Motor vehicles and their trailers: roadworthiness testing of heavy goods vehicles

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Motor vehicles and their trailers: roadworthiness testing of heavy goods vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles and their trailers: roadworthiness testing of heavy goods vehicles


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

Transport > Road transport

Motor vehicles and their trailers: roadworthiness testing of heavy goods vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 June 2000 on the technical roadside inspection of the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles circulating in the Community.


This directive sets out the legal framework for roadside roadworthiness checks on commercial vehicles that are intended to carry passengers or goods. It supplements Directive 96/96/EC which introduces a mandatory annual roadworthiness test at a testing station for on-road commercial vehicles.

A wide range of advantages are expected in terms of reducing the number of accidents and pollution (reducing carbon dioxide CO2 emissions) and of energy saving (lowering fuel consumption).

Roadside checks are unannounced checks on a commercial vehicle travelling within a European Union (EU) country. They are carried out by the authorities on roads, in ports, or anywhere else considered appropriate.

This directive provides that a technical roadside inspection shall comprise one, two or all of the following aspects:

  • a visual check on the state of maintenance of the vehicle running on the road network;
  • a check on the documents relating to the compliance of the vehicle with a technical roadside inspection and if the driver presents it a recent roadside technical inspection report;
  • a check to uncover poor maintenance (smooth tyres, faulty braking system, etc.). In this instance, the inspector should take the most recent documents and any other safety certificate into consideration.

The directive provides for the introduction by the EU countries of regular, appropriate roadside checks to be carried out without discrimination as to the driver’s nationality or vehicle registration, and which every year covers a significant, representative cross-section of commercial vehicles of all categories.

Every two years the EU countries must send the Commission information on the two previous years concerning the number of commercial vehicles checked.

The roadside checks provided for in the directive shall be carried out in accordance with a checklist (Annex 1). A certificate setting out the results of the spot check is to be handed to the driver of the vehicle, who must be in a position to present this on request in order to simplify or avoid subsequent checks.

If the extent of poor maintenance requires a more detailed examination, the vehicle may be subjected to a closer inspection in an approved roadworthiness testing station.

If the results of a roadside check show that a commercial vehicle does not meet the standards set out in the directive (Annex 2: Braking systems, exhaust emissions), or if it is not shown to comply with Directive 96/96/EC during a subsequent roadworthiness test at an approved testing centre and if it therefore constitutes a major risk to its occupants or other road users, the use of that vehicle on the public highway will immediately be banned.

Serious or repeated offences by a vehicle belonging to a non-resident shall be reported to the authorities in the EU country where the vehicle or company is registered. The country in which the offence has been repeated may then request that action be taken against the offender. Where such action is taken, the country of vehicle or company registration shall inform the country in which the offences have been noted of the action taken against the carrier or company concerned.

The Commission is assisted by the Committee on adaptation to technical progress introduced by Directive 96/96/EC.


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

Directive 2000/30/EC



L 203 of 10.8.2000

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/30/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Annexes 1 and 2
Directive 2010/47/EU [OJ L 173 of 8.7.2010].

Related Acts

Commission Recommendation 2010/379/EU of 5 July 2010 on the risk assessment of deficiencies detected during technical roadside inspections (of commercial vehicles) in accordance with Directive 2000/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 173 of 8.7.2010].

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