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EU Motor Vehicles Directive 2007/46/EC

Published 05 Mar 2012



The 2007/46/EC Directive aims at providing further safety measures for motor vehicles and their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles, by better defining the framework for approval. In this sense, the 2007 Directive while preserving the main stipulations of the old Directive 70/156/EEC also brings new concepts and requirements over the repealing Directive of 1970. These concern the new Directive’s main aims to improve road safety by making compulsory a number of devices for commercial vehicles (vans, lorries, semi-trailers, trailers), buses and coaches, like:

  • ABS;
  • New and more effective rear-view mirrors;
  • Improved lights;
  • Side protection to prevent cyclists or pedestrians from being dragged under vehicles and anti-spray devices.

The Directive also asks for further requisites for buses and coaches and underlines several environmental obligations to be taken into account, such as CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

As to the scope of the Directive, the European Union is actually extending the EC type-approval for access to the internal market to all categories of motor vehicles designed and constructed in one or more stages for use on the road and also to the systems, components and separate technical units designed and constructed for such vehicles.

In what concerns the compliance aspect of the new Directive 2007/46/EC the manufacturer is responsible for all aspects of the approval process and for ensuring conformity of production, to the approval authority, in several instances:

  • If the manufacturer is directly involved or not in all stages of the construction of a vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit,
  • If the manufacturer modifies components or systems already approved at earlier stages shall be responsible for the approval and conformity of production of those components and systems
  • In the case of multi-stage type-approval, each manufacturer is responsible for the approval and conformity of production of the systems, components or separate technical units added at the stage of vehicle completion handled by him.



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