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Administer the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989 to ensure that uniform vehicle standards are applied to vehicles first entering the Australian market

Key strategy Performance indicators Achievement
Administer the Motor Vehicles Standards Act 1989 to ensure that uniform vehicle standards are applied to vehicles first entering the Australian market.
(Contributing division: Transport Regulation)
Safe motor vehicles meeting uniform vehicle standards. Achieved

Key achievements

Registered Automotive Workshop Scheme

The Motor Vehicle Standards Amendment Act 2001 and the Motor Vehicle Standards Amendment Regulations 2001 commenced on 1 April 2002. They enabled the introduction of the Registered Automotive Workshop (RAW) Scheme. The RAW Scheme became mandatory on 8 May 2003 following a transition period of three years from the announcement of the changes to the arrangements for imported used vehicles on 8 May 2000.

The RAW Scheme requires used vehicles to be imported and modified by a RAW with approval to place a used import plate on a vehicle by vehicle basis. This will ensure that used vehicles meet the safety and other legislative requirements for supply to the Australian market.

Australian Design Rules

The department undertook a review of the Australian Design Rules (ADRs) the policy intent of which is to harmonise the ADRs as closely as possible with international regulations developed through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Two important packages of proposed ADR amendments completed the public comment phase during the year. These were the occupant protection package, which included the major crash test ADRs, and a package of deletions to a number of prescriptive rules that are obsolete. These packages will be considered by state and territory transport ministers with a view to gazettal during 2003-04.

Work also continued on draft regulation impact statements (RISs) for ADRs affecting heavy vehicles and a separate package covering structural ADRs, including seats, seatbelts and head restraints. These draft RISs will be submitted for public comment during 2003-04. Work also continued on a draft RIS covering underrun barriers for heavy vehicles and seatbelt reminders for passenger vehicles.

Certification and imports

The department issued 3302 identification plate approvals during the year. These approvals allow plates to be placed on vehicles to signify compliance with ADRs which then allows the vehicles to be supplied to the Australian market. The department also issued 15 092 import approvals covering 104 119 vehicles. Vehicle import approvals were issued within a 17-day service charter period in 89 per cent of cases. There were 69 887 telephone calls relating to vehicle imports.

Safety monitoring

The department monitored the effectiveness of 99 vehicle recalls in accordance with agreed procedures, which assist in ensuring that vehicles used in Australia continue to comply with the requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 and the product safety provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

Weekly updates of vehicle recall activity and the status of vehicle recalls are provided to the Competition and Consumer Policy Division of the Commonwealth Treasury. This information is also updated regularly on the department's website dynamic.dotars.gov.au/recalls/index.asp

We conducted 26 overseas and 25 local conformity of production assessments and test facility inspections to ensure vehicle manufacturers met the national standards required under the Act for supply of new motor vehicles to the Australian market.

Transport safety research

Work also progressed on the following four major areas of research:

  • vehicle compatibility in frontal crashes
  • development of a Global Technical Register on side impact protection
  • protection of pedestrians when struck by a vehicle
  • protection of children in side impact crashes.

This was supported by publication of two papers with results of research work:

  • Australian Research to Support the IHRA Vehicle Compatibility Working Group
  • Combining the Finite Element Models of the Ford Falcon and Subaru Legacy to Improve Vehicle Compatibility.

The department also published a report on pedestrian safety, Vehicle Safety Standards Report (VSSR) 1-Vehicle Design and Operation for Pedestrian Protection-Accident Simulations and Reconstructions.

The publication of research reports provides information to industry and other researchers on the safety issues to be considered when future regulations are being developed.

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