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Legislation

Title: Testing to ensure the safety of vehicles and trailers
Sectors of Transport: Transport, Transport, Road transport, Security & safety
Weblinks: https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/AUTO/?uri=CELEX:32014L0045
Testing to ensure the safety of vehicles and trailers

Testing to ensure the safety of vehicles and trailers

 

SUMMARY OF:

Directive 2014/45/EU on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers

WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE DIRECTIVE?

It aims to improve road safety by setting minimum requirements for periodic roadworthiness tests of vehicles and trailers in the European Union (EU).

KEY POINTS

Scope

The law applies to vehicles capable of more than 25 km/hour in the following categories.

  • Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (categories M1 and N1). To be tested 4 years after the date when first registered, and thereafter every 2 years.
  • Vehicles in category M1 used as taxis or ambulances, buses or minibuses (M2, M3), heavy goods vehicles (N2, N3) and heavy trailers (O3, O4). To be tested 1 year after first registration, and thereafter yearly.
  • Fast tractors with a design speed above 40 km/h (T5) and used commercially. To be tested 4 years after registration, and thereafter every 2 years.

Powerful motorcycles

Category L vehicles with an engine larger than 125 cm3 will be tested from 2022 unless road safety statistics for the previous 5 years show that the same level of road safety could be achieved by alternative measures.

Roadworthiness tests prior to the due dates

In certain circumstances, vehicles may be required to undergo a test before the due dates:

  • after an accident;
  • where the holder of the registration certificate has changed;
  • on reaching 160,000 km;
  • in cases where road safety is seriously affected.

Exemptions

The following types of vehicles are exempted from roadworthiness tests:

  • vehicles of historic interest;
  • diplomatic vehicles;
  • vehicles used by the armed forces, police, customs, fire services or for agricultural and forestry purposes only;
  • vehicles used exclusively on small islands.

Approved testing centres

Each EU Member State must have approved and compliant testing centres, while inspectors must meet competence criteria and be free from any conflict of interest.

Assessment of defects

  • Defects are classified as minor, major or dangerous, with minor defects insufficient to fail vehicles.
  • Where defects are dangerous, the use of the vehicle on public roads may be suspended until the fault is rectified.

Roadworthiness certificate

Where a vehicle already registered in another Member State is re-registered, its certificate must be recognised by other Member States, even where ownership has changed. By 2021, testing centres will be required to share relevant information with the competent authority of their country.

European electronic vehicle information platform

The feasibility, costs and benefits of setting up a European electronic vehicle information platform are to be examined.

Fraud

  • To detect odometer fraud, data from the preceding test is to be made available to the inspectors.
  • Misrepresenting the distance a vehicle has covered is a punishable offence.

COVID-19 pandemic

  • Regulation (EU) 2020/698 lays down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID-19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation. The regulation extended the time limits provided for in Directive 2014/45/EU with regard to the following.
    • Roadworthiness tests which should have been carried out between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 by a period of 7 months.
    • Roadworthiness certificates which should have been issued between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 by a period of 7 months.
    • Where a Member State considers that carrying out roadworthiness tests or the certification thereof are likely to remain impracticable beyond 31 August 2020, due to the COVID-19-related measures that it has taken, it may submit a reasoned request to the European Commission by 1 August 2020 for an authorisation to extend the periods. That request may concern the period between 1 February 2020 and 31 August 2020 or the period of 7 months, or both.
  • In view of the persistence of the COVID-19 crisis, Regulation (EU) 2021/267 extends certain periods referred to in Regulation (EU) 2020/698 due to difficulties in carrying out periodic roadworthiness tests. More specifically, the regulation covers the following areas.
    • The regulation allows periodic roadworthiness tests which were to have been carried out between 1 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 to be carried out at a later date, but not later than 10 months after the original time limit, and the certificates concerned should remain valid until that later date.
    • Where a Member State considers that carrying out roadworthiness tests or the certification thereof are likely to remain impracticable beyond 30 June 2021, due to measures that it has taken to prevent or contain the spread of COVID-19, it may submit a reasoned request for an authorisation to apply an extension of the periods. That request may concern the period between 1 September 2020 and 30 June 2021 or the period of 10 months, or both. It must be submitted to the Commission by 31 May 2021.
    • If the requirements are fulfilled and the requested extension does not lead to disproportionate risks in terms of transport safety and security, the Commission can authorise the Member State to apply an extension. The extension must be limited to reflect the period during which the renewal of roadworthiness tests is likely to remain impracticable and, in any event, cannot exceed 6 months. The Commission’s decision in this regard is published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
    • Where a Member State does not need to apply the measures laid down in Regulation (EU) 2021/267, it should inform the Commission of this by 3 March 2021. The Commission must inform the other Member States accordingly and publish a notice in the Official Journal. A Member State in this situation must not impede the cross-border activities of any economic operator or individual that has relied on these exceptional measures in another Member State.

FROM WHEN DOES THE DIRECTIVE APPLY?

The directive had to become law in the Member States by 20 May 2017. Member States have to apply the rules as of 20 May 2018.

BACKGROUND

For further information, see:

MAIN DOCUMENT

Directive 2014/45/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 on periodic roadworthiness tests for motor vehicles and their trailers and repealing Directive 2009/40/EC (OJ L 127, 29.4.2014, pp. 51-128)

Successive amendments to Directive 2014/45/EU have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

Regulation (EU) 2021/267 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2021 laying down specific and temporary measures in view of the persistence of the COVID-19 crisis concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations, the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation and the extension of certain periods referred to in Regulation (EU) 2020/698 (OJ L 60, 22.2.2021, pp. 1-20)

Regulation (EU) 2020/698 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 2020 laying down specific and temporary measures in view of the COVID-19 outbreak concerning the renewal or extension of certain certificates, licences and authorisations and the postponement of certain periodic checks and periodic training in certain areas of transport legislation (OJ L 165, 27.5.2020, pp. 10-24)

last update 12.07.2021

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