Road Vehicle Compliance Update—Issue 4 December 2018

In this issue:

Message from the Administrator

We have reached our most significant milestone to date in our efforts to modernise the way we regulate the first supply of road vehicles in Australia with the successful passage of the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation through Parliament on 27 November 2018.

The Bills subsequently received Royal Assent on 10 December 2018—with the main provisions of the Acts to commence on 10 December 2019.

I would like to acknowledge the huge effort that has gone into achieving this result—and particularly thank all our industry stakeholders who have provided valuable input and support for the new legislative framework over the past few years—and who are continuing to work with us to ensure a successful implementation.

It is intended that the Rules, which form the more operational part of the RVS package of legislation, will be made by the Minister as soon as possible in 2019. This will provide more certainty for industry. We will be continuing conversations with industry over the next year on the implementation of the RVS legislation—and where necessary, be considering further amendments to the Rules to address implementation matters.

For the department and my team, the passing of the RVS legislation means added impetus to our implementation efforts to ensure that we have the policies, procedures and systems in place to support both industry’s and our internal readiness to commence operations under the new legislation in one year’s time.

In addition to continuing to engage with industry representatives through the RVS Consultation Forums and other mechanisms, we will be undertaking increased engagement in 2019 to provide more information on the impending changes and what these mean for you.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the RVS package of legislation or implementation, please email our RVSA Implementation Team at

Sharon Nyakuengama
Administrator of Vehicle Standards

Consultation on the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation implementation

On 21 and 22 November, we held four stakeholder consultation sessions on RVS Implementation and Recalls in Melbourne, with around 30 representatives from industry, states and territories and the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator in attendance. Discussions covered type approvals, Concessional Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) entry, RVS tools and recalls.

Industry stakeholders were keen to understand the detail of the new legislation and how it will impact on their businesses and current approvals. The discussion was open and at times very robust—reflecting industry’s need for certainty about the new arrangements as early as possible.

A list of issues capturing topics that industry has indicated it would like the department to address and/or resolve will shortly be published on the RVSA Implementation Consultation Framework website. The department is committed to ongoing engagement with stakeholders to ensure the smooth implementation of the RVS legislation and will endeavour to work through this list via discussions at future consultation group meetings.

All papers for the consultation groups are available on our website:

RVS Implementation Consultation Groups
Road Vehicle Recalls Working Group

We welcome your views on the discussion papers—as well as suggestions of future topics for the groups’ consideration. Please email us at

Electronic SE forms

The department has implemented revised internal procedures for developing electronic forms for submission of evidence of compliance to applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs).  Our primary focus at this stage is to provide electronic forms for new ADRs that have recently been determined.

A new set of forms has been developed on ADRs relating to passenger car braking and general safety requirements, and was circulated to industry for consultation in November 2018. The forms will be published on the RVCS website and made available for use after closure of comments on 12 December.

It is anticipated that the next round of forms on commercial braking and trailer braking will be issued to industry for comment in December 2018.

Reporting vehicle safety or non-compliance issues

We are interested to hear from members of industry and the public where there are concerns about road vehicles not complying with Motor Vehicle Standards legislation or being unsafe.

Making a report

The best way to make a report is to use our online Vehicle Safety or Non-Compliance Report form on the department’s website, available at There is also an option to download the form, complete it and send it back by email or post.

Alternatively, you can contact us by email, or phone 02 6274 6274 to discuss how to report your concerns.

When making a report you can indicate any limitations on who we can discuss the report with. Our preference is to be able to discuss a report with the relevant manufacturer, but we understand that sometimes there may good reason for the organisation or person making the report to not have their identity revealed.

How we use these reports

We take all vehicle safety or non-compliance reports seriously. All reports are assessed to determine if there is a systemic non-compliance with Motor Vehicle Standards legislation or safety issues that may require further action. We also use these reports to identify trends, risks and areas of concern that may require increased compliance monitoring.

Where we identify a pattern or trend that could indicate a non-compliance or safety issue, our first step is generally to contact the relevant manufacturer, provide them with the relevant reports, and seek an explanation.

Not all reports we receive result in further action being taken. Many reports do not indicate a systemic problem, or the problem does not relate to our administration of Motor Vehicle Standards legislation or vehicle safety issues related to design or manufacturer. We may pass these reports on to manufacturers for their information.

We also receive reports from other government agencies—vehicle registration authorities, consumer protection agencies, law enforcement and emergency services, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Border Force. We work with these organisations and share information where appropriate to do so.

Addressing matters raised in a report

We value an effective working relationship with the industry we regulate. Where possible we seek voluntarily provided information from industry members to ensure that vehicles supplied to the Australian market are compliant and safe.

If someone we regulate does not wish to cooperate in explaining or addressing an issue, we will consider using other regulatory tools. This could include audit, investigation or an enforcement response. We may also consider referring the matter to another agency, such as the ACCC.

Voluntary recalls—new template for monthly reports

The department monitors the progress of voluntary recalls for road vehicles in the Australian market, with manufacturers and suppliers providing us with monthly updates on the progress of these recalls.

A new Voluntary Recall Rectification Notification Template has been created to reduce the administrative burden on companies supplying these recall updates to us and to improve the accuracy of the monitoring process.

All voluntary recall updates should now be provided in the new template.

This template is only for updates related to existing and future voluntary recalls. The process for the initial notification of a voluntary recall has not changed.

For more information, please see the recalls section of our website.

2017-18 Annual Stakeholder Survey and Regulator Self-Assessment

The department has completed its annual regulator self-assessment against the Regulator Performance Framework.

The results of this self-assessment are available on our website DOCX: 506 KB.

To support this year’s self-assessment we conducted a stakeholder survey to gather the views of the entities we regulate. A summary of the survey results is now available on the website PPTX: 3432 KB. The department is currently considering both the survey results and the regulator self-assessment to identify specific improvement opportunities going forward.

A reminder of contact points for Vehicle Safety Standards

For general queries, our Customer Service Centre is here to assist – 1800 815 272

Our Customer Service Centre is your first stop for queries relating to vehicle imports, vehicle certification and the Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS). Our website ( is also a useful source of information for general guidance about these and other topics.

1800 815 272

(+61 2 6274 7444 if calling from outside of Australia)

For phone queries relating to:

  • Vehicle imports
  • Vehicle certification
  • The Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme (RAWS)

For email enquiries relating to vehicle imports

For email enquiries relating to RAWS

For email enquiries relating to vehicle certification

Responses to Discussion Items are also automatically forwarded by RVCS to this mailbox.

(02) 6274 6274

For matters relating to vehicle recalls

For matters related to the Road Vehicle Standards legislation or Road Vehicle Standards Act implementation

For specific queries relating to certification matters

We also maintain a number of mailboxes to assist with certification-related matters:

For technical advice on specific questions concerning the certification of light vehicles classified to the following categories: LA, LB, LC, LE, MA, MB, MC, MD, ME, NA, TA and TB.

Please do not use this mailbox for responses to Discussion Items, or for queries relating to an application.

For technical advice on specific questions concerning the certification of heavy vehicles classified to the following categories: NB, NC, TC and TD

Please do not use this mailbox for responses to Discussion Items, or for queries relating to an application.

For queries relating to the development of RVCS e-forms.

For information on other aspects of importing a vehicle – such as asbestos and duties/taxes that might apply - can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website or by calling 131 881.

November Customer Service Centre Statistics

1, 582

calls to our 1800 number


hits to our websites from new users

1, 145

email enquiries to our vehicle imports inbox