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First quarterly Newsletter: Type approval motor vehicles

Legal Acts in the EU in the area of technical harmonization: adopted or proposed during the last quarter


    Type approval motor vehicles





-  negotiation concluded
-  published in OJ EU L 200 31. 7. 2009
-  Celex No.: 32009R0661

The text is available on the following websites:

Link URL 1    OR     Link URL 2

The description of the agenda:
The proposed Regulation lays down harmonised rules on type approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles with a view to ensuring the good functioning of the internal market while at the same time providing for a higher level of safety and environmental protection.

These type approval requirements have been harmonised at Community level in order to avoid differing systems from one Member State to another, and to ensure a high level of road safety and environmental protection throughout the Community.
The proposed Regulation aims to significantly simplify the type-approval legislation in the field of motor vehicle safety and tires with one Council and Parliament Regulation.

The proposal requires mandatory fitting of Electronic Stability Control Systems on all vehicles, Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems on passenger cars, and Advanced Emergency Braking Systems and Lane Departure Warning Systems on heavy-duty vehicles. The proposal also aims to enhancing the environmental performance of vehicles by reducing the amount of vehicle CO2 emissions and road noise from tyres. The proposal introduces new requirements on wet grip and tyre rolling resistance. The proposed noise emission limit values for tyres are more stringent than those set out in existing legislation.

Aims and benefits:
The aim of this Regulation is to lay down harmonized rules concerning to the construction of motor vehicles in light of obligatory safety elements assembly and new requirements on a safety elements.
The advanced safety elements are:

  • Electronic stability control (ESC) = electronic control function for a vehicle which improves the dynamic stability of the vehicle;
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) = system fitted on a vehicle which can evaluate the pressure of the tyres of the variation of pressure over time and transmit corresponding information to the user while the vehicle is running;
  • Advanced emergency braking system (AEBS) = system which can automatically detect an emergency situation and activate the vehicle braking system to decelerate the vehicle with the purpose of avoiding or mitigating a collision;
  • Lane departure warning system (LDW) = system to warn the driver of unintentional drift of the vehicle out of its travel lane.

The requirement on TPMS significantly contributes to reduction of tyre rolling resistance thereby reduction of fuel consumption that leads to reduction of CO2 emissions.

Technical adjustments in the field of tyres thereby achieved reduction of tyre rolling resistance leads to reduction of vehicle-noise level.

All above mentioned new requirements lead to increase in safety of motor vehicles thereby reduction the number of casualties.

The type-approval of motor vehicles is one of the priorities in simplifying EC Regulations.

Simplifying of legal framework for approval of vehicles is allowed to be replacement of 50 basic Directives and about 100 related amendment Directives in area of motor vehicles with one Regulation of EP and Council. The simplifying of legal framework about type-approval in term of safety leads to the competitiveness of car industry that increases the transparency and decrease administrative burden.

There are number of provisions in the Commission proposal which give concern in terms of respect of Comitology rules. In particular, Article 5(3) appears to delegate the definition of the scope of the Regulation to the Commission. This is however an Essential aspect of the Regulation which is for the legislature to decide. Furthermore, in Article 6(6), the criteria for setting out the "additional safety requirements" applicable to transport of dangerous goods are not specified, and the same applies in Articles 10(3) and 13(1) in so far as they refer to "further technical requirements" to be established by the Commission. These provisions are problematic in that the ambit of the powers conferred on the Commission is not clearly defined.

A number of member states announced the fear of the effect connected with easing administrative burdens.

Disputed points:
The main disputed points during the presidency were:

  • the entry into force of this Regulation connected with the sufficient lead time until implementation of the requirements;
  • tyres technical parameters and technical requirements (special tyres, retreated tyres);
  • transitional period for selling existing (unsuitable) stock of tyres;
  • tyre rolling resistance – value;
  • ESC for light-commercial vehicles;
  • TPMS;
  • Gear shift indicator.

Time sequence:

23. 5. 2008

Adoption by Commission

29. 5. 2008

Transmission to Council and to EP

17. 6. 2008 

First Working Party (WP) during the SI PRES

7. 7., 22. 7., 24. 9., 20. 10. and 15. 12. 2008

WP during the FR PRES

9. 1., 14. 1., 23. 1. and 13. 2. 2009

WP during the CZ PRES

16. 1., 6. 2., 13. 2. and 18. 2. 2009

Committee Permanent Representatives

10. 3. 2009;

EP opinion 1st reading

26. 5. 2009

WP Jurists/Linguists

22. 6. 2009

Approval – Agriculture and Fisheries Council

13. 7. 2009

Signature by EP and Council

31. 7. 2009

Published in OJ EU L200, pages 1 – 24

Entry into force:
This regulation shall enter into force on the 20th day following its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from 1 November 2001.
Article 13(15), Article 14 and points 1(a)(iii), 1(b)(iii) and (iv), 2(c), 3(a)(iii), 3(b)(iii), 3(c)(iii), 3(d)(iii), 3(e)(iii) and 3(f)(i) of Annex III shall apply from 20 August 2009.

Points 1(a)(i), 1(b)(i), 2(a), 3(a)(i), 3(b)(i), 3(c)(i), 3(d)(i), 3(e)(i) and 3(f)(ii) of Annex III shall apply from 1 November 2014.

Points 1(a)(ii), 1(b)(ii), 2(b), 3(a)(ii), 3(b)(ii), 3(c)(ii), 3(d)(ii), 3(e)(ii) and point 4 of Annex III shall apply from 1 November 2017.

Related documents:
European Parliament – The Legislative Observatory

European Parliament – Texts adopted

PreLex – Monitoring of the decision-making process between institutions

Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee

Connection with UNECE Regulations:

  • Annex IV includes the Regulations of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE Regulations) which are mandatory under Council Decision 97/836/EC of 27 November 1997 with a view to accession by the European Community to the Agreement of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe concerning the adoption of uniform technical prescriptions for wheeled vehicles, equipment and parts which can be fitted to and/or be used on wheeled vehicles and the conditions for reciprocal recognition of approvals granted on the basis of these prescriptions. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Regulation, inter alia, by supplementing it with new non-essential elements, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.
  • In order to simplify type-approval legislation in line with the recommendations contained in the final report of the CARS 21 High Level Group, it is appropriate to repeal several Directives without reducing the level of protection of road users. The requirements set out in those Directives should be carried over to this Regulation and should be replaced, where appropriate, with references to the corresponding UNECE Regulations, as incorporated into Community law in accordance with Decision 97/836/EC. To reduce the administrative burden of the type-approval process, it is appropriate to allow vehicle manufacturers to obtain type-approval for the purposes of this Regulation, where appropriate, by means of obtaining approval in accordance with the relevant UNECE Regulation as listed in Annex IV to this Regulation.
  • Electronic stability control systems, advanced emergency braking systems and lane departure warning systems have a high potential to considerably reduce casualties. Therefore, requirements for such systems should be established by the Commission in line with UNECE Regulations for those vehicle categories in which their application is appropriate and for which it is demonstrated that they will improve the overall level of safety. Sufficient lead time until implementation of these requirements should be provided for in order to allow for implementation measures to be adopted, and subsequently for development and in-vehicle application of these complex technologies.
  • Type-approval in accordance with the UNECE Regulations listed in Annex IV shall be considered as EC type-approval in accordance with this Regulation and its implementing measures.
  • The list of load-capacity indices and their corresponding masses contained in UNECE Regulations 30 and 54 shall apply.
  • Implementing measures
    The Commission shall adopt the following implementing measures:
      -  detailed rules concerning specific safety requirements for vehicles intended for the transport of dangerous goods by road within or between Member States, taking account of UNECE Regulation 105;
      -   measures amending Annex IV to include the UNECE Regulations that are mandatory under Article 4(4) of Decision 97/836/EC.