Type approval is granted to a model of a vehicle, component and separate technical unit that meets a minimum set of regulatory requirements. Type approval certificates can be issued by any one of the 28 EU Member States and is required for a vehicle to be placed on the EU market. Once type approval is obtained, the vehicle can be placed in any one of the EU Member State without further testing.
The system is based on the mutual recognition of approvals granted by Member States. Every vehicle produced is then accompanied by a certificate of conformity, which is like the car's birth certificate, in which the manufacturer certifies that the vehicle corresponds to the approved type. On the basis of this document, the vehicle can be registered anywhere in Europe.
Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5th September 2007 establish the framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units untended for such vehicles with a view to facilitating their registration, sale and entry into service within the Community.
The technical requirements applicable to vehicles, systems, components and separate technical units are therefore harmonised across the EU by the requirements prescribed in Directive 2007/46/EC as transposed by L.N. 148 of 2009 into National Legislation.
Type Approval Authorities are national public authorities in charge of officially approving vehicles before they can be put on the EU market. The decision to approve a new vehicle type is based on compliance tests that are carried out by testing bodies and laboratories (‘technical services’) that are either in-house or, in most cases, specifically designated by the type approval authorities.
The lists of EU Type Approval Authorities for each EU country can be accessed via the link below:
Technical Services are the test bodies and laboratories that are specifically designated by the Member States’ type approval authorities to carry out the type approval tests in accordance with EU legislation. Most type approval authorities designate external technical services, but there are also type approval authorities that have them in-house.
The lists of designated technical services for each EU country can be accessed via the link below: