Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

Vehicle type approvals

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What is a vehicle type approval?

On 1 July 2021, road vehicle type approvals were introduced when the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) replaced the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA).

The RVSA is supported by the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules). The RVSA, the Rules and other related legislation are collectively referred to as the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation.

The RVS legislation will ensure vehicles in the Australian market are safe, secure and environmentally-friendly.

Under the RVS legislation, before road vehicles can be provided to another person for road use in Australia for the first time, they must be entered on the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV), an online database of vehicles that have met the requirements of the RVS legislation and been approved for provision to the Australian market.

To be entered on the RAV a road vehicle must first be granted either a vehicle type approval or a concessional RAV entry approval.

A vehicle type approval identifies the applicable national road vehicle standards for a road vehicle type. It also specifies the documents submitted to confirm compliance with them.

Applicants can select specific vehicle types and submit their supporting documents and other required information to confirm they meet the eligibility criteria. This includes compliance with the applicable national road vehicle standards.

Under the RVS legislation, a vehicle type approval holder is responsible for ensuring ongoing compliance.

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What do IPA approval holders have to do?

Some eligible approval holders under the MVSA who intend to continue providing road vehicles in Australia can transition to a vehicle type approval under opt-in arrangements. The opt-in period is available for 6 months from 1 July 2021 up to and including 31 December 2021, 11:59 AEST.

Approval holders with up to date and in force IPAs who opt-in can have their eligible MVSA approval taken to be a vehicle type approval, in force for 5 years, without providing supporting information or compliance information.

Alternatively, you may apply for a new vehicle type approval, providing more detailed information and documents. If granted, it remains in force for 7 years.

For more information, please visit the vehicle type approval opt-in arrangements page.

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Who can apply?

An individual or company may apply for a vehicle type approval.

An applicant’s authorised representative, agent or company employee can also apply on the applicant’s behalf. In this case, the representative must have access to, and be able to provide, an authority to act, the relevant documents and supporting information.

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How do I apply?

The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (the department’s) online IT service, ROVER, integrates all of the RVS legislation activities and approvals.

To apply for a vehicle type approval under the RVS legislation, you must create a user account in ROVER, complete an online application form, provide all the required information and pay the application fee.

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Eligibility requirements and declarations

The Secretary or their delegated decision-maker is authorised under the RVS legislation to grant or refuse to grant a vehicle type approval and must be satisfied the applicant:

  • has the required information demonstrating the road vehicle complies, or substantially complies with the applicable national road vehicle standards (any non-compliance is in only minor and inconsequential respects or to an extent that is suitable for use on a public road in Australia), AND
  • controls or has access to the information about the design, componentry and manufacturing process of the road vehicle type, including changes that may impact compliance with the applicable national road vehicle standards, AND
  • can ensure the design, componentry and manufacturing process will consistently produce the type of road vehicle, AND
  • can arrange for the Secretary or an inspector to inspect the premises where the road vehicle or componentry for the road vehicle is manufactured, AND
  • can access and provide original and subsequent versions of supporting information, AND
  • can ensure the supporting information for the approval is kept up to date, AND
  • will comply with each standard and any specified conditions the vehicle type approval is subject to.

Vehicle type approval applicants must keep their supporting information and all relevant documents up to date to satisfy eligibility criteria.

For example, an appropriate quality management system (QMS) to demonstrate full control of the design, componentry and manufacturing process. More information on QMS is available in Appendices 2 and 3 in the Guide to vehicle type approvals PDF: 2206 KB.

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Complying with your responsibilities

The department monitors and enforces compliance with the RVS legislation under the RVSA (applying penalties) and the Rules (obligations of an approval holder).

The department encourages voluntary compliance, and undertakes informed risk-based compliance activities to confirm compliance with the RVS legislation.

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What if I don’t comply?

If the department identifies non-compliance, our response will be proportionate to the risk being managed. Our response may include issuing infringement notices, applying for civil penalty orders or injunctions, or entering into enforceable undertakings.

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