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Automotive - Overview


​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 the international safety standards which are 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 (Act 93 of 1996).

NRCS administers compulsory specifications for the fitness of previously unregistered vehicles offered for sale for use on public roads, as well as off-road and specialized vehicles covered in terms of the National Road Traffic Act. The regulatory scope also includes certain safety-critical vehicle components and other automotive products which are covered in the relevant compulsory specifications. In general, the compulsory specifications are aligned with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulations (UNECE Regulations) applicable to motor vehicles and their parts.

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 the 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 Organisations

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

Approval and Inspection

Procedure On The Administration Of Type Homologation And LOA1 Approval Process​

The process for administering the approval activities within the automotive business unit will generally result in the issuance of a single certificate of compliance in a form of an LOA or homologation certificate. On the contrary, the process for tyre homologation and LOA1 for individual vehicles specifically for imports, comprise a “two-stage approach” which results in the issuance of a dual certificate of compliance. This procedure was developed as an addendum to the automotive business plan to distinctly explain the application of the dual certification process applicable to tyre homologation and LOA1 for individual vehicles.

Describing the “Two-Stage Approach"​
Tyre Homologation

All imported tyres are first subjected to stage 1 of the homologation by evaluating the submitted documentary evidence of conformity against the mandatory requirements. Once the evaluation process establishes that the type of tyre complies with the mandatory requirements applicable, a preliminary/conditional letter of compliance will be granted to the applicant. The preliminary/conditional letter compliance which is valid for a period of twelve months may be presented to the International Trade Association Commission (ITAC) to facilitate the importation of such tyres into the country.

The applicant shall present the sample tyre/s for which a preliminary/conditional compliance letter has been granted, for inspection and verification against the entire relevant mandatory requirements before offered to the market. Upon satisfaction that the documentary evidence of compliance and the sample presented meet all the applicable requirements including those in the preliminary/conditional letter of compliance granted, the final homologation approval letter will be granted to conclude the process.

Letter Of Authority (LOA) 1

Certain imported motor vehicles by private persons which are classified as high risk in accordance with the automotive risk criteria will be subjected to stage 1 of the vehicle LOA process by evaluating the submitted documentary evidence of conformity against the mandatory requirements as applicable. Once the evaluation process establishes that the vehicle model complies with the mandatory requirements applicable, a conditional LOA1 will be granted to the applicant. The conditional LOA1 is valid for a period of twelve months which may be presented at the port of entry to facilitate the importation and release of such vehicle into the country.

The applicant shall present the vehicle unit for which conditional LOA1 has been granted, for inspection and verification against the entire relevant mandatory requirements before registration on the electronic National Traffic information system (eNatis) can be permitted. Upon satisfaction that the documentary evidence of compliance and the vehicle unit presented to meet all the applicable requirements including those in the conditional LOA1 granted, the final LOA1 certificate will be granted to permit the registration of the vehicle unit. ​​

List of VC's of Regulated Products​


VC# Title Download
VC8065 Compulsory specification for ball type couplings and towing brackets for towing caravans and light trailers Download
VC8053 Compulsory specification for replacement brake lining assemblies for road vehicles Download
VC8023 Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category M2 and M3 Download
VC8059 Compulsory specification for pneumatic tyres for commercial vehicles and their trailers Download
VC8027 Compulsory specification for vehicles of category O3 and O4 Download
VC8049 Compulsory specification for replacement headlights for motor vehicles Download
VC8022 VC8022 - Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category M1 Download
VC8024 Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category N1 Download
VC8048 Compulsory specification for replacement incandescent lamps for motor vehicles Download
VC8078 Compulsory specification for material for contour marking on motor vehicles - Withdrawn on 26 July 2013 Download
VC8056 Compulsory specification for pneumatic tyres for passenger cars and trailers Download
VC8016 Compulsory specification for safety helmets for motor cyclists Download
VC8057 Compulsory specification for agricultural tractors Download
VC8050 Compulsory specification for replacement secondary lights for motor vehicles Download
VC8080 Compulsory 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) Download
VC8033 Compulsory specification for child restraints for use in motor vehicles Download
VC8062 Compulsory specification for retro-reflective number plates for motor vehicles - Withdrawn on 26 July 2013 Download
VC9098 Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of Category L (Motorcycles, motor tricycles and quadrocycles) Download
VC8026 Compulsory specification for category O1 and O2 vehicles (caravans and light trailers) Download
VC8025 Compulsory specification for motor vehicles of category N2 and N3 Download

LOA and Application Forms


Form Category Download
South African Bureau of Standards - Production Conformance Summary of Evidence (2nd Ed) Motorcycle,Load Bodies,Tractors,03/04 Vehicle Homologation,01/02 Vehicle Homologation,N1 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation,M1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
008 - Application for Homologation Terms and Conditions Motorcycle,03/04 Vehicle Homologation,01/02 Vehicle Homologation,N1 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation,M1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
061 - Model Details of Category L Vehicles Motorcycle Download
064 - Summary of Evidence for Category L Vehicles Motorcycle Download
Notification of Vehicle Model Motorcycle,Load Bodies,Tractors,03/04 Vehicle Homologation,01/02 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation,M1 Vehicle Homologation,N1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
062 - Production Conformance Summary of Evidence for Category L Vehicles Motorcycle Download
055 - Category 53 Vehicles S Load Bodies Download
Stop Lamps - Inspection Report for Load Bodies Load Bodies Download
034 - Document Evaluation Checklist for Load Bodies Load Bodies Download
036 - Summary of Evidence for Agricultural Tractors Tractors Download
Document evaluation check list for Agricultural Tractors Tractors Download
037 - Application for Homologation Agricultural Tractor Tractors Download
043 - Vehicle Model Details Homologation of Category O Vehicle 01/02 Vehicle Homologation,03/04 Vehicle Homologation Download
067 - Pre-screening Documents Checklist 03/04 Vehicle Homologation,01/02 Vehicle Homologation,N1 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation,M1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
066 - Document Evaluation Checklist Category O1 and O2 Trailers 01/02 Vehicle Homologation Download
042 - Compliance Summary of Evidence for Homologation of Category O1 and O2 Trailer 01/02 Vehicle Homologation,03/04 Vehicle Homologation Download
065 - Document Evaluation Checklist for Category O3 and O4 Trailers 03/04 Vehicle Homologation Download
002 - Compliance Summary of Evidence M and N N1 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation,M1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
053 - Model Details for the Homologation of Category M and N Vehicles M1 Vehicle Homologation,M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation Download
057 - M2 and M3 Homologation Evaluation Check Sheet M2/M3 Vehicle Homologation Download
004 - Model Details for Homologation of M and N N1 Vehicle Homologation,N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download
044 - Document Evaluation Checklist Category N2 and N3 Trucks N2/N3 vehicle Homologation Download

Database of Approved Products


Title​​ Download
NRCS Homologated Motorcycle Helmets Download
Homologated Child Restraints Download

Frequently Asked Questions


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.​

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.​

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.​

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.​

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


Levy Download
Automotive return 18B Download
Automotive return 17B TYPE 5 Download
Automotive return 18A Download
Auto_15A_return Download
Automotive return 17A Download
Automotive return 18A -TYPE 5 Download
Automotive return 19A Download
Levy return Automotive 2013B Download
Automotive return 17B Download
Automotive return 16B Download
Automotive return 16A Download
Automotive return 19B Download
Auto_15B return Download

Contact Details​​


​​
Linda Jennifer Mahlangu

Personal Assistant

: Jennifer.Mahlangu@nrcs.org.za
:+27 (0) 12 482 8774

Mr Simon Legodi

Admin Coordinator

: Simon.Legodi@nrcs.org.za​
: +27 (0) 12 482 8761 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Ms Aletta Saal

Admin Coordinator

: Aletta.Saal@nrcs.org.za​
: +27 (0) 12 482 8874 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Mr Tumelo Mokolokolo

Manager: Inspections

: Tumelo.Mokolokolo@nrcs.org.za
:+27 (0) 12 482 8818

Mr Ruben Moloi

Manager: Inspections

: Ruben.Moloi@nrcs.org.za​
: +27 (0) 12 482 8820 ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​