and O
  • EU Small Series Type Approval for categories M1 and N1

EUWVTA is suitable for manufacturers producing in large and unlimited series. The parameters that determine a type are set out in an Annex to the regulation as are the requirements that a vehicle has to meet. These draw heavily on vehicle system, component and separate technical unit regulations that are covered under the UN scheme.

EU Small Series Type Approval

EU Small Series Type Approval (SSTA) has been created for categories M1 and N1 only, and like full EUWVTA will allow Europe wide sales but with technical and administrative requirements that take into account smaller production runs. Only 1,500 units of each type may be placed on the market, registered or entered into service across all of the EU Member States in one year.

National Small Series Approvals

There is a provision in the EU regulation for National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) and some EU member States may operate a small series type approval regime for vehicles of categories M, N and O.

Such NSSTA schemes exist in the UK.

Vehicle Systems, Components and Separate Technical Units

For vehicle systems and components and STUs for motor vehicles and their trailers which are destined for placing on the market in Europe type approval is available under both the EU and UN schemes. The requirements are set out in Regulation (EU) 2018/858 and associated subordinate regulatory acts. These acts also call up relevant UN regulations, type approvals to these UN Regulations can be used to demonstrate compliance with certain elements of the EU whole vehicle type approval scheme, and products in compliance with approvals granted under UN regulations must be accepted by all contracting parties to those regulations.