APPROVAL PROCESS

Manufacturers and Importers of Towable Recreational Vehicles are particularly affected by the RVSA, as all Light Trailer Manufacturers and Importers (including Towable Recreational Vehicles) will need to obtain Vehicle Type Approvals.

Motorhome and Campervan Manufacturers and Importers will need to transition their current IPA approvals (under the MVSA) to RVSA Approvals.

Component Manufacturers or Importers that supply products that are governed by a relevant Australian Design Rule (ADR) will need to transition their current CRN’s or SARN’s to Component Type Approvals (CTA’s) under the RVSA.

More information under each relevant section below.

All such applications for approvals will be managed through ROVER (Road Vehicle Regulator) which is the department’s administration system for the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA).

ROVER provides a single integrated system for all approvals and activities under the Road Vehicle Standards legislation, allowing you to:

  • Submit and pay for an application
  • Monitor the progress of your application
  • Receive and respond to requests for information regarding your application
  • Be notified of the decision outcome of your application.

Vehicle Type Approvals

The Australian Government is still building the IT system (ROVER – Road Vehicle Regulator) which will be used to process Vehicle Type Approval applications from 1 July 2021.

In order to be eligible to apply for a Vehicle Type approval the applicant must be able to demonstrate they fulfil all of the relevant eligibility criteria.  The eligibility criteria are quite strict to ensure approval holders have the necessary skills, capabilities and business arrangements in place to consistently build compliant trailers.  The eligibily criteria include (but are not necessarily limited to):

  1. The Manufacturer/ Importer is able to supply (provide) Low ATM Trailers (Light trailers) which comply with all the applicable National Road Vehicle Standards – e.g. Australian Design Rules (ADRs);
  2. The Manufacturer/ Importer has control over all stages of the design, componentry and manufacturing process for the type of trailer or is able to access information, including information about any changes, relating to the design, componentry and manufacturing process for the type of trailer that may affect the compliance of the trailer with the applicable ADRs;
  3. The Manufacturer/ Importer is able to ensure that the design, componentry and manufacturing process will consistently produce compliant trailers;
  4. The Manufacturer/ Importer has the ability to access the original and any subsequent versions of the supporting information for the approval, provide the information to the Federal Regulators (VSS) if requested and ensure the supporting information is kept up to date; and
  5. The Manufacturer/ Importer is able to arrange for the Federal Regulators (VSS) to inspect premises used, or to be used, in the manufacturing process for the purposes of assessing compliance with the applicable ADRs and any other requirements of the Act, the Rules, or an instrument made under the Act.

The Vehicle Type Approval applicant must retain all relevant information to support their application.

The criteria that the department will consider when deciding an application for the grant of a type approval are also set out in section 19 of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules).

The Federal Department has now released the “Guide to Vehicle Type Approvals (March 2021)” which provides detailed information on the Type Approval process. Click here to access.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia understands that the costs/ fees associated with obtaining an RVSA Approval for a Low ATM Trailer (light trailer) ATM Rating of 4500kg or less will be as follows:

  • Application Fee = $50
  • RAV Charge (per Trailer) = $0.75
  • Variation of an RVSA Approval = $50

These fees and charges above relate only to RVSA approvals via the type approval pathway (not the Concessional RAV Pathway).  Industry businesses are encouraged to make their own investigations with regards to the fees/ charges contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 and the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement – Road Vehicle Standards 2020 – 21.

Australian Design Rules (ADRs)

Vehicle Type Approvals will cover all of the ADR related aspects of the trailer. VSS have an ADR Applicability Summary for Trailers available on their webpage which can be accessed by clicking HERE.  This is a useful reference document for Towable Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers and Importers in determining which ADRs apply to the particular type of Towable Recreational Vehicles they are providing to market.

For guidance on the most common ADRs relevant to towable product click here.

Businesses will also need to consider which ADRs relate specifically to the type of Towable Recreational Vehicle being provided to market.

Vehicle Type Approvals will be based on the Vehicle Category Codes (VCC) as defined in the ADRs.  For Trailers, the weight categories for the VCC are based on the GTM Rating of the Trailer:

All relevant documentation & evidence to support full ADR compliance will need to be obtained and kept up to date.  Evidence of ADR Compliance of some components will need to (moving forward) come from an Approved Test Facility.  More information on Approved Test Facilities can be found further down this page in a separate section.

Trailer Markings (Plating Requirements)

The RVSA introduces a requirement for new vehicles to carry a Secure Vehicle Identification (SVI) marking. The SVI will replace the previous Identification Plate requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA).

To implement these changes, Australian Design Rule 61 – Vehicle Marking has been updated to include the requirements for SVI as formal identification for new vehicles supplied to market under the RVSA.

The SVI will appear in 2 different forms within Recreational Vehicle Industry manufacturing, depending on the type of vehicle.  For more information on these changes – CLICK HERE

Conformity of Production

A key element of being eligible to obtain these necessary type approvals will be your ability to prove you have adequate control over all stages of design, componentry, and manufacture of the Recreational Vehicles you are producing/ supplying.  In other words, you will need to have some form of Quality Management System (QMS) in place to demonstrate that you have effective control on Conformity of Production.

Understanding the importance of Conformity of Production to the RVSA and industry, Caravan Industry Association of Australia has partnered with an Automotive Engineering Consultancy firm – Cadman Concepts P/L.  This partnership will provide a cost-effective option to Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers/ Importers who are yet to implement a system or need to review/ upgrade their processes in preparation for the RVSA.  This is an option available to Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers and Importers of all sizes to assist in complying with the Conformity of Production requirements.  For more information on Conformity of Production (COP) click HERE.

VSS guidance material on Conformity of Production requirements can be found by clicking HERE.  Please note this VSS information is written with regards to approvals issued under the MVSA although the principles should remain similar.

Supporting Information/ Record Keeping

Supporting Information in the documentation outlining the approved design/s, componentry and manufacturing process of the Towable Recreational Vehicles covered by an approval.  This supporting information may be requested by VSS to confirm if particular trailers were of the approved design and manufactured in accordance with the approved process.

In order to be eligible to apply for a Vehicle Type Approval, the Manufacturer or Importer must have the ability to access all versions of this supporting information while their approval is in force and for 7 years after it ceases to be in force.  This supporting information must be kept up to date at all times and must be amended whenever there is a change to the design, the componentry or the manufacturing process that could affect compliance with the ADRs.

The Manufacturing Facility

Towable Recreational Vehicle Manufacturers

In order to obtain a Vehicle Type Approval, manufacturers will need to have control over all stages of the design, componentry and manufacturing of their trailers.  The applicant is able to demonstrate that they are the designer and manufacturer of the trailers and are able to influence and change the design, componentry or manufacturing process.

Towable Recreational Vehicle Importers, Dealers or Suppliers

To hold a Vehicle Type Approval under the RVSA, importers (or similar) will need to have the ability to access information about the design, componentry and manufacturing of the trailer type, including information about any changes to the design, componentry and manufacturing process.

Furthermore, Towable Recreational Vehicle Importers, Dealers or Suppliers must be able to assess the impact of any changes and where necessary is able to confirm that the revised design or process still complies with the ADRs.

Motorhome and Campervan Manufacturers and Importers

Motorhome and Campervan Manufacturers and Importers will need to transition their current IPA approvals (under the MVSA) to RVSA Approvals.

The Australian Government is still building the IT system (ROVER – Road Vehicle Regulator) which will be used to process Vehicle Type Approval applications from 1 July 2021.

The Federal Department have now provided detailed guidance material on Opt-in Arrangements under transitional provisions within the Guide to Vehicle Type Approval Opt-in Arrangements.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia understands that the costs/ fees associated with obtaining an RVSA Approval for a Goods Vehicle (NA, NB, NC) e.g. a Campervan or Motorhome will be as follows:

  • Application Fee = $330
  • RAV Charge (per Vehicle) = $6.60
  • Variation of an RVSA Approval = $140

These fees and charges above relate only to RVSA approvals via the type approval pathway (not the Concessional RAV Pathway).  Industry businesses are encouraged to make their own investigations with regards to the fees/ charges contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 and the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement – Road Vehicle Standards 2020 – 21.

Vehicle Markings (Plating Requirements)

The RVSA introduces a requirement for new vehicles to carry a Secure Vehicle Identification (SVI) marking. The SVI will replace the previous Identification Plate requirements of the Motor Vehicle Standards Act (MVSA).

To implement these changes, Australian Design Rule 61 – Vehicle Marking has been updated to include the requirements for SVI as formal identification for new vehicles supplied to market under the RVSA.

The SVI will appear in 2 different forms within Recreational Vehicle Industry manufacturing, depending on the type of vehicle.  For more information on these changes – CLICK HERE

Component Manufacturers or Importers

Manufacturers, Suppliers or Importers of a component, accessory or assembly which is governed by a relevant Australian Design Rule (ADR) under the RVSA may wish to obtain a Component Type Approval (CTA) in place of any existing CRN‘s or SARN’s.  Over time, to obtain an approval (Component Type Approval) the evidence or testing for the relevant component will need to come from a federal government approved test facility.  More information on Approved Test Facilities can be found further down this page.

It is important to note that CTA’s are not mandatory and are something that a manufacturer or supplier can choose to apply for. However, having a CTA  is one way to demonstrate compliance with the applicable Australian Design Rules (ADRs)  for vehicle components used in the manufacture or modification of a road vehicle.  If a manufacturer/ importer is unable to rely on a CTA to demonstrate compliance with the applicable ADRs then they must be able to provide their own test results or compliance information from an Approved Testing Facility.

Applications for Component Type Approvals can now be made through ROVER.  This became available from 23 September 2020.  ROVER (Road Vehicle Regulator) is the department’s new IT administration system for the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA).

More information on CTA’s can be found under the RVS legislation guides and resources on the department’s website.

Caravan Industry Association of Australia understands that the costs/ fees associated with obtaining a Component Type Approval to be as follows:

  • Component Type Approval (CTA) = $35

Industry businesses are encouraged to make their own investigations with regards to the fees/ charges contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 and the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement – Road Vehicle Standards 2020 – 21.

Approved Testing Facilities

The regulation of testing facilities is key to the Federal Regulators ability to ensure Australians are provided with safe, secure and environmentally-friendly vehicles (and trailers). The Department relies on test evidence from testing facilities when deciding whether a road vehicle, trailer or associated component complies with the applicable national road vehicle standards (ADRs).

The regulation of testing facilities under the RVSA takes a new approach to the current treatment of test facilities that are registered with the department in the Road Vehicle Certification System (RVCS) under the MVSA.

An approved testing facility under the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation undertakes testing of road vehicles and/or road vehicle components for compliance with:

  • national road vehicle standards referred to in Australian Design Rules (ADRs), or
  • standards determined by the Minister under subsection 89(2) of the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019
  • or both.

The test results may be used as supporting evidence by applicants for the grant of a type approval, component type approval and Model Report approval to demonstrate compliance with vehicle standards.

Under the RVS legislation, applicants for type approvals, component type approvals and Model Report approvals must obtain test reports from approved testing facilities to demonstrate compliance with applicable national road vehicle standards.

If a test facility registered in RVCS wishes to continue to test road vehicles or road vehicle components for compliance with the applicable road vehicle standards, it must apply for a testing facility approval under the new RVS legislation.

Applications for Testing Facility Approvals can now be made through ROVER (Road Vehicle Regulator).  This became available for Test Facilities on 6 May 2020.  ROVER can be accessed by clicking HERE with more information on Approved Test Facilities found by clicking HERE

A list of currently Approved Testing Facilities under the RVSA can be found HERE.  

Caravan Industry Association of Australia understands that the costs/ fees associated with obtaining a Testing Facility Approval will be as follows:

  • Application Fee = $370
  • Annual Levy = $970
  • Variation of an RVSA Testing Facility Approval = $75

Industry businesses are encouraged to make their own investigations with regards to the fees/ charges contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 and the Cost Recovery Implementation Statement – Road Vehicle Standards 2020 – 21.