EU Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EUWVTA) and National Approval of Motor Vehicles

Type approval helps remove barriers to trade for manufacturers and ensures that new vehicles are manufactured to prescribed safety and environmental standards.

Vehicle Type-Approval

Vehicle safety is critical. Vehicle manufacturers, the EU and each Member State have many regulations, tests, and controls in place to maximise safety at every stage of a vehicle’s life from manufacture to registration to road use. These all relate to the process of type-approval.

Type-approval is the process applied by national authorities to certify that a model of a vehicle meets all EU safety, environmental and conformity of production requirements before allowing it to be placed on the EU market. Type-approval helps remove barriers to trade for manufacturers and ensures that new vehicles are manufactured to prescribed safety and environmental standards.

Manufacturers produce vehicle types for testing. These vehicle types are identical to those manufactured on the production line, and are tested under EU safety rules, noise and emissions limits as well as production requirements. If all relevant requirements are met, the national authority delivers an EU vehicle type-approval to the manufacturer authorising the sale of the vehicle type in the EU. The system is based on the mutual recognition of approvals granted by Member States and once certified they are accepted everywhere in the EU.

Each Member State has a designated national type-approval authority (TAA) which ensures that all the vehicles are compliant with all EU safety, environmental and conformity of production requirements. A manufacturer can get partial type-approvals in the different Member States, but the overall type-approval will always be delivered by one national authority. 

Multi-stage vehicles are vehicles built in different stages. Typically, an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) would supply the incomplete base vehicle. A bodybuilder would then add the relevant bodywork, thus completing the vehicle. This would be a completed vehicle. Only vehicles that are complete or completed can be registered.


Please see our vehicle categories section for EU definitions of the various vehicle categories. Further information on obtaining type approval is available in our obtaining type approval section

You can view a legislative guide which provides an overview

of the current type approval legislation which is applicable 

Further Information

Queries with regard to type approval legislation can be sent to [email protected] or alternatively telephone 096 - 25040/25014 

The NSAI (National Standards Authority of Ireland) is Ireland’s approval authority and are responsible for issuing all national approvals (IVA or NSSTA) for vehicles in Ireland. For more information on making an application for approval, please visit www.nsai.ie or phone 01‐8073919 or 01‐8073832.”