Road Vehicle Compliance Update—Issue 3 August 2018

In this issue:

Message from the Administrator

Welcome to the third issue of the Road Vehicle Compliance Update.

As I mentioned in my last message, the Road Vehicle Standards Bill and associated legislation (RVS legislation) was introduced into Parliament earlier this year. This legislation has now passed the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting consideration by the Senate. We will be providing more information to you on the RVS legislation and its progress in the coming months.

In this issue of the Update I would like to particularly highlight that we are commencing our annual assessment of our performance as a regulator under the Australian Government's Regulator Performance Framework. The annual self-assessment provides us with the opportunity to assess the outcomes of our efforts as a regulator and identify opportunities for improvement.

An important aspect of this assessment is seeking the views of our stakeholders on our regulatory performance through our annual stakeholder survey—which is now open for responses.

Feedback from our stakeholders as part of this year's self-assessment is particularly valuable. We are currently developing the policy settings, systems, processes and guidance material that will support the RVS legislation's implementation and we can directly take into account your views in the design of processes etc. that will affect you and your business.

As such, I strongly encourage you to complete the survey and give us your views.

To further ensure we are hearing the perspectives of industry at this time, a number of new consultation groups have been established to complement our existing stakeholder engagement forums—covering issues such as RVS legislation implementation, certification and recalls. The first meetings of a number of these  groups occurred in early August. Keep an eye out on our website—as key papers relating to these groups are published online to enable wider industry participation in considering these issues.

As ever, please let us know if these updates are useful to you—and if there is any specific information you would like to see included in future issues.

Sharon Nyakuengama
Administrator of Vehicle Standards

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Tell us how we are doing as a regulator—complete our annual stakeholder survey

The department is commencing its annual self-assessment of its performance as a regulator of vehicle safety standards under the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA). This self-assessment is conducted in accordance with the Government's Regulator Performance Framework.

To inform this assessment, we would like to hear the views of our stakeholders on our performance during 2017-18.

Our annual stakeholder survey to collect these views is now open for responses. It will only take 5-10 minutes of your time to complete.

www.surveymonkey.com/r/VSS_StakeholderSurvey

Your feedback through this survey will help us to objectively assess our performance and identify areas for improvement.

For more information and the results of previous assessments see the Regulator Performance Framework.

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2018-19 areas of compliance focus

The department is focusing on a number of areas as part of its compliance monitoring activities in 2018-19.  These include:

  • the effectiveness of quality management systems to ensure conformity of production
  • light trailers compliance
  • left to right hand drive steering conversions
  • field complaint and recall procedures
  • RAWS test evidence
  • verification of compliance with the conditions of a concessional import approval
  • record keeping obligations

Further information and guidance on these topics will be released in the coming months.

Please ensure you familiarise yourself with your obligations and requirements relating to these topics.  If you have any specific questions about these areas of focus, please contact vehiclecompliance@infrastructure.gov.au.

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Heavy vehicles—certification issues

We are currently seeing a number of common issues relating to heavy vehicle certification. These include:

Test facilities

Test facility registrations are not being kept up to date in some instances. Please ensure they are kept updated in the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS).

We are also finding that some test facilities are testing to Australian Design Rules (ADRs) not listed in their scope in RVCS. The test facility should be registered for the most current ADR to enable Summary of Evidence (SE) forms to correctly identify which ADR is being tested and enable a quicker certification process without the need for Discussion Items.

Road Vehicle Descriptor (RVD) images

Our officers use RVD images to enable them to make accurate assessments on the evidence submitted. This is especially the case for vehicles that have unusual design features or are non-standard due to these features. Please ensure RVD images are submitted as required.

Evidence is not submitted for all the variants listed on the RVD and Compliance Application (CA) forms:

Specific issues include:

  • Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) range on CA forms doesn't match with GVM range on RVD.
  • Evidence for brakes is not submitted for highest GVM of the tested vehicle.
  • RVD variants not matching with SE/Summary of Fleet (SF) form submissions for brakes.
  • Tested engine for emissions ADR 80/03 (Emission Control for Heavy Vehicles) is not listed on RVD.
  • Missing evidence of compliance for optional lamps (cornering lamps, cargo lamps, cabin lamps etc.) for ADR 13/00 (Installation of Lighting and Light-signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles) submissions. If additional lamps are being listed on the ADR 13/00 SE form, these lamps must have valid evidence submitted for the actual ADR relevant to that type of lamp.
  • Evidence is not provided for section 7 (test data) for speed limiting as per ADR 65 (Maximum Road Speed Limiting for Heavy Goods Vehicles and Heavy Omnibuses). In some instances forms are submitted with no test data in certain fields. This will generally cause the form to raise an error message (bell or cross symbol) in the RVCS. To avoid unnecessary Discussion Items, if you encounter a situation where a bell or cross error symbol has been displayed and you feel that it is not warranted, then attach a yellow post-it-note that explains the reason for the submission being made despite the error message.

Traceability/document control issues with submitted evidence:

  • Document reference numbers for ADR 83 (External Noise) do not match across SE/SF forms.
  • Retractable axle evidence submitted for models which do not have retractable axles.
  • Only the engine is tested for emissions as part of ADR 30/01 (Smoke Emission Control for Diesel Vehicles). However the submission records that the complete vehicle was tested for this ADR.

Please note these issues when making or amending an application—to ensure a smoother and timelier certification process.

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Heavy trailers—conformity of production

Audits of heavy trailer manufacturers in 2017-18 highlighted a number of common issues of potential compliance concern.  Issues were found in relation to the following aspects:

Item% of audited heavy trailer manufacturers where there was an adverse audit finding*
Field complaint procedures (field complaints reviewed and corrective action taken) 68%
Documented system to ensure that production trailer specifications are covered by a valid Identification Plate Approval 63%
Equipment calibration and related records 58%
Management of quarantine/reject parts 58%
Record keeping relating to purchase documents for brake sub-assemblies (purchase documents have approval numbers) 53%
Documented work instructions (including drawings) available for the fitting of ADR-related items 47%
Inspection records  - completed, signed off and retained 47%
Record keeping to confirm ADR-related items are fitted to the trailer in accordance with the specification 37%

*For the purposes of this summary, an adverse audit finding is where there was an OI (Opportunity for Improvement), AC (Area of Concern) or NC (Non Conformance) audit finding for the issue.

Audit activities also found:

  • Arrangements for lighting under ADR 13 (Installation of Lighting and Light-signalling Devices on other than L-Group Vehicles) are not being met by manufacturers of over dimension heavy trailers. Manufacturers are supplying generic lighting diagrams rather than the lighting diagrams specific to the over dimension trailer.
  • Heavy trailers are being fitted and installed with non-approved lighting (ADRs 45/01, 46/00, 47/00, 48/00, 49/00 and 74/00).
  • Heavy trailers are being fitted with non-approved mechanical connections (ADR 62/02).      

Record keeping is of particular concern—with production facility audits showing that adequate records are not being maintained for:

  • manufacturing procedures
  • the type of trailer (semi, dog, pig)
  • copies of Summary of Evidence (SE) forms
  • receipts of components (Sub-Assembly Registration Number (SARN) and individual part numbers)
  • Quality Management System documentation and checklists

The department reminds licensees of the conditions of Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs), specifically:

Condition 4: The Licensee shall by detailed quality control and test ensure continuing compliance with such of the Australian Design Rules specified in Schedule 4

Condition 5: The Licensee shall maintain records of detailed quality control and test documentation

If you have any questions or concerns about how to meet your compliance obligations relating to your IPA, please contact us at heavyvehicles@infrastructure.gov.au or lightvehicles@infrastructure.gov.au.

We would also like to encourage certification agents acting on behalf of heavy trailer approval holders to bring these issues to your clients' attention.

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Heavy trailers—Recording Schedule 5 conditions to the Identification Plate Approval (IPA) for Over Dimension heavy trailer configurations (ADR 43)

The previous practice in issuing IPAs for over dimension heavy trailers was to provide a generic condition in Schedule 5 not specific to the dimensions of the heavy trailer. The condition provided exemptions from a large range of ADR clauses and did not specify any dimensions (including limits).

This has created a number of issues for state and territory registration authorities when they are assessing a trailer against approval exemptions.

As such a new procedure has been developed for Schedule 5 conditions that provides:

  • the applicable clause(s)
  • dimension subject to the exemption and allowable dimension limit

This new method is now being applied to Schedule 5 conditions for new over dimension IPAs.

If you have any questions about this changed business process, please contact us at heavyvehicles@infrastructure.gov.au or lightvehicles@infrastructure.gov.au.

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ADR79 (Emission Control for Light Vehicles) desktop audits results

The department undertook 45 desktop audits from February 2016 to October 2017 on MA category passenger cars and MC category light commercial vehicles. The audits targeted the compliance of Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs) with Australian Design Rule (ADR) 79 (Emission Control for Light Vehicles).

The desktop audits were used to confirm that:

  • the information on the Summary of Evidence (SE) forms, lodged in support of the IPA application, matched the information on the source document
  • the information in the source document confirmed compliance with all the ADR requirements
  • all the variants capable of being supplied to Australia were covered by a valid IPA
  • an effective design change control system is in place to ensure continued compliance

The desktop audit activity did not identify any issues of serious concern relating to compliance with ADR 79.

However, in some circumstances there was an inability to confirm if a test report was applicable to the vehicles supplied due to missing or incorrect information.

The audit of submitted Test Reports found that:

  • 48% did not list all relevant component details
  • 28% had a discrepancy with component details provided in submitted evidence
  • 4% did not provide the required detail
  • 2% incorrectly described the tested systems
  • 2% listed an incorrect version of the ADR
  • 2% had a discrepancy between the calibration documentation and the equipment used for testing
  • 4% did not provide relevant calibration data for test equipment used in the test

Further guidance material in the form of Fact Sheets will be issued by the department to assist in reducing discrepancies with SE/Summary of Fleet (SF) forms and Test Reports—and to remind approval holders of Test Report requirements.

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RAWS test report requirements

The department would like to remind Registered Automotive Workshops (RAWs) of the requirements related to test reports. Test reports must contains specific information in order for the reports to be accepted as the basis for demonstrating compliance of a vehicle.

A new fact sheet, RAWS Test Report Requirements PDF: 68 KB ReadSpeaker, has been developed that further details these requirements and provides links to key resources relating to test reports and test procedures.

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Release of new circulars

Administrator's Circular 0-4-6 (Issue 4 June 2018)

Administrator's Circular 0-4-6 (Certification of vehicles which have undergone a second stage of manufacture) was amended in June 2018 following industry consultation. The circular was amended to include arrangements for Second Stage Manufacture (SSM) Light Vehicles that have been subject to a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) upgrade under Clause 10—and formalise current business practice for GVM upgrades to light vehicles.

Of note:

  • The guidance provided by the Circular 0-4-6 applies to NA (GVM up to 3.5 tonnes) and NB1 (GVM over 3.5 tonnes and up to 4.5 tonnes) category vehicles.
  • The revised circular only applies to new applications and new amendments to existing Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs).
  • The Circular will not affect the existing IPAs held by the second stage manufacturers. Existing IPA holders can continue to supply (to the market) vehicles covered by the approved Road Vehicle Descriptors (RVDs). This includes vehicles where the approved RVD has variants that exceed the first stage manufacturer's Gross Combination Mass (GCM) rating or Rated Towing Capacity or Maximum Braked Towing Mass rating. The second stage manufacturers need to ensure that the current approved RVDs refer to the current approved RVDs for the first stage manufacturer.
  • The option of GCM or towing capacity upgrade may be available to consumers in some state and territory jurisdictions, after the vehicle is supplied to the market.

Administrator's Circular 0-2-13 (Issue 5 June 2018)

Administrator's Circular 0-2-13 (Certification of New Low Production Passenger Cars (MA Category)) was amended to formalise current business practice for Identification Plate Approvals (IPAs) issued to boutique manufacturers under the Low Production Passenger Cars (LPPC) scheme. The Circular grants compliance exemptions to ADR 85 (Pole Side Impact Performance) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and Brake Assist Systems requirements. The Circular also now includes compliance requirements for new ADRs published since the last issue.

Both amended Circulars are on the Administrator's Circulars webpage.

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Concessional import requirements

In 2018 the department has been delivering presentations to customs brokers to raise awareness on concessional import requirements, minimise compliance issues and improve the vehicle import approval experience for importers. As part of these presentations the department has shared a number of common issues we are seeing in the concessional imports space relating to current import options and import approvals.

These issues include:

Non-road vehicles—general

For vehicles that are not designed for road use, a Vehicle Import Approval is not required. The department provides information in relation to what constitutes a non-road vehicle. To avoid doubt, obtaining formal advice from the department through the Vehicle Import application process before you import the vehicle will ensure a smoother import clearance process for your vehicle by the Department of Home Affairs.

Road vehicles such as peddle mopeds and fat tyred mopeds

Fat tyred motorised mopeds and motorised mopeds with pedals are generally categorised as ‘L’ category vehicles. This means they are considered to be road vehicles and are therefore required to be certified and comply with all applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs) before they can be supplied to the Australian market. Even if you do not intend to use the moped on public roads, if the vehicle was designed as a road motor vehicle it will still need to comply with relevant standards. See the Non-Road Vehicle Option for more information.

  • Fact Sheet—Road motor vehicles—mopeds PDF: 215 KB ReadSpeaker

Power assisted pedal cycles (electric bikes)

To be assessed as a non-road vehicle, power assisted pedal cycles must have a maximum power output of not greater than 200 watts or not greater than 250 watts for a Pedalec. Where a power-assisted pedal cycle exceeds 200 watts or does not meet the Pedalec definition it is considered a LA/LB (moped) or LC (motorcycle) and cannot be imported as a non-road vehicle unless it meets other non-road vehicle requirements. See the Non-Road Vehicle Option for more information.

Modifications of vehicles manufactured after 1989

Whilst vehicles manufactured before 1989 are eligible for importation under Regulation 17 of the Motor Vehicle Standards Regulations 1989. However, vehicles that have had extensive modifications performed after 1 January 1989 that significantly change the original specification and/or performance of the vehicle will not be able to be imported under this option. See the Vehicles Manufactured Before 1989 Option for more information.

Please ensure vehicle import approval is sought before the vehicle is imported into Australia. More information can also be found on the vehicle imports webpage.

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Consultation groups established

Establishment of the RVSA Implementation Consultation Framework

Following an extensive public consultation process on the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation that closed on 16 February 2018, the Government announced that it would make a number of refinements to the exposure draft Road Vehicle Standards Rules (the Rules). These refinements were published in the Government's response on the department's website.

In response to subsequent feedback from stakeholders expressing concerns about how the RVS legislation, and the Rules in particular, will be implemented, the department has established the RVSA (Road Vehicle Standards Act) Implementation Consultation Framework. The objective of the framework is to facilitate the smooth implementation of the RVS legislation through a targeted consultation process.

Three separate consultation groups have been established under this framework:

  • the Type Approvals Consultation Group
  • the Concessional RAV (Register of Approved Vehicles) Entry Consultation Group
  • the RVSA Tools Consultation Group

The groups aim to provide a collaborative forum to enable the department, in-service regulators and industry to identify issues relevant to the administration of the RVS legislation, and to develop practical solutions to those issues.

Each group is chaired by the General Manager of the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch, with the balance of membership comprised of:

  • representatives from the department
  • industry associations
  • representatives from in-service regulators

The department has established a dedicated webpage for the RVSA Implementation Consultation Framework. Key documents are published to this webpage in order to ensure industry is given every reasonable opportunity to contribute to the work of these groups.

Establishment of the Vehicle Certification Discussion Forum

The department has established the Vehicle Certification Discussion Forum to share information to assist regulated entities to better navigate the vehicle certification requirements and for the department to better understand industry perspectives.

The forum will consider matters relating to:

  • trends and issues relating to the completion of certification documentation
  • the rationale for evidence requirements
  • the features and functions within the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS)
  • Discussion Items (DIs)—including the types of issues that will result in the raising of a DI,  and what the department takes into account when assessing a DI response
  • Summary of Evidence (SE) and Summary of Fleet (SF) forms—including the work program related to the development of these forms
  • certification issues arising from the implementation of the Road Vehicle Standards legislation

At this stage it is proposed that the forum will meet twice a year. The first meeting of the forum will be held on 3 September 2018.

Membership consists of the key industry associations and departmental representatives.

Establishment of the Recalls Working Group

A significant inclusion of the RVS legislation currently before Parliament is the establishment of a framework for the voluntary and compulsory recall of road vehicles or approved road vehicle components.

The framework empowers the Minister to issue a recall notice for a compulsory recall, and sets out the obligations on suppliers in relation to notifying the Minister of certain information about a compulsory or voluntary recall.

If the RVS legislation becomes law, the recall provisions will come in to effect 12 months later, and will be administered by the department.

The department has established the Road Vehicle Recalls Working Group (Recalls Working Group) to provide a forum that will:

  • enable suppliers to raise issues and experiences of common interest in relation to recalls
  • facilitate industry-departmental consultation and engagement in relation to the implementation and administration of the recall provisions under the RVS legislation by the department

The department will be convening the Recalls Working Group every two months leading up to the implementation of the RVS legislation. Post implementation, the members of the Recalls Working Group will agree on the frequency of future meetings.

The Recalls Working Group is chaired by the General Manager of the Vehicle Safety Standards Branch within the department, with the balance of membership comprised of:

  • representatives from the department
  • industry associations
  • individual industry nominees, and, where relevant
  • other authorities (e.g. the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, or National Heavy Vehicle Regulator)

The department has established a dedicated webpage for the Recalls Working Group. Key documents are published to this webpage in order to ensure industry is given every reasonable opportunity to contribute to the work of the Recalls Working Group.

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Let us know your thoughts

We would like to hear your views on the Road Vehicle Compliance Update.

Send us your feedback to vehiclecompliance@infrastructure.gov.au, including whether there are specific topics you would like covered in future issues.

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