Reform of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989

What's new

Road Vehicle Standards Bills introduced to Parliament

On 7 February 2018 the Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, introduced the Road Vehicle Standards package of Bills into the House of Representatives. The Bills, and Explanatory Memorandum for each of the Bills, are available on the Parliament of Australia website:

7 February 2018, Media Release: Government moves to improve vehicle safety and better protect the community

Draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) has been released

The Australian Government released a draft Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS)DOCX: 213 KB PDF: 1054 KB ReadSpeaker outlining how it proposes to recover the costs of administering the proposed Road Vehicle Standards Act and related legislation for the information and consideration of all stakeholders.

The draft CRIS outlines two cost recovery charging arrangements and proposed charges for stakeholders to consider and provide feedback on. Submissions from stakeholders are due close of business 16 February 2018 and will need to be submitted via email to Consultation on the draft CRIS will commence from Monday, 5 February in conjunction with the Road Vehicle Standards package of legislation, which provides the context for the charges being proposed in the draft CRIS.

Interested stakeholders who attended consultation sessions for the Road Vehicle Standards package of legislation from 29 to 31 January are invited to access the draft online.

The outcomes of this consultation process will inform the government's final decision on the fees and charges to apply under the proposed Road Vehicle Standards Act. The final fees and charges will be set out in subsidiary legislation, which cannot be made until after Parliament has passed the bills. Stakeholders should note that fees and charges will not change before 2019.

For questions regarding CRIS Submissions or the consultation, please email

Exposure Draft of the Road Vehicle Standards package of legislation

On 13 December 2017, the Government released exposure drafts of the Bills, which have since been introduced into Parliament. At that time, the Government also released an exposure draft of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules PDF: 891 KB ReadSpeaker (which will be made as regulations under the Road Vehicles Standards Act). The draft Rules will assist in the understanding of the overall legislative package.

This legislative package has been developed following extensive consultation with the motor vehicle industry, consumers and the wider community over the last four years.

This legislative framework is designed to deliver an updated and modernised system to regulate motor vehicles, in the interests of the automotive sector and consumers. The framework is designed to be flexible and adaptable, as continuing advances in technology are likely to bring substantial change to the automotive sector.

While the major strategic elements of the legislative package have been determined, there remains scope to finalise issues of detail. Given the complexity of the issues involved, it is important to allow time to consult with the automotive sector and other stakeholders on these issues of detail. To allow for this to occur, the Government has released this Exposure Draft and will conduct a formal consultation process between December 2017 and February 2018.

The legislation was introduced into Parliament on 7 February 2018. The reforms will commence 12 months after the legislation receives Royal Assent.

The Road Vehicle Standards (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill provides a further 12-month transitional period after commencement to allow businesses to adapt to the new arrangements. During this transitional period some aspects of the current Motor Vehicle Standards Act will continue, particularly for full volume approval holders, Registered Automotive Workshops (RAWs) and Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicles (SEVs).

Information Sheets have been prepared on each of the key changes.

The Australian Government welcomes stakeholder feedback through this process.

What are the reforms?

The Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (the Act) controls the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all vehicles entering the Australian market for the first time—both new and used.

The reform of the Act will reduce regulatory compliance costs to business by around $68 million a year and provide the Australian public with greater choice and confidence in the vehicle market. The reforms will improve access to specialist and enthusiast vehicles and ensure that Australia's vehicle fleet continues to offer world-leading standards in community and environmental safety.

Information sheets


2018 Public Consultation on the new Road Vehicle Standards legislation

The Road Vehicle Standards Rules support the Bills and contain the detailed requirements and processes of the new legislation. The exposure draft Rules are provided for the information of industry stakeholders, state and territory governments and the wider community and feedback is sought on the clarity and operability of the Rules, transitional arrangements and any other considerations.

The Department encourages you to put your comments into a written submission to the Government and email it to

The Rules consultation process will be complete by the end of February 2018. Submissions will be accepted until close of business 16 February 2018.

All submissions received, excluding any confidential submissions, are included at the 2018 Public Consultations Submissions page.

As part of the consultation process, in late January and early February 2018 the Department held information sessions in major cities around Australia to brief industry and the community on the details of the Bills and draft Rules. The slide presentation used in the information sessions can be accessed here: Road Vehicle Standards Consultation Presentation PDF: 1673 KB ReadSpeaker.

Any further questions on providing a submission can be emailed to

Privacy notice

Your submission, including any personal information supplied, is being collected by the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities for the purpose of consulting on the draft Road Vehicle Standards Rules, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (the Privacy Act).

The Department will use the information in your submission to inform development of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules and may disclose this information publicly or to other government agencies for this purpose.

Your personal information will be stored securely by the Department. It may be used by the Department to make further contact with you about the consultation process.

Submissions, in part or full, including the name of the author may be published on the Department's website or in the Government's response, unless the submission is confidential. Confidential submissions (including author name) will not be published. Private addresses and contact details will not be published or disclosed to any third parties unless required by law.

Submissions will only be treated as confidential if they are expressly stated to be confidential. Automatically generated confidentiality statements or disclaimers appended to an email do not suffice for this purpose. If you wish you make a confidential submission, you should indicate this by ensuring your submission is marked confidential.

Confidential submissions will be kept securely and will only be disclosed in the following circumstances:

  • in response to a request by a Commonwealth Minister;
  • where required by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia; or
  • where required by law.

The Department may also disclose confidential submissions within the Commonwealth of Australia, including with other Commonwealth agencies, where necessary in the public interest.

Please note that in order to protect the personal privacy of individuals in accordance with the Privacy Act any submissions containing sensitive information, personal information or information which may reasonably be used to identify a person or group of people may not be published, even if not marked as confidential.

The Department's privacy policy contains information regarding complaint handling processes and how to access and/or seek correction of personal information held by the Department. The Privacy Officer can be contacted on (02) 6274 6495.

Earlier consultations on MVSA between 2013–2017

Previous to the recent announcement, the Australian Government conducted a number of consultation sessions with key stakeholders to assist with the current package of legislation.

Further information

This webpage will be updated with additional information on the reforms to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 as it is made available.

Related links


Last Updated: 9 February, 2018