Kymberly Martin
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New safety standards go into imported disability vehicles

Imported disability vehicles are now subject to updated rules ensuring that safety considerations are regulated to comply with Australian Standards.  Changes have commenced to progressively roll out improvements as part of the new Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) legislation.

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ATSA pressed the need for the application of Australian Standards for all imported disability vehicles early in 2018 through several submissions, to the Inquiry into the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 and related billsImporters of modified disability vehicles wanted an exemption to Australian Safety Standards, yet local vehicle builders/modifiers were required to comply with existing local standards.

ATSA’s main recommendation was that the intention of the legislation was to trade off safety for profit and recommended that Australian Standards are applied to all imported disability vehicles to ensure only safe product are sold into the Australian market.

The new legislation mean all disability vehicles purchased in recent times, and into the future, will need to be compliant with Australian Standards.

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The aim is for a gradual progressive rollout, with further improvements slated for introduction in the coming months.  Test reports from testing facilities that have been approved under the new RVS legislation will not be required until component type approval applications opens in Q3 2020.