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Liquid fuel tanks and rear underrun protection devices for motor vehicles

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Liquid fuel tanks and rear underrun protection devices for motor vehicles

1) OBJECTIVE

To introduce new provisions on plastic tanks for passenger cars, to extend their scope to tanks for gaseous fuels, and to simplify the procedure for adapting the Directive to technical progress.

2) ACT

Directive 2000/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 70/221/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to liquid fuel tanks and rear underrun protection of motor vehicles and their trailers [Official Journal L 106 of 03.05.2000].

3) SUMMARY

Background

There is increasing interest in gaseous fuels for the propulsion of motor vehicles, in particular for environmental reasons.

In parallel with the aim of protecting the environment, the directive seeks to prevent fires and the accidental spillage of fuel (especially diesel) on to the road in order to avoid accidents involving cyclists, pedestrians and riders of two-wheeled motor vehicles.

In the field of long-distance road transport, it is common for original fuel tanks to be replaced by larger fuel tanks or for additional, unapproved, fuel tanks to be installed

In this context, there is a now an urgent need to establish specific technical requirements for these fuel tanks in order to ensure that they comply with strict safety criteria.

New Directive

This Directive adds new provisions to Directive 70/221/EEC with regard to plastic fuel tanks for category M1 vehicles (vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat).

No Member State may refuse to grant EC type-approval or national type-approval for a vehicle on grounds relating to its fuel tanks if such vehicle satisfies the requirements set out in this Directive concerning fuel tanks.

No Member State may refuse or prohibit the sale, registration, entry into service or use of a vehicle on grounds relating to its fuel tanks if such vehicle satisfies the requirements set out in this Directive.

The technical requirements include those in the Regulation drawn up by the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) concerning the establishment of Community regulations on motor vehicles and the reciprocal recognition of approvals.

The tests used to check the fuel tanks include a hydraulic test, overturn test, impact resistance test, mechanical strength test and, for fuel tanks made of plastic, tests for permeability, resistance to fire and resistance to high temperatures.

Act

Date of entry into force

Deadline for implementation in the Member States

Directive 2000/8/EC

23.05.2000

03.05.2001

4) implementing measures

5) follow-up work

Commission Directive 2006/20/EC of 17 February 2006 amending, for the purposes of its adaptation to technical progress, Council Directive 70/221/EEC concerning fuel tanks and rear underrun protection of motor vehicles and their trailers [Official Journal L 48 of 18.2.2006].

Last updated: 12.04.2007

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