Compliance and Enforcement Approach under RVSA

Compliance and Enforcement Approach Under RVSA

On July 1, 2021, the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) commences into full effect and replaces the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA).  The Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) is the biggest legislative change the Australian Caravan Industry has seen in over 30 years. The RVSA provides industry businesses a level playing field, create a barrier to entry for newcomers and start-ups, improve the safety and compliance of Recreational Vehicles being manufactured and arm federal government regulators with greater enforcement powers to assist in stamping out non-compliant and more importantly, unsafe Recreational Vehicles making it onto Australian roads.

Vehicle Safety Operations (VSO) branch of the Department released on June 2021 the ‘Our Compliance Approach and Model’ document and ‘Compliance and Enforcement Strategy 2021 – 2023’ document outlining the Department’s approach in ensuring compliance to RVSA, the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (RVSR), and the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

To achieve effective regulation, the Department will take a risk-based approached to compliance and enforcement management.  This means that low non-compliance risk will take a lesser or lighter compliance and enforcement response, and vice versa.  This approach aims to minimize regulatory burden on low-risk regulated areas or entities, whilst still able to deliver better regulatory outcomes.

This approach is represented in the diagram below.

Low ATM Trailers: Focus Areas for 2021 – 2023

We will be monitoring compliance with these new requirements by:

  • considering reports of low ATM trailer non-compliance received from the public, industry or other regulators,
  • undertaking monitoring activities such as requesting information, desk top document assessment or performing inspections to confirm that trailer manufacturers and importers are complying with their new obligations under the RVS legislation, and
  • providing trailer manufacturers or importers with education regarding their obligations, and opportunities to correct areas where they have demonstrated non-compliance.

Head to Compliance and Enforcement Under RVSA webpage for more information and to access the Compliance and Enforcement Strategy 2021 – 2023 document.

Vehicle Type Approvals granted under Opt-in Arrangement: Focus Areas for 2021 – 2023

We will monitor compliance of road vehicle type approval holders who have opted in by:

  • seeking information to confirm they are complying with their obligations as road vehicle type approval holders,
  • providing education and assistance to correct any misunderstandings or errors, and
  • where we believe the opt-in arrangement has been taken advantage of on a false or misleading basis, such as where the individual or company knowingly cannot comply with their conditions of approval, we will apply appropriate enforcement responses to deter the behaviour.

In particular, we will focus our efforts on providers that have opted in as road vehicle type approval holders for:

  • high ATM trailers (previously called heavy trailers, those with an ATM greater than 4500 kg)
  • situations where a road vehicle type approval holder may not have a strong connection to the design or manufacture of the vehicles they are seeking to provide to the Australian market, such as road vehicle type approval holders importing:
  • motorcycles from multiple different independent overseas factories
  • left hand drive vehicles and converting them to right hand drive.

Head to Compliance and Enforcement Under RVSA webpage for more information and to access the Compliance and Enforcement Strategy 2021 – 2023 document.

Department’s Powers Under RVSA: Inspection, Monitoring and Investigation

As the Department are involved in the regulation of the design, manufacture, and importation of road vehicles into Australia, it is important that they have powers necessary to ensure that all relevant rules are followed.  This will enable the Department to assess applications, monitor compliance and investigate non-compliance with the RVSA and related legislation to achieve the regulatory outcomes.

If you apply for an approval or hold an approval related to RVSA, you may have interactions with the Department’s inspectors or delegated officers.  These powers and functions are exercised within clearly defined boundaries that protect your rights and provide transparency regarding the actions of the Department’s inspectors or delegated officers.

The Department released the RVSA Public Guidance: Inspection, Monitoring and Investigation guidance material to help you understand how the Department will exercise these powers and functions in line with the current Compliance and Enforcement Strategy and the objectives of the RVSA. It provides you with certainty as to how these interactions are conducted and outlines your related rights and obligations.  You can download the guidance material through the Department’s Guides and Resources webpage.

For questions or assistance, head to the Department’s RVSA-dedicated Contact Us page.