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.
Regulation (EU) 2018/858
Regulation (EU) 2018/858 lays down harmonised rules and principles for the type-approval of:
intended for such vehicles, and for individual vehicle approval, with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market for the benefit of businesses and consumers and in order to offer a high level of safety and of health and environmental protection.
This new Regulation also lays down the requirements for the market surveillance of vehicles, systems, components and separate technical units that are subject to approval. This Regulation clarifies the recall procedures and strengthens the requirements for the Conformity of Production audits. Enforcement of this Regulation is improved by the provision of clear roles and responsibility of economic operators and better emphasis on the operating remits of market surveillance authorities.
Regulation (EU) 2018/858 will make vehicle testing more independent and increases surveillance of vehicles already in circulation. It will raise the quality level and independence of vehicle type-approval and testing, increase checks of vehicles that are already on the EU market and strengthen the overall system with European oversight.
This Regulation becomes applicable on the 1st September 2020 and on the same date it will repeal Directive 2007/46/EC.
Regulation (EU) 2018/858 establishes the Forum for Exchange of Information on Enforcement. This Forum is chaired by the European Commission and composed of representatives appointed by each Member State representing their approval authorities and market surveillance authorities. The advisory tasks of the Forum shall have as their objective the promotion of best practices in order to facilitate the uniform interpretation and implementation of this Regulation, the exchange of information on enforcement problems, cooperation, in particular regarding the assessment, designation and monitoring of technical services, the development of working methods and tools, the development of an electronic information exchange procedure and the evaluation of harmonised enforcement projects and penalties.
Regulation (EU) 2018/858 can be accessed via the following link: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32018R0858&from=EN
Type Approval Authorities:
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:
The Maltese Type Approval Authority would like to inform interested stakeholders that regrettably it currently cannot accept new applications for new type approvals.
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The products which are regulated by type approval legislation are:
An EC Type Approval Certificate is a document granted to the products mentioned above if they meet the applicable EU harmonised technical and safety requirements listed in either the EU Directives or Regulations or in the recognised UNECE Regulations which the EU has acceded to. An EC Type Approval Certificate is required before the mentioned products can be made available on the EU market.
A manufacturer can obtain EU Type Approval certification for a vehicle type in any EU Member State and then market it EU-wide without the need for further tests. This system significantly contributes to the completion of the single market in the automotive sector.
An EU Type Approval Authority is the authority of a Member State which issues EU Type Approval Certificates and handles all aspects related to the process of issuing such certificates. An EU Type Approval Authority is also responsible for designating its Technical Service/s and for ensuring that the manufacturer meets his obligations regarding the conformity of production.
The link below provides a list of the EU Type Approval Authorities for each Member State:
A Technical Service is a body which is designated by the EU Type Approval Authority of a Member State as a testing laboratory to carry out tests, or as a conformity assessment body to carry out the initial assessment and other tests or inspections, on behalf of the EU Type Approval Authority.
Below is the link for a list of Technical Services for each Member State:
The manufacturer of a component or separate technical unit shall affix the EC type-approval mark to each component or unit which is manufactured in conformity with the approved type as required by the applicable legislation. Where no EC type-approval mark is required, the manufacturer shall affix at least his trade name or trade mark, and the type number and/or an identification number.
An EC Certificate of Conformity (CoC) is a document which is issued by the manufacturer and certifies that the vehicle complied with all regulatory acts at the time of its production. The manufacturer shall deliver a Certificate of Conformity to accompany each vehicle that is manufactured in conformity with the approved vehicle type. The CoC is used by the registration authorities for registration purposes.
The registration authority in Malta is Transport Malta (TM). For more information with respect to registration please contact TM:
The EC certificate of Conformity is valid in all EU Member States. A vehicle having a valid EC Certificate of Conformity can be registered in any EU Member State without the need for the person registering the vehicle to provide additional technical documentation to the national authorities. This does not hold if the vehicle has been modified after leaving the factory. In this case a new approval may be required.
More information on the applicable legal requirements for the following sectors can be found in the links below: