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EU separate type-approval headache gets knock-back
Minor changes like ply-lining and racking will now be treated as part of the van’s payload

PLY-LINERS can celebrate!

Van managers faced with the prospect of having every van on their fleet type approved if modified in any way can breathe easily again after proposed EU regulations have been knocked back – thanks to the efforts of the SMMT and BVRLA.

The proposed legislation – European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) – requiring all modifications to have separate Whole Vehicle Type Approval would have caused a major headache for van managers and affected more than 200,00 vans registered annually.

The new regs would have applied to LCVs up to 3.5 tonnes from April this year.

This burden has been dramatically reduced after the SMMT and BVRLA lobbied VCA, VOSA and the Department for Transport for changes, which have resulted in a new plan called the Van Enhancement Scheme.

This does away with the need for UK-based van manufacturers and bodybuilders to seek Type Approval on basic alterations.

The VCA has now agreed that minor modifications, such as ply-lining, racking, and so on, can be treated as part of the vehicle payload.

What’s more, a simplified individual vehicle approval route has been introduced for more complicated modifications, for instance the fitting of tail-lifts or roof beacons. This will require the body-builders that carry out the modifications to have their fitting processes approved.

SMMT commercial vehicle manager Nigel Base told Business Vans: “SMMT has worked hard to achieve this crucial Type Approval change that will avoid unnecessary paperwork and save UK businesses thousands of pounds every year.

“This sort of administrative burden could have forced some firms out of business, but thanks to close collaboration with industry partners and government this will now be avoided.”

And John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA, added: “If the VCA had gone forward with its original approach, it was likely that almost every van put on fleet would need to be individually inspected and approved. We are really pleased that the industry was able to come together and produce a workable solution.”

Keep up to date here with the latest developments in van racking.

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