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Type Approval - Glossary of Terms

The purpose of this page is to explain some of the terminology in common usage around the subject of vehicle type approval:


Term Explanation

EC Type Approval

 Means the procedure whereby an authority of an EU member state certifies that a type of vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit satisfies relevant technical requirements and administrative provisions listed in the Directive.

National Type Approval

Means a Type Approval procedure laid down by the national law of an EU member state, which is restricted to that particular country.

Vehicle Category

Refers to the different forms of vehicles affected by the ECWVTA Directive. These are passenger vehicles (M), goods vehicles (N) and trailers (O), and their sub-divisions.


Means vehicles of a particular category, which do not differ in certain essential respects set out in Annex II of the framework Directive 2007/46/EC, as amended.

New Type

When looking at application dates within the legislation there will be a reference to 'New Types'.  After this date, vehicles of a 'New Type' will be required to meet the legislation in question.  A 'New Type' is a vehicle that differs in certain essential respects to a type previously approved or on sale in any market.

Existing Type

As above.  An 'Existing Type' is a vehicle of a type already in existence (whether approved or not).

Complete Vehicle

Means any vehicle which has been built in one stage by one manufacturer, for example a panel van.

Incomplete Vehicle

Is a vehicle that must undergo at least one further stage of build in order to be considered a finished vehicle, ready for use.  For example, a chassis cab is an incomplete vehicle since a body must be added for it to be finished.

Completed Vehicle

Is a vehicle that has been built and finished in more than one stage, normally by two or more different manufacturers. For example, a concrete mixer where a company has added the additional components (i.e. the mixer itself) to a cab chassis and the vehicle requires no further work before it can be considered finished.

Multi-Stage Type Approval

The procedure whereby on or more EU member states certify that, depending on the state of completion, an incomplete or completed type of vehicle satisfies the relevant administrative provisions and technical requirements of the Directive.

Special-purpose Vehicle

Means a vehicle intended to perform a function which requires special body arrangements and/or equipment, such as a recovery vehicle, and ambulance or a wheelchair accessible vehicle (WAV).

Conformity of Production Certificate (COP)

Means a document issued to a manufacturer after an assessment, carried out by the approval body, of production processes and systems to certify that they conform to the required quality specification.

Certificate of Conformity or CoC

Means a document which is issued by a manufacturer, certifying that a vehicle has been produced under the same production processes and systems as an example of the type which has achieved Type Approval.