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Type approval van rules relaxed

  • 11 February 2013
  • By George Barrow

Operators will no longer have to seek type approval for minor modifications to light commercial vehicles, after the Department for Transport and the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) agreed to exempt some alterations from the new EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) regulations.

Basic modifications to vans up to 3.5 tonnes, including racking and protective ply lining, will no longer have to meet WVTA legislation due to come into force from 29 April 2013, and will instead be considered as part of the payload.

Larger and more complex additions such as tail-lifts and roof beacons will also receive a break from the rules, with a more simplified approval process. Under the Van Enhancement Scheme, Body-builders will instead have their fitting process approved, negating the need for individual vehicle approval.

Significant win

It is thought that around 80% of vans sold in the UK will no longer have to undergo some form of Type Approval in order to comply with the legislation as a result. Operators using a VCA-approved convertor or wishing to add minor modifications will now avoid the expense of meeting the VCA and VOSA Type Approval standards.

Manufacturers and bodybuilders that need to seek WVTA can seek help from a new online Type Approval guide by the SMMT.

Clive Woodward, group MD of storage equipment manufactuerer Bott, said: “The Van Enhancement Scheme appears to offer a fair compromise between a potentially overbearing administrative burden for achieving full multi-stage WVTA on a wide number of LCV variants, and no regulation at all.

“At least with this scheme, fleet operators working with VCA-approved converters can have assurance that their limited conversions meet minimum VCA/VOSA standards for WVTA.

“Bott and other leading conversion companies in the industry have pushed for this solution and the DfT has shown that consultation works. The Scheme now needs to be implemented, tested and later refined in-line with experience gained.”


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