European Type Approval
EU Motor Vehicle Type Approval (EC Directives)
Motor vehicles intended for the carriage of goods or passengers must comply with certain mandatory technical requirements. These requirements can differ from one Member State to another and consequently hinder trade within the European Union. These hindrances can be reduced and even eliminated if all Member States adopt the same requirements either in addition to, or, in place of, their existing laws.
It is the established practice of the Member States to check that vehicles comply with the relevant technical requirements before they are placed on the market, and this check is carried out on vehicle types. By introducing a community type-approval procedure for each vehicle type, Member States recognize checks carried out by other Member States. The type-approval procedure enables each Member State to issue type-approval certificates in respect of vehicles which conform to an approved type. In accordance with Directive 2007/46/EC the EU approval mark for Ireland is e24.
Each Member State informs the other Member States of its findings by sending a copy of the type-approval certificate for each vehicle type which it has approved. The harmonized technical requirements applicable to individual parts and characteristics of a vehicle are specified in separate EC Directives. There are over 50 separate EC Directives covering vehicles. Type-approval is granted by an Approval Authority, and the Irish Approval Authority for this scheme is NSAI.
EC Directives are binding upon each Member State as to the result to be achieved, but leave to the national authorities the choice of form and method of establishing compliance. Each Member State must permit the marketing in its own territory of products conforming to the requirements of the applicable Directive. Approvals granted in one Member State under the Directive must be recognized in all other Member States.
European List of Directives
Please use the following link to the Europa website for the complete list of applicable legislation for Motor Vehicles, trailers, and components:
NSAI appointed Technical Services
Please use the following link to the Europa website for the NSAI appointed technical services:
ECE Motor Vehicle Type-Approval (UN Regulations)
A parallel Type-Approval scheme exists, known as UN-ECE approval. The Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) is one of four regional economic commissions set up by the United Nations and not limited to the EU. In 1958, various ECE countries signed an agreement in Geneva, which set out the framework for the adoption of uniform conditions of approval and for reciprocal recognition of approval in respect of motor vehicle equipment and parts. Signatories to this agreement are known as ECE Contracting Parties. ECE Contracting Parties include all European States and the Agreement remains open for additional signatures. Ireland has signed up to this agreement and NSAI can offer both ECE and EC type-approvals.
The requirements for this scheme are published in Regulations as opposed to Directives. In accordance with these regulations the ECE approval mark for Ireland is E24.
UNECE List of Regulations
Please use the following link to the UNECE website for the complete list of current automotive regulations:
UNECE Technical Services
Please use the following link to the UNECE website for the NSAI appointed technical services:
Both schemes require applicants to apply to an approval authority for type approval. It is not permitted to apply to more than one approval authority for approval for the same type. Both schemes require testing to establish compliance with the corresponding Regulation/Directive. Testing must be carried out by recognized technical services. These technical services must be accredited to EN ISO 17025:2005 or 17020:2004 and be appointed by the approval authority to test on its behalf.
ECE Type approval has similar Conformity of Production requirements to EU Type Approval. Manufacturers are required to be registered to EN ISO 9001 or EN ISO 9002. In the absence of such registration, both schemes require that Approval Authorities are satisfied regarding control of production procedures concerning an applicant’s type approval application. This is established by means of a verification of the applicant’s Quality Assurance procedures and operations.
As an approval authority, NSAI's role under both the EU and UN-ECE type approval schemes, is to:
- Grant type-approvals based on technical reports and testing, prepared by a recognized technical service.
- Verify manufacturers' conformity of production arrangements and take the necessary measures in accordance with the applicable Directives /Regulations.
- Serve as a contact point with the approval authorities of the other EU Member States and UN-ECE Contracting Parties.
The EU/UN-ECE type-approval schemes are complex and evolving processes. They are a major step towards harmonizing the many different national regulations that are in existence. Their objectives can be summed up as follows:
- To provide homogenous safety standards
- To aid the removal of trade barriers
- To simplify type-approvals.
RH Rev. 1.0