Approval of motor vehicles

Prior to the Volkswagen revelations in September 2015, the European Commission had concluded on the need to prevent cases of non-compliance by proposing a new regulation to make vehicle testing more independent and reliable and to increase surveillance of cars already in circulation.

After a policy agreement at EU level was reached in December 2017 regarding a major overhaul of the EU type-approval framework for motor vehicles, EA NABs were strongly recommended to promote the concept of accreditation and convince national regulators of the benefits of accreditation. In accordance with Regulation (EC) 765/2008, accreditation of Technical Services was eventually recognized as an alternative to the assessments performed by Type Approval Authorities.

As a result, Regulation (EU) 2018/858 on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles was released by the European Commission in May 2018.

This Regulation lays down harmonized rules and principles for the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, and for individual vehicle approval, with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the Internal Market for the benefit of businesses and consumers. The objective is to offer a high level of safety and of health and environmental protection. The Regulation includes provisions regarding accreditation, conformity assessment bodies, inspection, testing and certification.

The Regulation will make vehicle testing more independent and reinforce surveillance of cars already in circulation by:

  • raising the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing;
  • increasing checks on cars that are already in the EU market;
  • strengthening the current framework for EU type-approval, in particular by introducing provisions on accreditation and market surveillance.

Through the Inspection Committee’s Technical Network, “Car Inspection”, EA regularly cooperates with the International Motor Vehicle Inspection Committee (CITA) on issues such as the development of a more efficient Periodical Vehicle Inspection (PTI) accreditation scheme. The objective of this collaboration is to develop branch-specific interpretations of the requirements in EN ISO/IEC 17020 Conformity assessment — Requirements for the operation of various types of bodies performing inspection, ensure that Member States continue to rely on accreditation and that new Member States will join. To meet these objectives, it was decided in March 2018, during the EAIC meeting, to create a Task Force Group to look at how to further reinforce EA /CITA collaboration.