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Tractors and agricultural or forestry machinery: approximation of the laws

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1) OBJECTIVE

To lay down the laws and administrative and technical provisions covering the granting of Community type-approval for agricultural tractors.

2) ACT

Council Directive 74/150/EEC of 4 March 1974 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors [Official Journal L 84 of 28.03.1974].

Amended by the following measures:

Council Directive 79/694/EEC of 24 July 1979 [Official Journal L 205 of 13.08.1979];
Council Directive 82/890/EEC of 17 December 1982 [Official Journal L 378 of 31.12.1982];
Council Directive 88/297/EEC of 3 May 1988 [Official Journal L 126 of 20.5.1988];
European Parliament and Council Directive 97/54/EC of 23 September 1997 [Official Journal L 277 of 10.10.1997];
Commission Directive 2000/2/EC of 14 January 2000 [Official Journal L 21 of 26.01.2000];
European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/25/EC of 22 May 2000 [Official Journal L 173 of 12.07.2000];
Commission Directive 2001/3/EC of 8 January 2001 [Official Journal L 28 of 30.01.2001];
European Parliament and Council Directive 2003/37/EC of 26 May 2003 [Official Journal L 171 of 9.07.2003].

3) SUMMARY

Before this Directive was adopted, tractors had to comply with certain mandatory technical requirements. Such requirements differed from one Member State to another and consequently hindered trade within the European Community. Such barriers to the establishment and proper functioning of the common market can be reduced, and even eliminated, if all Member States adopt the same requirements, either in addition to or in place of their existing laws.

At Community level it is necessary to apply a Community type-approval procedure for each tractor type in order to check compliance with the above requirements and ensure that each Member State recognises checks carried out by other Member States. "EEC type-approval" is the procedure whereby a Member State certifies that a tractor type satisfies the technical requirements of the specific directives and the checks listed in the EEC type-approval certificate, the model of which is given in the Annex to Directive 74/150/EEC.

This procedure must enable each Member State to ascertain whether a tractor type has been subjected to the checks laid down by specific Directives and listed in a type-approval certificate. It must also enable manufacturers to complete a certificate of conformity for all tractors which conform to an approved type. A tractor accompanied by such a certificate must be considered by all Member States as conforming to their own laws.

In the context of this Directive, agricultural and forestry tractors are defined as any motor vehicle fitted with wheels or caterpillar tracks, having at least two axles, the main function of which lies in its tractive power and which is specially designed to tow, push, carry or power certain tools, machinery or trailers intended for agricultural or forestry use. It may be equipped to carry a load and passengers. Directive 74/150/EEC applies only to tractors as defined above which are fitted with pneumatic tyres and which have two axles and a maximum design speed of between 6 and 40 km/h.

The Annexes to the Directive detail the tractor's general construction characteristics, weights and dimensions, engine, transmission, suspension, steering, brakes, field of vision, rear view mirrors, roll-over protection structures and light signalling devices. Specific directives define the harmonised technical requirements pertinent to each component and characteristic of the tractor.

Applications for EEC type-approval have to be submitted by the manufacturer or his authorised representative to a Member State. An application must be accompanied by an information document, the model of which is given in the Annex to the Directive, and by the documents referred to therein. No application in respect of any one type of tractor may be submitted to more than one Member State.

A Member State must approve all tractor types which satisfy the following conditions: (a) the tractor type must conform to the particulars in the information document; (b) the tractor type must satisfy the checks listed in the model of the type-approval certificate.

A Committee on the Adaptation to Technical Progress of the Directives on the Removal of Technical Barriers to Trade in the Agricultural and Forestry Tractors Sector has been set up. It consists of representatives of the Member States with a representative of the Commission as Chairman.

The latest Directive 2003/37/EC constitutes a recasting of Directive 74/150/EEC relating to the type-approval of wheeled agricultural and forestry tractors. The objective is to extend the scope of the EC type-approval to new categories of agricultural and forestry tractors, notably to high speed tractors and to certain interchangeable towed equipment which can be assimilated to trailers.

In this regard, Directive 74/150/EEC is repealed with effect from 1 July 2005.

ActDate
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 74/150/EEC07.03.197406.09.1975
Directive 79/694/EEC13.08.197913.02.1981
Directive 82/890/EEC31.12.198231.06.1984
Directive 88/297/EEC06.05.198831.12.1988
Directive 97/54/EC30.10.199723.09.1998
Directive 2000/2/EC27.01.200031.12.2000
Directive 2000/25/EC12.07/200029.09.2000
Directive 2001/3/EC19.02.200230.06.2002
Directive 2003/37/EC09.07.0331.12.2004

4) IMPLEMENTING MEASURES

5) FOLLOW-UP WORK

Last updated: 08.12.2003
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