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Vehicle type approvals

Guide to Vehicle type approvals

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From 1 July 2021, the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation introduces road vehicle type approvals.

From 1 July 2021, the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) is replacing the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA).

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

Under the RVS legislation, road vehicles must be entered on to the Register of Approved Vehicles (RAV) before they can be provided to another person for road use in Australia for the first time.

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

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

On this page:

What is a vehicle type approval?

Under the MVSA, Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs) are required, however, the RVS legislation takes a new approach.

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 will be able to 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?

Eligible holders of some approvals under the MVSA who intend to continue providing road vehicles in Australia will be able to transition to a vehicle type approval under opt-in arrangements. The opt-in period is only 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.

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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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Resources

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More information

More detailed information is available in the Guide to the Opt-in arrangements and the Guide To Vehicle type approvals.

For enquiries you can contact us:

Disclaimer

We do not make any guarantees about the completeness of the information above as it is intended as easy-to-read background material/‘quick guide’ only.

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Last Updated: 15 April, 2021