New Motor Vehicle Regulation

New Motor Vehicle Regulation

The new Regulation (EU) 2018/858 to reform the type-approval and market surveillance system for motor vehicles in the EU was signed on 30 May 2018 and will be applicable from 1 September 2020.

This major reform aims at the modernization of the current system and improvement of control tests on car emissions. Its purpose is to achieve a high level of safety and environmental performance of vehicles and to address the main shortcomings identified in the existing type-approval system.

The proposal was presented by the Commission on 27 January 2016 and the new text replaces the EU’s current legal framework set out in directive 2007/46/EC.


The automotive industry accounts for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU), hence being a major player in the European economy. In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted significant weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the EU, particularly as for standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, the European Commission proposed strengthening the type-approval system for motor vehicles through the creation of a system of effective enforcement of rules, quality and independence of technical tests.

Main changes

The act will bring about some major changes affecting mostly three areas:

  • the quality of testing that allows a vehicle to be placed on the market through improved technical services
  • market surveillance to control the conformity of vehicles already available on the market, with the possibility for member states and the Commission to carry out spot-checks on vehicles
  • the oversight of the type-approval process, entailing the Commission to carry out periodic assessments on national type-approval authorities and through the establishment of a Forum for the exchange of information on enforcement

The ultimate purpose of these changes is to enable the detection of non-compliance cases at an early stage in the new system and minimize the differences in interpretation and application by national type-approval authorities and technical services.

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