Compliance and enforcement under the RVSA

About compliance and enforcement under the RVSA

The department is responsible for supporting the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all road vehicles being provided to the Australian market for the first time. To achieve this outcome, the department's Vehicle Safety Operations (VSO) branch takes a risk-based approach to the management of compliance with the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA), the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules), and the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

The RVSA has been introduced to reflect Australia's current automotive landscape, which has substantially changed since the prior legislation the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA), was introduced and significantly influences how vehicles are now being imported and provided for the first time to the Australian market.

At a high-level, the RVSA supports voluntary compliance by linking current industry practices to clear, relevant and objective legislative criteria for importing and providing road vehicles to the Australian market.

A risk-based approach to the management of compliance aims to deliver better regulatory outcomes, while minimising the regulatory burden on low-risk regulated areas or entities.

The implementation of an effective risk-based approach results in, but is not limited to:

  • a flexible, yet consistent approach to the monitoring and management of compliance
  • the efficient and effective allocation of resources proportionate to the identified risk
  • direction of the 'cost' of compliance and enforcement activities to higher-risk areas or entities
  • lower-risk entities being subject to a lighter touch compliance approach (not no touch), with any intervention designed to provide an incentive to voluntarily comply with obligations
  • higher-risk entities being subject to greater regulatory scrutiny and intervention
  • proportionate responses to non-compliance
  • flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances—this is where VSO regulatory strategies, compliance activities and responses are adjusted to reflect changing priorities resulting from new or evolving risks, changes in stakeholder expectations, or the behaviour and motivations of regulated entities.

Our compliance approach

Our compliance approach and model provides information on how we will conduct our compliance and enforcement work under the RVS legislation.
The compliance approach and model does the following:

  • reflects our approach to regulating 
  • sets out an escalating compliance response to escalating risk and non-compliant behaviours
  • shows the relationship between non-compliant behaviour and the likely corresponding regulatory response
  • guides our compliance activities and enforcement responses 
  • allows flexibility in addressing non-compliance issues and risks as they arise
  • complements our current regulatory posture.

Compliance and enforcement strategy

With the commencement of the RVSA and a new suite of legislative rules and instruments, we have developed a manageable Compliance and Enforcement Strategy for the next 3 years.

Our new strategy, which is strongly linked to our compliance approach, sets out our compliance and enforcement focus areas for the next 3 years and provides all regulated entities with important information on what to expect regarding our regulatory effort in those defined focus areas.

This new strategy replaces the previous Compliance and Enforcement Strategy 2021-2023, which was developed for use during the RVSA transition period. The old 2021-2023 strategy document is retained for reference purposes.

Inspection, monitoring and investigations

Under the RVSA and the Rules we have a range of new compliance and enforcement powers and functions.

These new powers and functions can be used to assist us in making decisions on applications, monitoring compliance with the legislation and effectively responding to non-compliance.

If you apply for an approval, or hold an approval related to the RVSA or the Rules you may have interactions with our inspectors and/or delegated officers.

The Inspections, monitoring and investigation guidance document helps you to understand how we will exercise our new powers and functions in line with our compliance approach and model, our current compliance and enforcement strategy and the objectives of the RVSA. It outlines what powers and functions we have, how we may exercise them, and your related rights and obligations.

Reporting a vehicle safety or non-compliance issue

If you think your vehicle, or a vehicle or component you come across, is non-compliant or has a safety issue related to its design or manufacture you can report it.

Find out how to raise your concerns on our reporting a vehicle safety or non-compliance issue page.

Enforceable undertakings

Enforceable undertakings are a regulatory tool allowing the department to accept an undertaking from a person related to compliance with RVS legislation. Each undertaking is different and may include specific actions that a person will or will not take to ensure that they comply with RVS legislation or will continue to comply in the future.

If a person who gave an undertaking does not comply with it, the department make seek orders from a court related to the non-compliance. This could include order to comply with the undertaking, paying an amount to the Commonwealth or compensate other parties.

For more information on enforceable undertakings, see our compliance approach.

The department has accepted the following enforceable undertakings under section 57 of the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 and section 114 of the Regulatory Powers (Standard Provisions) Act 2014. We are required to publish on the department's website a notice of a decision to accept an enforceable undertaking and the name of the person who gave the undertaking.

Person giving the undertakingDate acceptedDate withdrawn or cancelled
BusTech (Qld) Pty Ltd26 May 2023-
Volvo Car Australia Pty Ltd8 December 2023 
Volvo Group Australia Pty Limited27 March 2024