Road Vehicle Standards Bill passes both Houses

HVIA provides update on Motor Vehicle Standards Act replacement, set for late 2019

Road Vehicle Standards Bill passes both Houses
The Road Vehicle Standards Act is set for 2019


Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) notes the Road Vehicle Standards Act (RVSA) legislation has been through its final stages in Parliament and is expected to take effect from late 2019 and be fully implemented by late 2020.

The Bill aims to modernise and strengthen laws governing road vehicles when first supplied to the Australian market and reduce red tape, replacing the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) which was drafted at a time when much of today’s vehicle advancements and technology did not exist.

HVIA advises truck and trailer manufacturers and component suppliers to understand the implications and start preparing for its transition.

According to the association, key positives include:

  • converting existing MVSA approvals (opting in) to the RVSA will be a simple process involving filling out and signing a declaration and paying a fee, with the Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development not making an assessment of the application
  • if an approval holder wants to make a variation to an approval that has been transferred across to the MVSA, they will only need to provide evidence of compliance to the extent of the modifications to the existing approval
  • there is likely to be an ability for the approval holder to nominate an effective date for the opting in to allow time for coordinating process around loading vehicles on the Register of Approved Vehicles and the clearance of vehicles that have been constructed/imported according to MVSA rules.

One key issue is the lack of an automated process for converting a component registration number (CRN) or sub-assembly registration number (SARN), nor is there a phase-in period. Holders will have to apply for a component type approval (CTA) if a component is to be used in a type approval under the new RVSA.

"There will be some provision for components to continue to be provided under a CRN where the component is provided as part of a vehicle type approval that has opted in to the RVSA. But this will only apply for a limited time. It is therefore important that all holders on CRNs or SARNS plan to apply for a CTA," HVIA says, noting this process may be opened months earlier by the department.

Furthermore, testing facilities will also need to apply for approval under the RVSA.

"What may complicate this process is that the legislation places restrictions on accepting evidence from testing facilities collected prior to the commencement of the RVSA," HVIA says. 

"HVIA and the other industry representatives at the consultation meetings made the point that there are potentially significant impacts from these changes.

"There is an ability to accept evidence on compliance with UN or other relevant standards and the Department has indicated that there may be some flexibility to accept some evidence collected prior to the commencement of the RVSA but it is unclear on how this will be resolved.

"HVIA is expecting that this will be an area that will be subject to further discussion in the next round of consultation meetings."

HVIA sees huge flaw in proposed vehicle standards reform. Read more, here

HVIA also notes that currently there is no information on the type of online systems to deal with the RVSA processes, and uncertainty over the concessional vehicle pathway and the specialist and enthusiast vehicles scheme.

"There was considerable discussion over the eligibility criteria and the responsibilities of people importing vehicles under the concessional arrangements.

"There was discussion on how to resolve the issues around ensuring that vehicles imported under the concessional schemes comply with the requirements of things like VSB6 and Occupational Health and Safety requirement. There was also discussion of the responsibilities for suppliers of vehicles under the concessional schemes in relation to recalls and ongoing customer support."

It’s expected such matters will be brought to the fore in discussion papers to be issued around February, with further consultation forums likely in March.


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