Documents considered by the Committee on 19 July 2011, including the following recommendations for debate: EU enlargement: Croatia - European Scrutiny Committee Contents

3 Vehicle type approval



+ ADDs 1-2

COM(10) 542

Draft Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles

Legal baseArticle 114 TFEU; co-decision; QMV
Basis of considerationMinister's letter of 12 July 2011
Previous Committee ReportHC 428-vi (2010-11), chapter 4 (3 November 2010)
Discussion in CouncilNot known
Committee's assessmentPolitically important
Committee's decisionNot cleared; further information requested


3.1 The Commission's 2006 initiative CARS 21 (Competitive Automotive Regulatory System for the 21st Century) recommended simplification of the current whole vehicle type approval regulatory framework. It also recommended, where appropriate, replacing relevant EU Directives by equivalent UN-ECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) Regulations. Type-approval that is directly based on internationally agreed standards will improve market access in third countries, in particular those which are contracting parties to the UN-ECE 1958 Agreement on type-approval, thus enhancing EU industry's competitiveness.

3.2 CARS 21 simplification of EU type approval legislation is undertaken in a 'split-level approach':

  • fundamental provisions are laid down in a framework Regulation; and
  • technical specifications implementing the fundamental provisions are laid down at a later date, by the Commission assisted by a technical committee, in delegated legislation.

3.3 The existing EU regulatory structure for type approval for motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles has evolved over many years and currently consists of a framework Directive, Directive 2002/24/EC, 13 separate technical Directives and their amending Directives. This means that the industry and regulators must currently be aware of a mass of legislation and ensure that it is correctly transposed into national law or applied as appropriate — this is considered to be a costly, burdensome process.

3.4 This draft Regulation aims to simplify the approval process for motorcycles, tricycles and quadricycles, while improving safety and limiting the emission of exhaust pollutants. Simplification would be achieved by repealing the current framework Directive and the technical Directives and replacing them with:

  • this draft framework Regulation, containing the fundamental requirements of the type approval system; and
  • technical requirements contained in three Commission Regulations referring, where possible, to harmonised international standards adopted by the UN-ECE.

The three Commission Regulations envisaged, to be made on the advice of a technical committee, are on:

  • environmental and propulsion performance requirements;
  • vehicle functional safety requirements and related subjects; and
  • vehicle construction requirements.

There would also be a Commission implementing act to set out administrative provisions.

3.5 When we considered this proposal, in November 2010, we said that, whilst the simplification this draft Regulation would achieve was to be welcomed, we noted that there were a number of issues the Government was addressing in the negotiation of the proposal and that it was producing its own impact assessment. Before considering the document further we asked to hear about progress in the negotiation and to see the impact assessment. Meanwhile the document remained under scrutiny.[14]

The Minister's letter

3.6 The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport (Mike Penning) encloses a copy of the Government's negotiating stage impact assessment and a summary of the key results, the latter of which we annex.

3.7 The Minister tells us that the Commission's text of the draft Regulation has been discussed at a number of Council working group meetings and reports that:

  • there has been general support for the proposal from Member States;
  • discussions so far have considered elements common with a parallel proposal on agricultural tractors,[15] to ensure a consistent regulatory approach for both where possible;
  • discussions also covered general requirements for EU type approval, provisions for market surveillance, acceptance of UN-ECE Regulations (in place of EU Directives) and obligations on manufacturers and distributors;
  • the Government and other Member States have expressed concern that the proposal gives the Commission powers to introduce new measures without sufficient scrutiny;
  • there has been support for the Government's view that, to minimise the burdens on individuals and very low volume manufacturers, Member States should retain the powers to set the requirements for vehicles built and approved singly, for example, amateur self builds;
  • there is general agreement that the timetable for the changes is too ambitious and should be delayed by at least one year to allow time for Member States to implement the new provisions;
  • the Government has concerns with many of the emissions elements of the Commission's proposal; and
  • the Government's impact assessment suggests that the costs substantially outweigh the benefits and the benefits are not focussed on the air quality problems that exist throughout the EU — these issues will be discussed in future meetings.

3.8 The Minister continues that the European Parliament is also considering the proposal and is expected to vote on its first reading position in October 2011. Its Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) has made a number of recommendations in its draft report, which is likely to be the basis for the European Parliament's position.[16] On the views of the IMCO the Minister tells us that it:

  • is concerned that the proposed timetable is too ambitious and suggests that the proposed introduction date of 1 January 2013 be put back by one year to 2014;
  • considers that the subsequent dates for the introduction of the various provisions, for example advanced braking, tail pipe emission limits, etc. are too complex and could be simplified, which supports views made by UK industry;
  • supports, in the draft report, the introduction of tighter limits on tail pipe emissions;
  • suggests, however, in the draft report, deleting the first stage and moving straight to the second stage, while keeping the proposed introduction dates — this view is at odds with the Government's impact assessment, which suggests that only the first stage will be cost effective for the UK;
  • endorses, in the draft report, the introduction of advanced braking system and other safety provisions;
  • supports the introduction of small series and individual vehicle approval to benefit smaller manufacturers; and
  • recognises that the proposed limits on the numbers of vehicles that can be approved through these routes is too low and should be increased.


3.9 We are grateful to the Minister for his account of where matters stand on this draft Regulation. Whilst we recognise that there is general support for the measure, we note that the Government has some concerns, some shared by other Member States, about the proposal. So before considering the document again we should like to hear about progress in the negotiation — particularly in relation to powers to be delegated to the Commission, minimising the burdens on individuals and very low volume manufacturers, the timetable for changes and the possible disbenefits of the emissions elements of the proposal. Meanwhile the document remains under scrutiny

Annex: Summary of the Department for Transport's Impact Assessment

Advanced Braking

When fitted to all motorcycles advanced braking systems could prevent up to 72 fatal accidents and 493 serious accidents each year saving £220 million annually, rising to £234 million when slight injuries are also considered. There is uncertainty over the level of fitment that could be achieved without this measure, it might be as low as 24% but could reach 85% depending on the level of commitment by manufacturers.

The cost of fitting ABS to a motorcycle is estimated between £90 and £180 giving an annual total cost of nearly £16 million if fitted to all new vehicles. Overall the cumulative net benefit by 2026 is estimated to be £387 million.

Tailpipe Emissions

Considering the three emission stages only the first is likely to deliver worthwhile benefits, the cost of the subsequent stages is unlikely to be justified by the benefits, the third stage in particular looks very costly and may not be achievable with current technology.

Evaporative Emissions

Controls on evaporative emissions are not expected to result in benefits for the UK but, if included in the Regulation, costs to manufacturers are likely to be minimised if the Commission chooses to align the test procedure with the current Californian motorcycle test. If a procedure based on the European test for cars is used then costs will be higher.

Durability of Emission control equipment

No test procedure has been proposed for assessing the durability of emission controls making it difficult to assess the impact of this measure. There are not expected to be additional technology costs but a lengthy test procedure is likely to have a significant cost and impact on development cycle.

Onboard Diagnostics

Many current motorcycles already meet the first stage on-board diagnostic requirements, and its costs are therefore negligible, however the second stage is technically very demanding and is likely to require costly sensors which are only at the prototype stage at present. The net cost of both OBD stages up to 2025 is estimated at £8,159,794.

Repair and maintenance info

Provision of non-discriminatory access to repair and maintenance information is likely to deliver substantial net benefits to small and medium sized enterprises in the repair sector and to consumers through reduced servicing costs. However, costs to set up on-line access to the information is likely to be significant, particularly for small manufacturers.

Fuel consumption

The proposal requires the measurement of CO2 and fuel consumption. These measurements can be made as part of the procedure for measuring tailpipe emissions so the additional costs are expected to minimum. There is no obligation at this stage to publish the information however it is likely that this will be the next step, bringing a benefit for consumers who will be able to compare the fuel economy of different vehicles


There is insufficient information to determine the costs and benefits of anti tampering measures. This is due in part to the lack of information on the current level of tampering and its impact on safety and the environment. The Commission's proposal does not contain any technical details, these will be contained in the delegated acts which will be drafted separately and adopted as a delegated act. The Commission has recognised there is a lack of information and a study is underway to investigate this further.

14   See headnote. Back

15   (31841) 12604/10 + ADDs 1-2: see HC 428-iii (2010-11), chapter 3 (13 October 2010) and HC 428-xxxiii (2010-11), chapter 3 (13 July 2011). Back

16   For the draft report see, for proposed amendments to it see The IMCO's final report is due in October 2011. Back

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Prepared 28 July 2011