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 a specific focus on the inspectorate approval of Manufacturers, 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 legislation prior to 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 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 comply 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 callipers 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.