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Automotive ​Overview​ 


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AUTOMOTIVE ensures the safety of vehicles, after-market components and automotive related products offered for sale in South Africa. The safety and environmental requirements are based on those applicable in more developed countries.

NRCS is also appointed by the National Department of Transport as the Inspectorate of Manufacturers, Importers and Builders (MIBS) in terms of the National Road Traffic Act.

NRCS administers compulsory specifications for the fitness of vehicles offered for sale for use on public roads, as well as off-road and specialized vehicles. Certain safety-critical vehicle components and automotive products are also regulated by means of compulsory specifications. In general the standards are aligned with the UN ECE regulations. NRCS is also appointed by the Minister of Transport in terms of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996 as the Inspectorate responsible for implementation and enforcement of many of the technical requirements for vehicles operated on public roads. NRCS is also the Inspectorate of Manufacturers, Importers and Builders (MIB's).

  • The compulsory specifications include requirements for
  • The approval and homologation of vehicle designs of locally manufactured and imported vehicles; 
  •  The approval and homologation of vehicle components and tyres; 
  •  Approval of commercial vehicle manufacturers and importers (MIB's) for registration purposes; 
  •  The inspection and auditing of vehicle and component manufacturers to ensure ongoing compliance with standards; 
  •  The capture of data and model numbers for new vehicle models on the National Traffic Information System (NATIS);
  • The approval of and authorization for building and importing of vehicles by non-registered individuals and organizations.

IMPORT OF VEHICLES BY PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS AND NON-REGISTERED ORGANIZATIONS

Importers must apply for a LETTER OF AUTHORITY (LOA).

List of VC's and Regulated Product


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VC8022.pdfVC8022VC8022 - Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category M19/5/2014
VC8024.pdfVC8024Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category N19/5/2014
VC8053.pdfVC8053Compulsory specification for replacement brake lining assemblies for road vehicles10/23/2015
VC9098.pdfVC9098Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of Category L (Motorcycles, motor tricycles and quadrocycles)5/27/2011
VC8016.pdfVC8016Compulsory specification for safety helmets for motor cyclists2/20/2015
VC8023.pdfVC8023Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category M2 and M39/18/2015
VC8025.pdfVC8025Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category N2 and N39/18/2015
VC8013.pdfVC8013Compulsory specification for hydraulic brake and clutch fluid3/2/2018
VC8026.pdfVC8026Compulsory specification for category O1 and O2 vehicles (caravans and light trailers)2/5/2010
VC8027.pdfVC8027Compulsory specification for vehicles of category O3 and O42/5/2010
VC8033.pdfVC8033Compulsory specification for child restraints for use in motor vehicles6/20/2003
VC8048.pdfVC8048Compulsory specification for replacement incandescent lamps for motor vehicles8/16/1996
VC8049.pdfVC8049Compulsory specification for replacement headlights for motor vehicles8/29/1997
VC8050.pdfVC8050Compulsory specification for replacement secondary lights for motor vehicles10/18/1996
VC8056.pdfVC8056Compulsory specification for pneumatic tyres for passenger cars and trailers8/10/2010
VC8057.pdfVC8057Compulsory specification for agricultural tractors2/20/2004
VC8059.pdfVC8059Compulsory specification for pneumatic tyres for commercial vehicles and their trailers8/10/2010
VC8062.pdfVC8062Compulsory specification for retro-reflective number plates for motor vehicles - Withdrawn on 26 July 20134/3/1998
VC8065.pdfVC8065Compulsory specification for ball type couplings and towing brackets for towing caravans and light trailers3/8/2002
VC8078.pdfVC8078Compulsory specification for material for contour marking on motor vehicles - Withdrawn on 26 July 20138/1/2003
VC8080.pdfVC8080Compulsory specification for replacement elastomeric cups and seals for hydraulic brake actuating cylinders for use in motor vehicles using non-petroleum base hydraulic brake fluid (service temperature 70 °C to 150 °C max)12/23/2005

​​Automo​tive Forms​


Database of Approved Products​


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. What is the process to follow if I want to embark on a business of selling motor vehicles in South Africa and how do I get an approval certificate

A. The Automotive Unit is the inspectorate and approval authority in South Africa. We administer both the NRCS Act and certain provisions of National Road Traffic Act, 1996 (Act 93 of 1996) with specific focus on the inspectorate approval of Manufactures, Builders and Importers (MIB’s) of motor vehicles.

NRTA requires that anyone wishing to import, manufacturer or build motor vehicles for the purpose of selling, such manufacturer, importer or builder of motor vehicles must register at their provisional offices of the Department of Transport (DoT).

Registration of MIBs may only be granted if DoT is satisfied with the recommendation by both the Automotive Unit and the SAPS. A registered MIB will then be issued with a certificate of registration.

The Automotive Unit is mandated to evaluate the applications and recommend to the DoT regarding the suitability of registration.

Only registered MIB may apply at the NRCS for approval of motor vehicle models for selling purposes. Motor vehicle models must meet all the relevant legislations prior approval being granted.

Q. I want to import a vehicle for private use and not for re-sale, am I allowed to do that?

A. Yes, motor vehicles manufactured, imported or built for personal use are allowed registration in South Africa if they have been approved by the Automotive Unit. A Letter of Authority must be applied for at the NRCS for a specific motor vehicle and only if the relevant national legislation is complied with may a letter be issued.

Q. Does the Automotive Unit conducts tests?

A. No, the Unit relies on test reports and certificates from a registered technical assessment body (test lab) and a visual inspection to verify compliance of the motor vehicle model. It remains the responsibility of the MIB to have their motor vehicle model tested before seeking for approval.

Q. What about other products regulated by the Automotive Unit?

A. Certain replacement components and accessories of motor vehicles are regulated. No person is allowed to sell any products covered in the scope of regulated products unless such products have been tested and compliance with the relevant legislative requirements determine Replacement components and accessories shall be granted with an LoA and or homologation certificate if they meet the relevant legislative requirements.

These products are child restraints, motorcycle helmets, hydraulic fluid, brake pads, shoes and linings, motor vehicle lights and bulbs, rubber seals for brake calipers and master cylinders, automotive safety glass, tow bars, passenger and commercial tyres.

Q. Are there any fees paid?

A. Yes, fees are paid in the form of levies and service fees for services rendered. Payable fees are gazetted and are reviewed from time to time in consultation with stakeholders. ​

Levy Information


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Contact Details​​


Paul Snyman

: snymanpj@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 12 482 8889

Sifiso Phakathi​​

: phakatsz@nrcs.org.za​
: +27 (0) 12 482 8865