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Motor vehicles with trailers: EC type-approval

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Motor vehicles with trailers: EC type-approval


To harmonize the laws of the Member States and implement a procedure for the Community type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers.

2) ACT

Council Directive 70/156/EEC of 6 February 1970 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of motor vehicles and their trailers [Official Journal L 42, 23.02.1970].

As amended by the following measures:

Council Directive 78/315/EEC of 21 December 1977 [Official Journal L 81 of 28.03.1978];

Council Directive 80/1267/EEC of 16 December 1980 [Official Journal L 375 of 31.12.1980];

Council Directives 87/358/EEC and 87/403/EEC of 25 June 1987 [Official Journal L 192 of 11.07.1987];

Council Directive 92/53/EEC of 18 June 1992 [Official Journal L 225 of 10.08.1992];

Commission Directive 93/81/EEC of 29 September 1993 [Official Journal L 264 of 23.10.1993];

Commission Directive 95/54/EC of 31 October 1995 [Official Journal L 266 of 08.11.1995];

Council Directive 96/27/EC of 20 May 1996 [Official Journal L 169 of 08.01.1996];

European Parliament and Council Directive 96/79/EC of 16 December 1996 [Official Journal L 18 of 21.01.1997];

European Parliament and Council Directive 97/27/EC of 22 July 1997 [Official Journal L 233 of 25.08.1997];

Commission Directive 98/14/EC of 6 February 1998 [Official Journal L 91 of 25.03.1998].


1. These Directives apply to the type-approval of all motor vehicles, powered by an internal combustion engine, and their trailers, whether produced in a single or in several stages, and to the type-approval of the systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles and their trailers.

2. They do not apply to the type-approval of solo vehicles and quadricycles within the meaning of Council Directive 92/61/EEC.

3. The type-approval procedure for each type of vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit consists of:

  • application for type-approval:

- lodged by the manufacturer with the authorities responsible for type-approval within a single Member State;

- accompanied by a manufacturer's information package and type-approval certificate under each of the separate Directives applying, in compliance with the present Directives;

- contains individual specifications for multi-stage type approvals;

  • type-approval procedure:

- type-approval is granted by each Member State if the type at issue conforms to the information contained in the manufacturer's information package and meets the technical requirements of the separate Directives;

- each Member State shall, to this end, complete a type- approval certificate and its annexes concerning the results of tests and shall send this to the applicant;

- type-approval may be refused if there is likely to be a road safety hazard;

- a reciprocal information system is set up between the type- approval authorities in each Member State;

  • amendments to type-approvals:

- the application for the amendment or extension of a type- approval is submitted solely to the Member State originally having granted type-approval;

- the changes to be made to the document differ depending on whether it relates to a vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit;

- further tests and inspections after a type-approval document has been amended are authorized if the Member State considers it necessary; the type-approval certificate and its annexes are thus not prepared until these new checks have been conducted:

  • certificate of conformity:

- drawn up by the manufacturer on the basis of the type-approval certificate and in conformity with the annexes to the Directive;

- contains detailed information on the aspects it has been possible to add or alter and on any potential restrictions on the use of the components and separate technical units;

- for registration or taxation purposes Member States may require that further information be added to the certificate of conformity.

4. Registration and marketing:

  • a valid certificate of conformity is required:

- for the marketing, placing in service and registration of the vehicles concerned;

- for the marketing and placing in service of components and separate technical units intended for vehicles covered by the Directives;

  • however, a Member State may:

- refuse to permit the permanent registration or entry into service of incomplete vehicles as long as they remain incomplete:

- under certain conditions refuse to register and/or prohibit the sale of and placing in service on its territory of vehicles, components and separate technical units if these seriously impair road safety, even if accompanied by a valid certificate of conformity, or have been marked in an adequate manner.

These exceptions do not apply to vehicles:

  • that are intended for the armed forces, civil defence, fire-fighting services and law-enforcement bodies;
  • that are not covered by these Directives or are either entirely or partly exempted therefrom.

5. The following vehicles may, under certain conditions, be exempted from compliance with one or several separate Directives:

  • vehicles produced in small production runs;
  • end-of-series vehicles;
  • vehicles, components or separate technical units designed in accordance with techniques or principles that are essentially incompatible with one or several of the requirements of separate Directives (for, at the most, 24 months).

6. Non-conformity with the type that has been approved is established:

  • by the Member State having conducted type-approval, or by any other Member State;
  • in relation to the type-approval certificate and/or file; and
  • after the existence has been established of discrepancies that have not been authorized by the type-approving State in pursuance of the Directives.

It is for the type-approving State to take the steps needed in order to restore conformity.

7. Each Member State shall inform the Commission and the other Member States of the references for the authorities responsible for type-approval and roadworthiness testing.


Dateof entry into force

Final date for implementation in the Member States

Directive 98/14/EC



Directive 97/27/EC



Directive 96/79/EC



Directive 96/27/EC



Directive 95/54/EC



Directive 93/81/EEC



Directive 92/53/EEC



Directive 87/358/EEC



Directive 80/1267/EEC



Directive 78/315/EEC



Directive 70/156/EEC



4) implementing measures

5) follow-up work

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles (Recast version) [COM(2003) 418 final - not published in the Official Journal]. Once adopted this proposition repeals and replaces Directive 70/156/EEC.

Last updated: 23.05.2005