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Two or three-wheeled motor vehicles: EC type-approval system

The European Union is working to harmonise Member States' legislation and to implement a Community type-approval system for two or three-wheeled motor vehicles.


Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council of 15 January 2013, on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles.

Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheeled motor vehicles and repealing Council Directive 92/61/EEC [See amending acts].


This Directive repeals and replaces Directive 92/61/EEC, which laid down the procedure for Community type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles, of components and of separate technical units. It aims to clarify and complete certain provisions of the previous Directive.

It was recently supplemented by Regulation (EU) No 168/2013 on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles, which sets new requirements in terms of security and the environment for the acceptance by type of these vehicles.

Provisions of Directive 2002/24/EC

The vehicles covered by the Directive are two- or three-wheel motorised vehicles and light motorised quadricycles.

All applications for type-approval or component type-approval are lodged by the manufacturers or producers or their authorised representative in a Member State.

Member States are to type-approve the vehicle, component or technical entities which satisfy the technical requirements of the specific regulations or directives which apply to them and correspond to the data supplied by the manufacturer or producer (see the exhaustive lists set out in the annex to the Directive).

A certificate of conformity is to be completed by the manufacturer or his authorised representative for each vehicle produced in conformity with the approved type and for each non-original technical entity or component manufactured in conformity with the type that has been component type-approved.

The Member States are to confirm that each type of vehicle has undergone the checks provided for in the separate directives and has been issued with a type-approval certificate. The manufacturers may prepare a certificate of conformity for all vehicles conforming to the type that has been approved. When a vehicle is accompanied by this certificate it may be placed on the market, sold and registered for use throughout the European Union.

Any vehicle produced in conformity with the approved type must bear a type-approval mark consisting of:

  • the type-approval number;
  • the letter e followed by the identifying number or initials of the Member State conducting the type-approval;
  • the vehicle identification number.

The manufacturer of a vehicle and the producer of a technical entity or component are to be responsible for the manufacture of each vehicle or the production of each technical entity or component in conformity with the type which has been type-approved or component type-approved.

If a Member State confirms that vehicles, technical entities or components constitute a road safety hazard, even though they are of a type which has been type-approved or component type-approved, it may ban the sale, placing in service or use in its territory for a maximum period of six months. It must immediately inform the Commission and the other Member States thereof.

Only vehicles, technical entities and components complying with the Directive may be marketed, sold and used in the Member States.

Provisions of Regulation (EU) No 168/2013

The Regulation aims to guarantee a high level of vehicle functional safety, work security and protection of the environment, while harmonising the technical requirements and environmental standards applicable to vehicles, the systems, components and technical entities in relation to acceptance by type.

In particular it specifies that new motorcycles with more than 125 cc must be fitted with an anti-lock brake system, and those with under 125 cc must be fitted with an anti-lock system or a combined brake system, with the choice being left to the manufacturer.

In addition it makes it obligatory from January 1 2016, to fit an automatic system to switch on the lights, in order to improve visibility on all new category L (light) vehicles. It also sets out the requirements for the progressive installation of embedded diagnostic systems which will make it possible to detect failures and to monitor the emission control system.

In terms of environmental performance, the Commission will present a report concerning the dates of application and the emission limit figures at the Euro 5 level, mentioned in annex IV of the Regulation, to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2016 at the latest. The role and responsibilities of the Member States responsible for monitoring the market are clarified and the requirements concerning the competence, obligations and performance of the technical department responsible for conducting tests to carry out acceptance by type are improved.

The Regulation also states that manufacturers must provide independent operators with unrestricted access to information on the repair and maintenance of vehicles, by means of internet sites.



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 2002/24/EC



OJ 124 of 09.05.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008



OJ L 311of 21.11.2008

Regulation (EU) No 168/2013



OJ L 60 of 2.3.2013

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/24/CE have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purpose only.

Last updated: 11.11.2013