Agricultural or forestry tractors: EC type-approval procedure
The Community type-approval procedure * for agricultural or forestry tractors * has been adapted and has become compulsory. In the process, its scope has been extended to other categories of agricultural or forestry vehicles, trailers * and interchangeable towed machinery * .
Directive 2003/37/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 May 2003 on type-approval of agricultural or forestry tractors, their trailers and interchangeable towed machinery, together with their systems, components and separate technical units and repealing Directive 74/150/EEC [See amending acts].
Directive 2003/37/EC modernises the Community approval procedure of agricultural or forestry tractors introduced by Directive 74/150/EEC. The full Community type-approval system becomes compulsory for category T1, T2 and T3 agricultural or forestry tractors from 1 July 2005 for new types of vehicles and from 1 July 2009 for all new vehicles put into service. The approval system will also apply to trailers and to interchangeable towed machinery, whether built in one or more stages.
For other vehicle categories, once all the separate Directives for a vehicle category are adopted, Member States shall apply this Directive:
- three years after the date of entry into force of the last separate directive which must still be adopted for new types of vehicles;
- six years after the date of entry into force of the last separate directive which must still be adopted for all vehicles entered into service.
At the request of the manufacturers, apply this Directive to new types of vehicle as from the dates of entry into force of all the related separate directives.
The vehicles covered by the EC type-approval procedure are any tractor * with a maximum design speed of not more than 40 km/h, any trailer * and any interchangeable towed machinery *, whether incomplete or completed, which is intended to be used in agriculture or forestry.
Exemptions may, however, be granted for vehicles produced in small series, end-of-series vehicles or those which take advantage of technical progress not covered by a separate directive.
The scope of the procedure is thus extended to new categories of agricultural vehicles. Initially, Directive 74/150/EEC was aimed exclusively at agricultural or forestry tractors.
The EC type-approval procedure * guarantees permanent monitoring that vehicles conform with Community technical requirements. In the first instance, a Member State certifies that a type of vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit presented by a manufacturer conforms with the technical prescriptions imposed by Directive 2003/37/EC. It then issues an EC type-approval certificate to the manufacturer. The manufacturer then ensures that each vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit built is accompanied by a certificate of conformity, thus proving that it is manufactured in conformity with the approved vehicle type.
A multi-stage type-approval procedure * is organised for vehicles assembled in several stages. An EC type-approval certificate is then issued to each manufacturer involved in the process of manufacturing the vehicle for each specific stage.
A Member State may find that a vehicle, system, component or separate technical unit which complies with the technical requirements of Directive 2003/37/EC, or is already accompanied by a certificate of conformity, nevertheless poses a serious risk to road safety, the environment or occupational safety. It may then refuse to grant EC type-approval or, for a maximum period of six months, refuse the registration or entry into service of such vehicles in its territory. It shall forthwith notify the other Member States and the Commission thereof, stating the reasons for its decision.
Directive 2003/37/EC is based on the principle of total harmonisation. The Community type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors thus becomes compulsory and replaces the optional harmonisation in existence since 1990, under which the manufacturers of agricultural or forestry tractors could choose between obtaining full Community type-approval in accordance with the Community directives or national type-approval based on the technical prescriptions imposed by a Member State. From now on, if a vehicle is type-approved in one Member State, it may be placed on the market and registered throughout the European Union on the basis of its certificate of conformity alone.
Directive 2003/37/EC thereby harmonises the type-approval procedure for agricultural or forestry tractors with the procedures for motor vehicles and their trailers and for two- or three-wheel motor vehicles. The Community whole vehicle type-approval system has been compulsory for these vehicles since October 1998 and June 1999 respectively.
|Act||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
OJ L 171 of 9.7.2003
|Amending act(s)||Entry into force||Deadline for transposition in the Member States||Official Journal|
|Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008||
|OJ L 311 of 21.11.2008|