Cleaner cars: Internal Market MEPs debated changes to type-approval rules

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MEPs’ plans to tighten up EU car “type approval” rules, in the wake of the VW scandal, were discussed in the Internal Market Committee on Thursday. These include stricter supervision of tests done before a car can be placed on the market and more stringent obligations on EU member states to check that those already on the road meet all EU safety, environmental and production requirements.

Daniel Dalton (ECR, UK), who is steering this legislation through Parliament, has tabled 196 amendments to the Commission’s draft regulation to overhaul the current system, including on the obligations of the national approval authorities, market surveillance authorities and car manufacturers, the designation of the technical services performing the tests, the duration of the type-approvals and on the access to the vehicle’s software and “engine management strategies”.

Other changes proposed in Mr Dalton’s draft report concern the role foreseen for the EU Commission in market surveillance, recalls and on the administrative fines to be imposed in the event of infringements. The provisions on a “national fee structure” for type-approvals and market surveillance costs were deleted by the rapporteur.

During the debate, several MEPs expressed different views on how to better strengthen the current system, on issues such as market surveillance, the Commission’s role and the fee structure. Mr Dalton welcomed the “robust debate” on his amendments, stating at the end that “what we all agree on is that cars must be clean and safe”.

Other MEPs have until 13 October 2016 to table their amendments to the draft law. The vote in the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee is expected to take place at the end of November 2016.

The video recording of the debate is available here (click on 29.09.2016, from 11.30 onwards).

Note to editors


In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the EU. In January 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the Commission proposed strengthening the type-approval system.


This draft regulation aims to reinforce the independence and quality of testing that allows a car to be placed on the market, step up surveillance of cars already in circulation and provide for greater EU oversight.

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