Type Approval and OECD for Agricultural and Forestry Tractors
EC Directive 2003/37/EC outlines the framework for a European-wide system of approval for agricultural or forestry tractors, their trailers and interchangeable towed machinery together with their systems, components or separate technical units. This particular Directive was introduced into UK legislation by SI 2005 no.390 and applied from the 1st of July 2005.
Of course the certification of tractors is nothing new, the original Framework Directive being produced in 1974 but until the advent of 2003/37/EC, certification would have been dealt with on a State by State basis. One of the great benefits of a European-wide system of approval is that it provides a level playing field for those wishing to access this particular market.
Type approval, in very simple terms, is the confirmation that production samples of a design will meet specified performance standards. The specification of the product is recorded and only that specification is approved.
Automotive EC Directives and ECE Regulations require third party approval - testing, certification and production conformity assessment by an independent body. Each Member State is required to appoint an Approval Authority to issue the approvals and a Technical Service to carry out the testing to the Directives and Regulations. An approval issued by one Authority will be accepted in all the Member States.
VCA is the designated UK Approval Authority and Technical Service for all type approvals to automotive EC Directives and ECE Regulations. Not only that, VCA was recently named as the new UK National Designated Body for OECD. This means that when it comes to tractor approval, VCA really is a 'one-stop' shop.
What is OECD?
The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) oversees a series of Codes that apply to the testing of agricultural and forestry tractors, the codes are applied in addition to other forms of testing and are required in a number of countries around the world, both inside and outside of the European Community.