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Agricultural or forestry tractors: EC type-approval procedure

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Agricultural or forestry tractors: EC type-approval procedure

The Community's EC type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors has been adapted and has become compulsory. Its scope has been extended to other categories of agricultural or forestry vehicles, notably trailers and interchangeable towed machinery.

ACT

Directive 2003/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on type-approval of agricultural or forestry tractors, their trailers and interchangeable towed machinery, together with their systems, components and separate technical units and repealing Directive 74/150/EEC [See amending acts].

SUMMARY

Directive 2003/37/EC modernises the Community's EC type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors introduced by Directive 74/150/EEC. The full Community type-approval system becomes compulsory for category T1, T2 and T3 agricultural or forestry tractors from 1 July 2005 for new types of vehicles and from 1 July 2009 for all new vehicles put into service. The approval system has also applied to category T4.3 agricultural or forestry tractors since 29 September 2013 for new types of vehicles.

For other vehicle categories, once all the separate Directives for a vehicle category are adopted, Member States shall apply this Directive:

  • three years after the date of entry into force of the last separate directive which must still be adopted for new types of vehicles;
  • six years after the date of entry into force of the last separate directive which must still be adopted for all vehicles entered into service.

At the request of the manufacturers, apply this Directive to new types of vehicle as from the dates of entry into force of all the related separate directives.

Scope

The vehicles covered by the EC type-approval procedure are any tractor , any trailer and any interchangeable towed machinery , whether incomplete or completed, which is intended to be used in agriculture or forestry.

Exemptions may, however, be granted for vehicles produced in small series, end-of-series vehicles or those which take advantage of technical progress not covered by a separate directive.

The scope of the procedure is thus extended to new categories of agricultural vehicles. Initially, Directive 74/150/EEC was aimed exclusively at agricultural or forestry tractors.

Type-approval procedure

The EC type-approval procedure guarantees permanent monitoring that vehicles conform with Community technical requirements. In the first instance, a Member State certifies that a type of vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit presented by a manufacturer conforms with the technical prescriptions imposed by Directive 2003/37/EC. It then issues an EC type-approval certificate to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then ensures that each vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit built is accompanied by a certificate of conformity, thus proving that it is manufactured in conformity with the approved vehicle type.

A multi-stage type-approval procedure is organised for vehicles assembled in several stages. An EC type-approval certificate is then issued to each manufacturer involved in the process of manufacturing the vehicle for each specific stage.

Safeguard clauses

A Member State may find that a vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit which complies with the technical requirements of Directive 2003/37/EC, or is already accompanied by a certificate of conformity, nevertheless poses a serious risk to road safety, the environment or occupational safety. It may then refuse to grant EC type-approval or, for a maximum period of six months, refuse the registration or entry into service of such vehicles in its territory. It shall forthwith notify the other Member States and the Commission thereof, stating the reasons for its decision.

Context

Directive 2003/37/EC is based on the principle of total harmonisation. The Community type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors thus becomes compulsory and replaces the optional harmonisation in existence since 1990, under which the manufacturers of agricultural or forestry tractors could choose between obtaining full Community type-approval in accordance with the Community directives or national type-approval based on the technical prescriptions imposed by a Member State. From now on, if a vehicle is type-approved in one Member State, it may be placed on the market and registered throughout the European Union on the basis of its certificate of conformity alone.

Directive 2003/37/EC thereby harmonises the type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors with the procedures for motor vehicles and their trailers and for two- or three-wheel motor vehicles. The Community whole vehicle type-approval system has been compulsory for these vehicles since October 1998 and June 1999 respectively.

REFERENCES

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2003/37/EC

9.7.2003

31.12.2004

OJ L 171 of 9.7.2003

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

-

OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2003/37/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purpose only.

RELATED ACTS

Directive 2008/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the field of vision and windscreen wipers for wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors [Official Journal L 24 of 29.1.2008].

The Directive codifies Directive 74/347/EEC regarding the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the field of vision and windscreen wipers of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors, which is one of the separate Directives on the EC approval system. Directive 2008/2/EC stipulates that Member States may refuse the registration or prohibit the sale, entry into service or use of tractors on grounds relating to windscreen wipers, if these do not satisfy the requirements set out in this Directive. The tractor shall be equipped in such a way that the driver has an adequate field of vision, under all the usual conditions pertaining to highway use and to work undertaken in fields and forests.

Regulation (EU) No 167/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 February 2013 on the type-approval and market surveillance of agricultural and forestry vehicles [Official Journal L 60 of 2.3.2013].

The Regulation establishes harmonised rules regarding the administrative and technical requirements for the type-approval of agricultural and forestry vehicles and the market surveillance of these vehicles.

Directive 2003/37/EC in a first stage limited the mandatory application of the EC whole-vehicle type-approval procedure to categories T1, T2, T3 and T4.3 and did not provide for all requirements necessary in order to apply for EC whole-vehicle type-approval on a voluntary basis for other categories. This Regulation therefore allows manufacturers to apply for EU whole-vehicle type-approval for all categories covered by this Regulation on a voluntary basis, namely:

  • tractors (categories T and C);
  • trailers (category R);
  • interchangeable towed machinery (category S).

Regarding the following vehicles, the manufacturer may choose to apply for approval under this Regulation or to comply with the relevant national requirements:

  • trailers (category R) and interchangeable towed equipment (category S);
  • track-laying tractors (category C);
  • special purpose wheeled tractors (categories T4.1 and T4.2).

Last updated: 06.02.2014

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