As many as 20,000 European commercial vehicle registrations per year could suffer major delays for failing to meet new Type Approval legislation, according to Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Implemented starting on Oct. 29, the new rules will apply to around two-thirds of heavy commercial vehicles—those built in stages weighing more than 3.5t. These vehicles are in the last category to come under a raft of new Type Approval legislation that will see all commercial vehicles in Europe conform to a common set of rules.

Without the correct approval from the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA), as many as 50% of annual heavy CV registrations could be considerably delayed. With no official stamp of approval, the only alternative route to registering a vehicle in any EU country would be the DVSA-administered Individual Vehicle Approval (IVA) scheme. This “one by one” means of checking a vehicle is fit for use is time-consuming and is expected to be overloaded by a high number of bodybuilders that leave it too late to get full Type Approval.

In a statement, the SMMT said, “This is a very serious situation. So many vehicle converters and bodybuilders are still unaware of the implications these new rules will have on their business. SMMT’s technical advisors have been inundated with calls asking for advice on Type Approval as the deadline looms, but many will leave it too late.”

To cope with the nationwide demand for guidance on Type Approval, SMMT has held a series of workshops in conjunction with the Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).