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10 February 2017

MEPs strengthen vehicle type approval regulations

First publishedon www.ITSInternational.com
In a drive to prevent a recurrence of the VW emissions scandal, the European Parliament’s Internal Market Committee has amended EU car type approval to make environmental and safety testing more independent and strengthen national and EU oversight of cars already on the road.

Type approval is the process whereby national authorities certify that a vehicle model meets all EU safety, environmental and production requirements before it can be placed on the market.

The proposals would require national market surveillance programs to be approved by the Commission to ensure that different member states are not carrying out the same tests on the same cars. Member states must meet the costs of type approval and market surveillance work in order to ensure independence; testing centres are currently paid directly by the carmakers. The results of national periodic reviews of type-approval and surveillance activities must be made public and member states must coordinate activities, exchanging information and considering complaints about possible non-compliance cases.

The committee proposes a two-step approach whereby the Commission could oblige a member state to carry a test it deems necessary or do the tests itself under certain conditions.

Car manufacturers who are in breach of the rules, e.g. for falsifying test results, risk administrative fines of up to US$32,000 (€30,000) per vehicle, which can be levied by the Commission if no fine is imposed at national level. The penalties should be used to support market surveillance, benefit affected consumers and, if appropriate, for environmental protection, MEPs say.
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