AUTOMOTIVE - Homologation of Vehicles
New vehicle models, built-up vehicles, and modifications of vehicles, whether locally manufactured or imported, must conform to the compulsory specifications for vehicles of the relevant class, and in particular, the standards affecting SAFETY CRITICAL CHARACTERISTICS of the vehicle and its components. The NRCS is the inspectorate responsible for ensuring the compliance of the following classes of vehicles with the relevant compulsory specifications for:
- Passenger vehicles (M1, M2, M3);
- Goods vehicles (N1, N2, N3);
- Trailers (O1, O2, O3, O4);
- Agricultural tractors.
A new compulsory specification for motorcycles was published for public comment during October 2008. Comments received are under consideration by a special comment review committee. The new compulsory specification will then be submitted to the Minister for approval and promulgation.
DEVELOPMENT OF COMPULSORY SPECIFICATIONS FOR VEHICLES AND RELATED PRODUCTS
In order to prove the conformity of a vehicle or vehicle model with relevant compulsory specifications, it is subjected by the NRCS to the process of homologation. In South Africa, the homologation process is described in SANS 10267 Homologation of motor vehicle models, and aligned with international practice. Homologation must be completed successfully before a vehicle or vehicle model is allocated a NATIS number, that permits the manufacturer or importer to offer it for sale. No vehicle may be sold or registered and licensed unless a NATIS number has been allocated by the NRCS.
In order to homologate a vehicle, a sample must be supplied for evaluation, supported by a large body of documented evidence provided by the original manufacturer, including inspection and test reports compiled by recognized laboratories or inspection authorities. The evidence must cover the characteristics of the complete vehicle, as well as all components referred to in the applicable standards and codes of practice.