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BVRLA helps remove burden of Whole Vehicle Type Approval for van fleets

From 29 April 2013, LCVs (up to 3.5 tonnes) will come within the scope of European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA) regulations, which requires approval for modifications made to them.

Originally the Vehicle Certification Agency’s view was that all modifications, no matter how minor, would require an individual vehicle approval certificate.

Following a recent meeting with the BVRLA, body builders, motor manufacturers and the Department for Transport, the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) has agreed that minor modifications, such as ply-lining and racking can be treated as part of the vehicle payload.

This new Van Enhancement Scheme was unveiled to members at the BVRLA’s Technical and Operational Management Forum on Thursday.

‘If the VCA had gone forward with their original approach it was likely that almost every van put on fleet would need to be individually inspected and approved. We are really pleased that the industry was able to come together and produce a workable solution,’ said John Lewis, chief executive of the BVRLA.

More complex modifications, such as roof beacons and tail-lifts, will need to go through a simplified individual vehicle approval route, whereby the body-builder who carries out the modification has their fitting process approved.

‘It is now vitally important that the whole industry continues to work together to implement the scheme,’ added Lewis.

‘For example, fleet owners will need to communicate with their vehicle converters to make sure that they are VCA-approved, in order to avoid any delays or bottlenecks.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.