Vehicle type-approval if there’s no Brexit deal

What vehicle and component manufacturers need to do to show they meet safety and environmental standards when the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020).

Vehicle and component type-approval

Vehicle and component manufacturers must show they meet safety and environmental standards before they can place a product on the market for sale. Type-approval is how they do this.

Type-approval only applies to manufacturers.

There are no implications for owners of vehicles registered either in the UK or abroad before the UK leaves the EU.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, motorists and fleet operators can still drive cars they own or may buy either in the UK or abroad.

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Some of these requirements may change depending on the terms that the UK leaves the EU. Bookmark and revisit this web page or sign up for email alerts to stay up to date.

If you have questions about applying for a UK type-approval, please contact

Rules for vehicle and component type-approval from 29 March 2019 (may also apply to new exit date on 31 December 2020)

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, type-approvals issued in the UK will no longer be valid for sales or registrations on the EU market.

European Community type-approvals (EC type-approvals) issued outside of the UK, will no longer be automatically accepted for registering vehicles on the UK market.

This means that affected manufacturers will need to ensure that they have the correct type-approval for each market.

The UK will continue to recognise United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) approvals for systems and components. The EU will continue to recognise UN-ECE approvals issued by the UK.

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) will remain a technical service for the testing of UK and UN-ECE type-approvals.

EU type-approval authorities may not recognise VCA as a technical service without further arrangements put in place.

Existing vehicle and component type-approvals

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, vehicle manufacturers will need a provisional UK type-approval before placing their products on the UK market. EC type-approvals will no longer be valid for this purpose, unless the vehicle was in the UK immediately before the UK leaves the EU.

Initially, component, trailer and non-road mobile machinery manufacturers with a valid EC type-approval will not need a provisional UK type-approval. We envisage extending the UK approval process to these products at a later date.

When the UK leaves the EUUK and EU technical standards will be aligned. As such, the UK will issue provisional UK type-approvals, upon application, to manufacturers that can prove they hold valid EC type-approvals. This will be an administrative conversion of EC type-approvals into UK type-approvals. This streamlined approach avoids costly re-testing and re-design for manufacturers. It will also ensure that products can continue to be sold and registered in the UK.

The provisional UK type-approval will be valid for 2 years from the date of issue. It will need to be converted into a full UK type-approval during this period or it will become invalid. Legislation to allow VCA to convert provisional type-approvals into full type-approvals will be introduced during 2019.

Manufacturers currently holding a VCA-issued EC type-approval, who intend to continue placing their products on the EU market, must have a new ECtype-approval from a type-approval authority in an EU country. This process is set out in EU Regulation 2019/26. Further specific information on how the process works will be set out by the EC in due course.

New vehicle and component type-approvals

Manufacturers will need a UK type-approval if they intend to place new vehicle models onto the UK market after the UK leaves the EU

Manufacturers must follow the requirements of the UK type-approval scheme if they intend to get a UK approval on the basis of their EC type-approval.

Manufacturers wishing to place new products on the EU market after the UKleaves the EU will need to follow the existing procedure for obtaining a new EC type-approval. Full testing and certification must be done by an EU type-approval authority and a technical service designated by that authority.

Vehicle categories and engines subject to EC type-approval

Passenger vehicles:

  • passenger cars (M1)
  • mini-buses (M2)
  • buses and coaches (M3)

Goods vehicles:

  • light goods vehicles, car derived vans (N1)
  • goods vehicles up to 12 tonnes (N2)
  • goods vehicles over 12 tonnes (N3)

Trailers for road vehicles:

  • light trailers (O1)
  • trailers up to 3.5 tonnes (O2)
  • trailers up to 10 tonnes (O3)
  • trailers over 10 tonnes (O4)


  • mopeds and powered cycles (L1)
  • 3-wheel mopeds (L2)
  • motorcycles (L3)
  • motorcycles with sidecar (L4)
  • powered tricycles (L5)
  • light quadricycles (L6)
  • heavy quadricycles (L7)

Agricultural and forestry vehicles:

  • wheeled tractors (T)
  • tracked tractors (C)

Engines for non-road mobile machinery including:

  • small gardening and handheld equipment (lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc)
  • construction machinery (excavators, loaders, bulldozers, etc)
  • agricultural and farming machinery (harvesters, cultivators, etc)
  • railcars, locomotives and inland waterway vessels

More information

Find out more about:

See also

This guidance expands on the vehicle type-approval technical notice published in September 2018.

Published 25 February 2019

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