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Type-approval requirements for light trailers (O1 and O2)

Type-approvals, information and requirements for light trailers (types O1 and O2).

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

When a trailer is first manufactured, it must pass all the necessary safety and quality standards before it can be sold or registered throughout European member states, this is known as European type-approval. Since 29 October 2012, all newly manufactured trailers must be type-approved.

It is a trailer which has the following EU categories:

O1 – Trailer with a Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW)* of 750 kg or less

O2 - Trailer with a Design Gross Vehicle Weight (DGVW)* over 750 kg but not exceeding 3,500 kg

*DGVW or maximum authorised mass (MAM) is the weight of a vehicle or trailer including the maximum load it can carry as per the manufacturer’s design specifications.

The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) is the appointed approval authority in Ireland responsible for issuing all national approvals e.g., IVA or NSSTA for brand new unregistered vehicles only.

This relates to an individual vehicle or trailer. Each trailer is checked and on passing inspection at an NSAI appointed test centre (ATC), an IVA cert is issued.

This is certification for small batches of trailers to a maximum of 500, intended for Irish or national use. When NSSTA is granted, the manufacturer can issue a CoC (Certificate of Conformity) for each trailer of the same type.

This certification is issued to manufacturers of large quantities of the same type of trailer. Instead of having to obtain approval for each and every trailer, one model or prototype is used. If that one trailer is approved, then a certificate of conformity (CoC) will be issued to all trailers of the same type.

This is issued to the manufacturer as proof that the trailer achieved type-approval and can be sold throughout European member states.

For new trailers, contact the original manufacturer.

To obtain type-approval for brand new trailers, contact the NSAI.

No. Under EU law, mutual recognition of national approval schemes is only permissible between EU Member States.

Any new trailer built since 29 October 2012 must be type-approved and have a CoC. This ensures that the design, lighting, braking etc. has met a European safety and quality standard.

If your light trailer has a maximum mass less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes (Category 01 and 02), it does not need to be registered or licensed. This includes special purpose light trailers e.g. trailer caravans with a maximum mass less than or equal to 3.5 tonnes.

Related pages

Light trailers

Vehicle standards for light trailers used for domestic and commercial purposes. Differences between light and heavy trailers. Trailer videos and FAQs.