Vehicle type approvals

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What is a vehicle type approval?

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.

When a number of the same make and model (or type) of vehicle will be provided, a person can apply for a vehicle type approval. If granted, a vehicle type approval allows that type of vehicle to be provided to the Australian market in unlimited volume.

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 holders have to do?

Some eligible approval holders under the MVSA transitioned to a vehicle type approval under opt-in arrangements that were available until 31 December 2021. Opted-in approval holders had their eligible MVSA approval taken to be a vehicle type approval, in force for five years.

All MVSA IPAs were surrendered on 1 July 2023. After this date it became an offence to provide any vehicle not on the RAV to a consumer for the first time.

MVSA approval holders who did not opt-in and continued to operate under their MVSA approval until 30 June 2023, when the transitional period ended must now apply for a vehicle type approval. If granted, it remains in force for seven years.

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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?

All RVS applications must be submitted though ROVER, the department's online application and approval portal.

To apply for a vehicle type approval, 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 Appendix 2 of the Guide to vehicle type approvals.

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How do I vary a vehicle type approval?

Vehicle type approval holders may need to vary an approval for a range of reasons, including to:

  • demonstrate compliance with a new or revised Australian Design Rule (ADR)
  • add or remove variants of the road vehicle type an approval covers
  • add or remove facilities involved in the design, componentry and manufacture of road vehicles covered by the approval
  • update Quality Management System (QMS) documents, and/or
  • in some cases, provide evidence and change information about their extent of compliance with individual applicable ADRs.

The Guide to varying approvals in ROVER shows you how to complete and submit an application to vary an approval and explains what information you need to include in your application and includes a list of things to check before you submit it.

Note: If you have opted-in to a vehicle type approval, you should read and refer to the Guide to varying an opted-in vehicle type approval for the first time before applying to vary your opted in approval for the first time.

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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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