Obtaining type approval

There are three options available to companies or individuals involved in the manufacture or importation of new vehicles in order to obtain the required vehicle approval.

ECWVTA – European Communities Whole Vehicle Type Approval

ECWVTA consists of a series of tests carried out on a prototype vehicle and on the production process used to manufacture the vehicle. If the vehicle and production process pass these stringent safety and environmental tests, then the vehicle receives EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval. Each subsequent vehicle manufactured in the same way is issued with an EC Certificate of Conformity (EC CoC) which allows the vehicle to be registered in any Member State of the EU.
The ECWVTA route to approval is most suitable for manufacturers of large quantities of the same type of vehicle who regularly trade throughout Europe.

NSSTA – National Small Series Type Approval

 There are a number of small to medium businesses who assemble or manufacture vehicles or trailers in small volumes intended only for the Irish market. These manufacturers may find ECWVTA prohibitively expensive due to the limited quantities of vehicles they produce. Therefore, Ireland has introduced a national small series type approval (NSSTA) scheme for the approval of such vehicles. The NSSTA scheme is administratively less onerous than ECWVTA and where appropriate, alternative technical requirements apply. There are also reduced Conformity of Production (CoP) requirements. Once NSSTA has been granted a manufacturer may issue a Certificate of Conformity (CoC) for each vehicle produced of the same type, however the number of vehicles per type that can be manufactured is limited (See Schedule 4 of SI No. 158 of 2009(PDF).

IVA – Individual Vehicle Approval

Ireland has introduced the Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme for the approval of new vehicles and trailers imported or manufactured in very small numbers or as individual vehicles. Under the approval scheme, each vehicle is physically checked in order to ensure that it meets modern safety and environmental standards.
The technical and administrative requirements associated with IVA are less onerous those of NSSTA or ECWVTA. Once a vehicle passes an IVA inspection, an Individual Vehicle Approval Certificate is issued which allows the vehicle to be registered in Ireland.

Approval Authority

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is the Irish appointed approval authority and is responsible for issuing National Small Series Type Approval (NSSTA) and Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) for vehicles in Ireland. NSAI has established a network of Appointed Test Centre’s (ATC) who physically examine and issue test reports for some or all of the technical requirements. These test reports are then used by NSAI to grant the vehicle or trailer approvals.

An updated list of ATC’s can be found here. For more information on making an application for approval, please visit www.nsai.ie or phone 01‐8073919 or 01‐8073832.”