Category Archives: Single Market for Goods

he free movement of goods, with the objective of ensuring trade within the European Union, is one of the cornerstones of the internal market. Provided for by the Treaty establishing the European Community, it offers businesses the advantage of larger markets and European citizens a wider choice at lower prices in an open and competitive area. Free movement applies under the same conditions for all goods circulating within the EU, including those from third countries, with the exception of those posing risks to consumers, public health or the environment. The ban on measures restricting imports and exports between Member States and the principle of mutual recognition ensure compliance under the monitoring of the Commission.

Internal Market

Internal Market

Internal Market Contents

  • Internal market: general framework
  • Living and working in the internal market: Free movement of people, asylum and immigration, free movement of workers
  • Single Market for Goods: Free movement of goods, technical harmonisation, product labelling and packaging, consumer safety, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products, chemical products, motor vehicles, construction, external dimension
  • Single market for services: Free movement of services, professional occupations, services of general interest, transport, Information Society, postal services, financial services, banks, insurance, securities markets
  • Single market for capital: Free movement of capital, economic and monetary union, economic and private stakeholders, fiscal aspects, combating fraud, external relations
  • Businesses in the internal market: Company law, public procurement, intellectual property

See also

Living and working in the internal market.
Overviews of European Union: Internal market.
Further information: the Internal Market and Services Directorate-General of the European Commission.

General safety of motor vehicles

General safety of motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about General safety of motor vehicles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

General safety of motor vehicles

2 emissions.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 661/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 July 2009 concerning type-approval requirements for the general safety of motor vehicles, their trailers and systems, components and separate technical units intended therefor (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation establishes requirements for the type-approval of:

  • the safety of motor vehicles and their trailers;
  • the energy efficiency of motor vehicles by introducing the mandatory installation of tyre pressure monitoring systems and gear shift indicators;
  • the safety and energy efficiency of tyres and their levels of noise emissions.

Types of vehicles concerned

This Regulation applies to:

  • motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers having at least four wheels (category M);
  • motor vehicles intended for the transportation of goods having at least four wheels (category N);
  • trailers (category O).

Obligations of manufacturers

Manufacturers shall guarantee that new vehicles that are sold, registered or put into service within the European Union (EU) are type-approved in accordance with the provisions of this Regulation.

The Regulation aims at making several UNECE regulations obligatory. Type-approval in accordance with these UNECE regulations shall be considered as EC type-approval.

In order to improve road safety, all vehicles must be equipped with an electronic stability control system. Furthermore, vehicles in categories M2, M3, N2 and N3 must be equipped with an advanced emergency braking system and a lane departure warning system.

Tyres shall satisfy requirements relating to:

  • wet grip;
  • rolling resistance;
  • rolling noise.

In addition, vehicles in category M1 must be equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system and gear shift indicators.

Obligations of the Member States

Member States shall not grant EC type-approval or national type-approval to vehicles which do not meet the requirements laid down in this Regulation.

Transitional provisions

This Regulation contributes to the simplification of legislation insofar as it repeals a considerable number of basic directives and their amending acts.

This Regulation repeals Directives 70/221/EEC, 70/222/EEC, 70/311/EEC, 70/387/EEC, 70/388/EEC, 71/320/EEC, 72/245/EEC, 74/60/EEC, 74/61/EEC, 74/297/EEC, 74/408/EEC, 74/483/EEC, 75/443/EEC, 76/114/EEC, 76/115/EEC, 76/756/EEC, 76/757/EEC, 76/758/EEC, 76/759/EEC, 76/760/EEC, 76/761/EEC, 76/762/EEC, 77/389/EEC, 77/538/EEC, 77/539/EEC, 77/540/EEC, 77/541/EEC, 77/649/EEC, 78/316/EEC, 78/317/EEC, 78/318/EEC, 78/549/EEC, 78/932/EEC, 89/297/EEC, 91/226/EEC, 92/21/EEC, 92/22/EEC, 92/24/EEC, 92/114/EEC, 94/20/EC, 95/28/EC, 96/27/EC, 96/79/EC, 97/27/EC, 98/91/EC, 2000/40/EC, 2001/56/EC, 2001/85/EC, and 2003/97/EC from 1 November 2014.

It repeals Directive 92/23/EC from 1 November 2017.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 661/2009

20.8.2009

OJ L 200 of 31.7.2009

Protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users

Protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users

The European Union intends to reduce the number of deaths and the severity of injuries to pedestrians and cyclists involved in accidents with motor vehicles. Car manufacturers will therefore need to make changes to the fronts of their vehicles.

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2003/102/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 relating to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users before and in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC.

Summary

Around 8 000 pedestrians and cyclists are killed and a further 300 000 injured each year in road accidents.

Accidents occur particularly often in urban areas. Even when cars drive at relatively low speeds, very serious injuries can be caused by a collision with a moving vehicle, particularly in the case of impact with the frontal structure of a motor vehicle. Below 40 km/h, however, it is possible to considerably reduce the severity of injuries by modifying the fronts of motor vehicles.

The Directive sets the safety requirements which motor vehicle manufacturers will have to meet in order to reduce the severity of the injuries suffered by pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, such as cyclists and motorcyclists, when they are hit by the frontal surface of a vehicle.

The Directive is based on Article 95 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. The harmonised technical provisions for the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to pedestrian protection are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the internal market.

Scope

The Directive applies to the frontal surfaces of vehicles, which mainly means the bonnet and the bumper.

It applies to passenger cars (category M1 vehicles) not exceeding 2.5 tonnes and commercial vehicles (category N1 vehicles) not exceeding 2.5 tonnes and derived from M1 vehicles. There is provision for the Commission to examine the possibility of extending the scope of the directive to vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

Safety provisions

The Directive proposes limit values to be observed in the construction of the frontal structures of vehicles. These values should not therefore be exceeded in a collision between a vehicle and a pedestrian. In order to ensure compliance, the vehicles will have to undergo a number of safety tests. These tests and limit values are based on recommendations made by the European Enhanced Vehicle-Safety Committee.

If the maximum limit values are exceeded, the Member States may no longer grant EC type-approval or register the vehicles concerned.

The technical provisions will enter into force in two stages for which the directive sets out transitional periods. The provisions for the first stage will have to be met for all new types of vehicles from 1 October 2005 and for all new vehicles from 31 December 2012. The provisions for the second stage will be compulsory as of 1 September 2010 for all new types of vehicles and from 1 September 2015 for all new vehicles. This transitional period gives manufacturers time to comply with the limit values and incorporate these changes into the construction of new types of vehicles without having to make immediate changes to vehicles already in production.

Given the speed of technological development in this field, manufacturers may develop alternative measures that are at least as effective as those in the Directive. Depending on the result of the feasibility study carried out by independent experts by 1 July 2004, the Commission may well amend the provisions of the directive.

The Commission plans to conduct an initial assessment before 1 April 2006, then every two years thereafter.

Amendment of the type-approval system

The Directive is one of the specific Directives with which compliance is necessary in order to ensure conformity with the EC type-approval procedure. Directive 70/156/EEC should therefore be amended accordingly.

Background

The European Commission has made it a priority to reduce the number of persons killed and injured on Europe’s roads. Its target is to reduce road deaths by 50% by 2010.

With this objective in mind, the European Commission entered into discussions with European, Japanese and Korean motor vehicle manufacturers. These resulted in the industry making a pledge to introduce measures aimed at improving pedestrian safety. Following the opinion of the European Parliament and of the Council of Ministers, the Commission drew up a legal instrument establishing the main aims and basic technical provisions required to ensure the requisite legal certainty in this area.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2003/102/EC [adoption: codecision COD/2003/0033] 7.12.2003 31.12.2003 OJ L 321 of 6.12.2003

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users [COM(2007)560 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes combining the requirements of Directive 2005/66/EC (use of frontal protection systems) and Directive 2003/102/EC (pedestrian protection) in a single regulation, in order to improve the consistency and implementation of measures to protect pedestrians and other vulnerable road users. The Commission is reviewing existing passive requirements and is combining them with an active measure involving the use of brake-assist systems such as anti-lock brake systems (ABS). This has involved discussions between the Commission and European, Japanese and Korean car manufacturers and other interested parties.

The proposed regulation lays down requirements for the manufacturing and operating of vehicles and details the obligations of manufacturers (approved braking systems, frontal protection), those of the Member State authorities (monitoring of the application of requirements, penalties) and detailed rules for implementation.

Directive 2005/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 relating to the use of frontal protection systems on motor vehicles and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC [Official Journal L 309 of 25.11.2005].

Commission Decision 2004/90/EC of 23 December 2003 on the technical prescriptions for the implementation of Article 3 of Directive 2003/102/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users before and in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle and amending Directive 70/156/EEC [Official Journal L31 of 4.2.2004].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 11 July 2010 – Pedestrian protection: Commitment by the European automobile industry [COM(2001) 389 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The European Commission presents an evaluation of the commitment reached with the European automobile industry, represented by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).

EC type-approval system for motor vehicles

EC type-approval system for motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EC type-approval system for motor vehicles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

EC type-approval system for motor vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2007/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 September 2007 establishing a framework for the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles.

Summary

The European Union (EU) is revising the system of EC type-approval for motor vehicles. The Directive retains (in revised form) the majority of the provisions of Directive 70/156/EEC and also introduces some entirely new concepts and requirements. It repeals and replaces Directive 70/156/EEC in order to have a clearer, more coherent text based on the principle of proportionality.

Scope

The requirement for EC type-approval for access to the internal market used to apply to private cars, motorcycles, mopeds and agricultural tractors. The European Union is extending this system to all categories of motor vehicles designed and constructed in one or more stages for use on the road and also to the systems, components and separate technical units designed and constructed for such vehicles. More precisely, the Directive is aimed at commercial vehicles (vans, lorries, semi-trailers, trailers), buses and coaches.

Type-approval system

The EC type-approval system is the only system in place for ensuring permanent monitoring of the conformity of output. Type-approval is based on the principle that manufacturers must issue a certificate of conformity for each vehicle manufactured, attesting that it conforms to the approved type. The manufacturer can opt for one of the following procedures: step-by-step type-approval *, single-step type-approval * or mixed type-approval *.

The Directive introduces a new EC type-approval method known as “multi-stage type-approval”. Each manufacturer involved in manufacturing a vehicle will fill in the part of the certificate relating to its own stage. The aim of this is to adapt the process to the specific nature of commercial vehicle manufacturing. The multi-stage procedure will generally involve two steps:

  • firstly, the initial manufacturer will obtain type-approval for a chassis (including the engine, wheels, shock absorbers, brakes, etc.) and a first EC type-approval certificate will be issued;
  • subsequently, the second manufacturer will assemble the bodywork and present the finished vehicle for type-approval. Where the same manufacturer is responsible for both chassis and bodywork, the vehicle may be type-approved using the time-honoured procedure for passenger cars.

The Directive is based on the principle of total harmonisation. EC type-approval procedures are compulsory and replace the national procedures with which they have co-existed up until now. The type-approval process is therefore noticeably simplified for manufacturers. It is enough for one Member State to type-approve a vehicle in order for all vehicles of that type to be registered throughout the Community solely on the basis of their certificate of conformity.

Improving road safety and environmental protection

The Directive aims to improve road safety by making a number of devices compulsory. These include ABS (anti-lock braking system), new and more effective rear-view mirrors (including the new front rear-view mirror), improved lights, side protection to prevent cyclists or pedestrians from being dragged under vehicles and anti-spray devices.

Furthermore, it lays down additional requirements for buses and coaches (emergency exits must be adapted to the number of people which the vehicle can hold, greater ease of access for persons with reduced mobility, sufficient “survival space” in the event of the vehicle rolling over etc.).

The Directive also focuses on various environmental obligations such as CO2 emissions, fuel consumption, engine power and smoke from diesel engines.

Timetable

The provisions of the proposal will be implemented from 2009 and will be phased in gradually until 2014, depending on the category of vehicle. The aim of the transition periods is to enable the industry to gradually adapt its production systems to the new requirements and enable governments to deal progressively with the increased number of requests for type-approval.

Background

Since 1970, Directive 70/156/EEC has been the main legal instrument for implementing the single market in the motor vehicle sector. It has been amended many times in order to keep pace with this sector’s constant development. It therefore seemed appropriate to increase its clarity by recasting it. Doing so also provides an opportunity to extend the scope of the established principles to new categories of motor vehicles.

The first stage of the revision, Directive 2001/116/EC, put in place the technical provisions needed for the practical implementation of the type-approval of commercial vehicles. This Directive marks the second stage of the revision of Directive 70/156/EEC.

Key terms of the act
  • Step-by-step type-approval: a vehicle-approval procedure consisting in the step-by-step collection of the whole set of EC type-approval certificates for the systems, components and separate technical units relating to the vehicle, and which leads, at the final stage, to the approval of the whole vehicle.
  • Single-step type-approval: a procedure consisting in the approval of a vehicle as a whole by means of a single operation.
  • Mixed type-approval: a step-by-step type-approval procedure for which one or more system approvals are achieved during the final stage of the approval of the whole vehicle, without it being necessary to issue the EC type-approval certificates for those systems.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2007/46/EC

29.10.2007

29.4.2009

OJ L 263, 9.10.2007

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2007/46/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purpose only.

LAST AMENDMENTS TO THE ANNEXES

Annex IV – List of requirements for the purpose of EC type-approval of vehicles
Commission Regulation (EU) No 183/2011 [Official Journal L 53 of 26.2.2011].

Annex VI
Commission Regulation (EU) No 183/2011 [Official Journal L 53 of 26.2.2011].

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact (until 2014)

To harmonise the laws of the Member States in respect of the interior fittings of motor vehicles as regards behaviour of steering device under impact.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 74/297/EEC of 4 June 1974 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the interior fittings of motor vehicles (behaviour of steering device under impact) [Official Journal L 165 of 20.06.1974].

Amended by the following act:

Council Directive 91/662/EEC of 6 December 1991 [Official Journal L 366 of 31.12.1991].

3) Summary

These Directives apply to the behaviour of the steering device fitted to category M1 motor vehicles and category N1 vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which is less than 1 500 kg in respect of driver protection in the event of a head-on collision.

Component type-approval procedure for each type of vehicle and steering control:

  • application for EC approval:

– lodged by the manufacturer or his authorized representative with the authorities respnsible for approval within a Member State;

– accompanied by the information requested in line with annex I to the present Directive;

  • approval procedure:

– provision is made for three types of test which concern either the type of vehicle or the type of steering control: these are the impact test against a barrier, the impact test against a test block and the headform test;

– where the type of vehicle or steering control meets the requirements of the tests an EC approval certificate and its annex are issued by the Member State authority that is responsible for approval.

Implementation of the Directive:

  • 1 October 1992: manufacturers voluntarily meeting the safety standards may obtain EC approval;
  • 1 October 1995: mandatory application of the safety standards for:

– component type-approval of the steering device fitted to forward-control category M1 vehicles and to all motor vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which does not exceed 1 500 kg;

– the placing on the market of steering controls intended to be fitted to one or several types of vehicle;

  • 1 October 1996, mandatory application of safety standards concerning:

– the steering device for normal-control category M1 motor vehicles;

– the steering control for all types of vehicle.

These provisions shall only apply from 1 October 1997 to:

  • category M1 vehicles;
  • category N1 vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which does not exceed 1 500 kg.

Procedure for the adaptation of the Directive to technical progress.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 74/297/EEC 10.06.1974 10.12.1975
Directive 91/662/EEC 01.10.1992

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/24/EEC of 31 March 1992 relating to speed limitation devices or similar speed limitation on-board systems of certain categories of motor vehicles [See amending acts].

Summary

Speed limitation devices for heavy motor vehicles help improve road safety by reducing the wear and tear on engines and tyres and the severity of injuries resulting from accidents. They also have positive effects on atmospheric pollution and fuel consumption. The European Union has therefore considered it necessary for vehicles circulating within the Community to be equipped with such devices.

Scope

This directive applies to EEC type-approved speed limitation devices and similar systems which fulfil the same speed limitation function.

It initially applied only to heavy motor vehicles. Amended by Directive 2004/11/EC, it has been extended to cover all buses and all goods transport vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes. It now applies to all M2, M3, N2 and N3 category motor vehicles (as defined in Annex II of Directive 70/156/EEC) intended for on-road use, having at least four wheels and a maximum design speed exceeding 25km/h.

Requirements

The directive requires that the speed limitation device be so designed, constructed and assembled as to resist corrosion and ageing phenomena, and that it be resistant to tampering so that the limitation threshold can neither be increased nor overridden.

EEC type-approval

The application for EEC type-approval for the speed limitation of a vehicle type must be submitted by the vehicle manufacturer, but for a speed limitation device as a technical unit it must be submitted by the manufacturer of that device.

If the requirements of the Directive have been met, the Member States may not, on grounds relating to the speed limitation devices, refuse EEC or national type-approval for a vehicle or a speed limitation device, nor may they refuse the registration, sale, or entry into service of a vehicle or a speed limitation device.

In contrast, the Member States are obliged to refuse, on grounds relating to the speed limitation devices, EC or national type-approval for vehicles or speed limitation devices which do not satisfy the requirements of the Directive. In addition, as of 1 January 2005, they must also ban the sale, registration and entry into service of vehicles or speed limitation devices that do not comply with the requirements of the Directive.

Background

Directive 92/24/EEC is one of the separate Directives of the Community type-approval procedure established by Directive 70/156/EEC. By harmonising the technical provisions relating to speed limitation devices and speed limitation systems, it therefore plays a part in ensuring the smooth operation of the internal market.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 1992/24/EEC 10.04.1992 01.01.1993 OJ L 129 of 14.05.1992
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/11/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2003/0122] 17.02.2004 16.11.2004 OJ L 44 of 14.02.2004

Related Acts

Council Directive 92/6/EEC of 10 February 1992 on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehiclesin the Community [OJ L 57 of 02.03.1992], amended by Directive 2002/85/EC of 5 November 2002 [OJ L 327 of 4.12.2002].
Directive 1992/6/EEC stipulates that motor vehicles may only circulate within the European Community if they are equipped with a speed limitation device for which a maximum speed is set. The Directive was initially aimed at heavy vehicles. Subsequent to its amendment by Directive 2002/85/EC, it has been extended to cover light commercial vehicles.

Maximum authorised settings for speed limitation devices in commercial vehicles

Maximum authorised settings for speed limitation devices in commercial vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Maximum authorised settings for speed limitation devices in commercial vehicles

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Maximum authorised settings for speed limitation devices in commercial vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/85/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 amending Council Directive 92/6/EEC on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehicles in the Community.

Summary

Pursuant to Directive 92/6/EEC, heavy vehicles (motor vehicles of category M3 having a maximum mass of more than 10 tonnes and motor vehicles of category N3) may be used on the roads only if they are equipped with a speed limitation device set in such a way that the vehicle cannot exceed speeds of 100 or 90 kilometres per hour according to its category.

Directive 2002/85/EC extends the scope of Directive 92/6/EEC to light commercial vehicles. The motor vehicles now covered are those in categories M2 and M3 (passenger vehicles) and categories N2 and N3 (goods vehicles), as defined in Annex II to Directive 70/156/EEC.

Motor vehicles of categories M2 and M3 registered after 1 January 2005 must be equipped with a speed limitation device set in such a way that their speed cannot exceed 100 kilometres per hour. Vehicles of categories N2 and N3 registered as from that date must be equipped with a speed limitation device set in such a way that their speed cannot exceed 90 kilometres per hour.

Member States are authorised to require that the speed limitation device in vehicles registered in their territory and used exclusively for the transport of dangerous goods is set in such a way that those vehicles cannot exceed a maximum speed of less than 90 kilometres per hour.

These rules for speed limitation devices contribute to Community action to improve road safety.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2002/85/EC 04.12.2002 01.01.2005 OJ L 327 of 04.12.2002

Related Acts

Council Directive 92/24/EEC of 31 March 1992 relating to speed limitation devicesor similar speed limitation on-board systems of certain categories of motor vehicles.

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2003/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 November 2003 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices, amending Directive 70/156/EEC and repealing Directive 71/127/EEC [See amending acts].

Summary

Serious traffic accidents often take place at crossroads, junctions and roundabouts due to drivers being unaware of the presence of other road users near their vehicles. Such accidents are more serious when heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, coaches) or vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, moped users) are involved.

So as to prevent such accidents, the European Union has adopted measures which aim to reduce blind spots in the immediate area around vehicles.

In the light of current technology, the provisions of Directive 71/127/EEC on rear-view mirrors are no longer adequate as regards the exterior field of vision to the side, front and rear of vehicles. Directive 2003/97/EC builds on the existing provisions so as to ensure that the field of vision is extended. In particular, it amends Directive 71/127/EEC, which it will replace and repeal with effect from 26 January 2010.

Directive 2003/97/EC harmonises the provisions concerning the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices.

The new requirements introduced by the Directive principally relate to:

  • an increase in the compulsory minimum field of vision for certain vehicles;
  • the installation of supplementary devices for indirect vision in certain vehicles (e.g. front mirrors on trucks);
  • adaptations to technical progress (e.g. the curvature of the surface of rear-view mirrors);
  • the replacement of some rear-view mirrors with other indirect vision systems (e.g. camera-monitor devices).

The new rules laid down in Directive 2003/97/EC will be implemented progressively. The timetable for introducing the new requirements thus runs from 2005 to 2010.

The vehicles covered by the Directive are motor vehicles of category M (passenger vehicles) and category N (goods vehicles).

Finally, the Commission will carry out a study in 2010 to determine the impact on road safety of the measures introduced by this Directive, particularly as regards vulnerable road users. Additional legislative measures might be proposed on the basis of the conclusions of this study.

Directive 2003/97/EC participates in the efforts of the European road safety action programme to halve the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010 .

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2003/97/EC 29.1.2004 25.1.2005 OJ L 25 of 29.1.2004
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2005/27/EC 19.4.2005 19.10.2005 OJ L 81 of 30.3.2005

Related Acts

Directive 2007/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the retrofitting of mirrors to heavy goods vehicles registered in the Community [Official Journal L 184 of 14.07.2007].

The Directive extends the obligation to install devices for the lateral field of indirect vision to the entire existing fleet of heavy goods vehicles (vehicles of categories N2 and N3).

Directive 2003/97/EC requires new vehicles to be fitted with devices for indirect vision to reduce the blind spot, but it does not apply to vehicles already in circulation. However, it can be estimated that the entire fleet of heavy goods vehicles already in circulation will not have been fully replaced until 2023. In the interim, in order to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) of being involved in an accident with a heavy goods vehicle performing a right turn, heavy goods vehicles already in circulation must be retrofitted with rear-view mirrors reducing the lateral blind spots while fulfilling the technical requirements of Directive 2003/97/EC.

Heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes and registered after 1 January 2000 should thus no later than 31 March 2009 be fitted with lateral rear-view mirrors reducing the blind spot. In order to pass the compulsory annual roadworthiness test imposed by Directive 96/96/EC, heavy goods vehicles must therefore be fitted with rear-view mirrors that comply with Directive 2007/38/EC.

For the majority of vehicles, the retrofitting can be done at reasonable cost and with devices which are already available on the market. However, to ensure that the retrofitting costs are not higher than the expected benefits, exemptions are provided for vehicles used principally for their historical interest and for vehicles which are equipped with lateral mirrors whose field of vision covers only marginally less than the fields of vision laid down in Directive 2003/97/EC.

Member States must have transposed Directive 2007/38/EC by 6 August 2008. The Commission will present an evaluation report on its implementation no later than four years after the Directive has entered into force. The same safety rules may therefore be extended to vehicles that are not covered, such as light commercial vehicles or passenger buses.

Motor vehicles with trailers: front underrun protection devices

Motor vehicles with trailers: front underrun protection devices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles with trailers: front underrun protection devices

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Motor vehicles with trailers: front underrun protection devices (until 2014)

To improve the protection of the occupants of passenger cars and light vans from injury in the event of a head-on collision with heavy goods vehicles.

2) Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/40/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 26 June 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the front underrun protection of motor vehicles and amending Directive 70/156/EEC of the Council [Official Journal L 203 of 10.08.2000].

3) Summary

The Community has acceded to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Agreement concerning the adoption of uniform conditions of approval and reciprocal recognition of approval for motor vehicle equipment and parts. Through its accession to the Agreement, the Community subscribed to a defined list of Regulations, including Regulation No 93 concerning front underrun protective devices for commercial vehicles having a mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

In order to reduce the number of European road accident casualties, the Commission proposes the introduction of the measures established by that Regulation into the EC type-approval procedure set up by Council Directive 70/156/EEC.

A front underrun protective device is defined as “a front underrun protective device which is intended to be part of a vehicle and which can be approved as a separate technical unit in accordance with Directive 70/156/EEC”.

Member States may not refuse to grant type-approval (EC or national), or prohibit the registration, sale or entry into service of vehicles on grounds relating to their front underrun protection if it complies with the technical requirements of the Directive.

Member States may no longer grant type-approval (EC or national) and must prohibit the registration, sale or entry into service of vehicles on grounds relating to their front underrun protection if it does not comply with the technical requirements of the Directive.

Applications for EC type-approval must be submitted by the manufacturer of the front underrun protective device, using the model information document in the Annex to the Directive as a basis. A representative sample of the type of device to be approved must be submitted to the technical service responsible for conducting the type-approval tests.

The technical requirements which have to be complied with in order to obtain a type-approval in accordance with the Directive are those set out in United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 93.

Act Date of entry into force Deadline for implementation in the Member States
Directive 2000/40/EC 10.08.2000 10.08.2001

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Regulation No 93 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) – Uniform provisions concerning the approval of front underrun protective devices (FUPDs), vehicles with regard to the installation of an FUPD of an approved type, and vehicles with regard to their front underrun protection (FUP) [Official Journal L 032 of 01.02.2002].

Motor vehicles with trailers: protection of occupants in the event of a frontal impact

Motor vehicles with trailers: protection of occupants in the event of a frontal impact

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles with trailers: protection of occupants in the event of a frontal impact

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Motor vehicles with trailers: protection of occupants in the event of a frontal impact (until 2014)

To reduce the number of road accident victims in Europe to improve the protection of occupants of motor vehicles in the event of a head-on collision.

2) Document or Iniciative

Directive 96/79/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 on the protection of occupants of motor vehicles in the event of a frontal impact and amending Directive 70/156/EEC [Official Journal L 18 of 21.01.1997].

Amended by:

Commission Directive 1999/98/EC of 15 December 1999 [Official Journal L 9 of 13.01.2000].

3) Summary

Directive 96/79/EC

The Directive establishes test requirements for devices which aim to protect the occupants of motor vehicles in the event of a frontal impact. In particular, biomechanical criteria are introduced to ensure a high level of protection.

For the purposes of this Directive, a protective system is defined as the fittings and devices intended to restrain the occupants in their seats (such as seatbelts, airbags, etc.). Thus the Directive establishes methods for testing these devices.

No Member State may, on grounds concerning the protection of occupants of vehicles in the event of a frontal impact, refuse, in respect of a vehicle type, to grant EC type-approval or national type-approval, or prohibit the registration, sale or entry into service of a vehicle, if it complies with the requirements of this Directive.

Directive 1999/98/EC

Directive 1999/98 amends the Annexes to the previous Directive incorporating the conclusions of assessment tests on the ankle of the Hybrid III dummy, including tests on vehicles.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 96/79/EC 10.02.1997 01.04.1997
Directive 1999/98/EC 02.02.2000 30.09.2000

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work