3 The inspection and certification process
3.1 Duties and responsibilities
3.1.1 General duties and responsibilities
Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002 (Rule 35001/1).
1. Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations (definitions in the Rule)
Vehicle inspector means an individual appointed by NZTA under subclause 2.2(1) of the Rule to carry out inspection and certification activities in accordance with requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA.
Inspecting organisation means a person or organisation appointed by the NZTA under subclause 2.2(1) of the Rule who is responsible for inspection and certification outcomes.
In this manual, an inspecting organisation is one appointed for the purpose of new light vehicle entry inspection and certification, unless stated otherwise.
To avoid doubt, any reference to a certifier in any legislation, deed of appointment, the Low Volume Vehicle Code or any other relevant document is a reference to a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation (as applicable) appointed by the NZTA under the Rule.
2. Inspection and certification activities (subclause 2.1(1) of the Rule)
Only vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations appointed by the NZTA may carry out inspection and certification activities as specified in the Rule and in this manual. The inspecting organisation’s Deed of Appointment specifies conditions under which a transfer of functions may be made.
3. Primary duty (subclause 2.1(2) of the Rule)
Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations must carry out inspection and certification activities competently and diligently and in accordance with the Rule and the requirements in this manual.
4. Inspection and certification activities that can be carried out (subclause 2.2(2) of the Rule)
Vehicle inspectors and inspecting organisations may carry out only those inspection and certification activities for which the NZTA has appointed them.
5. Requirements, conditions and period of appointment (subclause 2.3(1) of the Rule)
The NZTA may specify the period of appointment for a vehicle inspector and inspecting organisation and may impose requirements and conditions as to the performance of the inspection and certification activities, including the performance of those activities at individual sites.
6. Driver licence
Vehicle inspectors who operate vehicles as part of a vehicle inspection must hold a current driver licence for the class of vehicle that they are inspecting.
7. Fit and proper person (subclause 2.3(3) of the Rule)
It is a condition of an appointment that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation is, and continues to be, a fit and proper person.
8. Document retention, advise incorrect certification, advise vehicle defects (subclause 2.3(4) of the Rule)
It is a condition of an appointment that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation:
a) keep the original Statements of Compliance (Annex A forms) for at least five years
b) keep the following documents in a retrievable form for the specified term:
- Pre-delivery inspection checksheets (one year)
- WoF checksheets (one year)
- Specialist certifiers’ certificates (such as repair and low volume) (five years)
c) advise the NZTA as soon as practicable if there is a reason to believe that the inspection and certification of a vehicle has been carried out incorrectly, and
d) advise the NZTA as soon as practicable of a defect in a manufacturer’s production run or quality control process of which the inspector or organisation has become aware that may affect the safety performance of a vehicle that has been inspected and certified. (Industry is working with the NZTA to prepare a form for reporting such instances to the NZTA).
9. Delegation (subclause 2.4(1) of the Rule)
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation may not delegate any function or power to carry out inspection and certification activities for which they were appointed, except under conditions specified in the inspecting organisation’s Deed of Appointment or otherwise specified by the NZTA in writing.
3.1.2 Inspection and certification
1. Inspecting and certifying a vehicle for entry into service (subclause 6.3(2) of the Rule)
The inspection and certification of a vehicle for entry into service must be carried out in accordance with requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA.
2. Determining compliance of a vehicle (subclause 6.4(1) of the Rule)
A vehicle may be certified for entry into service only if a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has identified the vehicle and has determined, on reasonable grounds, that the vehicle:
a) is safe to be operated, and
b) has been designed and constructed using components and materials that are fit for their purpose, and is within safe tolerance of its state when it was manufactured or modified, and
c) complies with the applicable requirements (all of which are contained or referred to within this manual, and
d) has not suffered water damage as specified by the NZTA (see paragraph 4 below), and
e) has undergone specialist inspection and certification as required by paragraphs 5 to 9 below and that the specific aspects of the vehicle have been certified.
3. Information to take into account when determining compliance of a vehicle (subclause 6.4(3) of the Rule)
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation, in making a determination, must take into account:
a) information obtained from inspecting the vehicle and associated documents, and
b) additional relevant information, if any, about the vehicle issued by a manufacturer, modifier, repairer or other relevant person of which the inspector or organisation is aware.
4. Water-damaged vehicles (clause 11.1 of the Rule)
The NZTA may, in the New Zealand Gazette, specify the extent of water damage that makes it impractical to determine by way of an inspection whether a water-damaged vehicle is safe to be operated. A vehicle having sustained water damage to the extent specified by the NZTA – whether that damage has been repaired or not – cannot be certified for entry into service in New Zealand.
5. Light vehicle repair specialist inspection and certification (subclause 6.5(1)(a) of the Rule)
Light vehicle repair specialist inspection and certification is required if a vehicle has been repaired because of, or following, significant damage or deterioration to its structure, chassis, body-to-chassis attachment, suspension or occupant protection system. See the current version of Threshold for requiring repair certification.
6. Alternative fuel system inspection and certification (subclause 6.5(1)(b) of the Rule)
Alternative fuel system inspection and certification is required if a vehicle is fitted with an alternative fuel system that is in working order.
7. Low volume vehicle specialist inspection and certification (subclause 6.5(1)(c) of the Rule)
Low volume vehicle specialist inspection and certification may be required if a vehicle is a light vehicle that, since it was manufactured, or last certified for entry, or last certified as a low volume vehicle, has been modified so as to affect its compliance with an applicable requirement.
8. Other specialist certification (subclause 6.5(1)(e) of the Rule)
Other specialist inspection and certification may be required in accordance with an applicable requirement, or as required by the NZTA.
9. Modified vehicles not requiring specialist certification (subclause 6.5(3) of the Rule)
Low volume vehicle specialist inspection and certification is not required if a modified vehicle:
a) has been inspected by a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation appointed for the purposes of entry inspection and certification in accordance with this manual and the VIRM: In-service certification and the inspector or organisation is satisfied, on reasonable grounds, that the risk of injury to any person has been minimised, or
b) was modified for the purposes of law enforcement or the provision of emergency services, that is, equipped for the attendance of fires or for ambulance duty, or is a police vehicle.
3.1.3 Performance review
1. NZ Transport Agency may monitor and review performance (subclause 3.1(1) of the Rule)
The NZTA may monitor and review the performance of a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in complying with the requirements and conditions imposed by the NZTA, including the performance of inspection and certification activities at individual sites.
2. Providing information to NZ Transport Agency (subclause 3.1(2) and (3) of the Rule)
In monitoring and reviewing performance, the NZTA may require a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation to undergo such monitoring and review, and provide such information as the NZTA reasonably considers relevant. A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must comply with a requirement from the NZTA.
3. Costs of monitoring and review (subclause 3.1(4) of the Rule)
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must bear the costs of the monitoring and reviewing of their performance in accordance with any prescribed fee.
1. Investigations (subclause 3.2(1) of the Rule)
If the NZTA has reason to believe that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with any of the conditions of their appointment, or has failed to comply with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, the NZTA may require the inspector or organisation to undergo such an investigation and to provide such information as the NZTA reasonably considers appropriate.
2. Notification of action (other than immediate suspension/imposition of conditions) (subclause 3.2(3) of the Rule)
Following an investigation and before carrying out action, the NZTA must notify the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of:
a) the action that is being considered, and
b) the reasons for the action that is being considered, and
c) the date by which submissions may be made to the NZTA in respect of the action that is being considered, which must be at least 21 days after the notice was given, and
d) where appropriate, the date on which the action that is being considered will take effect, which, unless the NZTA determines otherwise, must be at least 28 days after the notice was given.
3. Responding to a notification of action (subclause 3.2(5) of the Rule)
If a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation is notified as above, they must ensure that all information that they wish the NZTA to consider in relation to the action that is being considered is received by the NZTA within the period specified in the notice or within any further period that the NZTA may allow.
4. NZ Transport Agency must consider submissions (subclause 3.2(6) of the Rule)
The NZ Transport Agency must consider the submissions made and information supplied, and must:
a) decide whether or not to take the action that is being considered, and
b) provide written notification as soon as is practicable to the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation of:
i. the NZTA’s decision, and
ii. if appropriate, the date on which the action is to take effect, and
iii. if appropriate, the right of appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998.
5. Immediate suspension or imposing of conditions (subclause 3.3(1) of the Rule)
If the NZTA has reason to believe that a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with a condition of their appointment or with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, and that this presents a significant risk to land transport safety, the NZTA may suspend, with immediate effect, the whole or any part of the appointment, or impose any conditions on the appointment.
6. Notification of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (subclause 3.3(2) of the Rule)
Where the NZTA suspends the whole or any part of an appointment, or imposes conditions on the appointment, the NZTA must notify the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of:
a) the grounds for the suspension or imposition of conditions
b) the fact that the inspector or organisation may make submissions to the NZTA
c) the right of appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998.
7. NZ Transport Agency must consider submissions following immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (subclause 3.3(3) of the Rule)
The NZ Transport Agency must, as soon as practicable, consider any submission made and notify the inspector or inspecting organisation in writing of the result of any such consideration.
8. Duration of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (subclause 3.3(5) of the Rule)
A suspension or condition imposed remains in force until the NZTA has determined the action to be taken and that action has been taken.
9. Withdrawal of immediate suspension or imposition of conditions (subclause 3.3(4) of the Rule)
The NZ Transport Agency may at any time withdraw a suspension or an imposed condition.
10. Right of appeal (subclause 3.3(6) of the Rule)
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation may appeal under section 106 of the Land Transport Act 1998 against a decision by the NZTA to immediately suspend or impose conditions.
11. Costs of investigations (subclause 3.2(7) of the Rule)
The NZ Transport Agency may require a vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation to bear the costs associated with an investigation or remedial action in accordance with any prescribed fee.
12. Remedial action, suspension, revocation (subclause 3.2(2) of the Rule)
If, following an investigation, the NZTA is satisfied that the vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation has failed to comply with any of the conditions of their appointment, or failed to comply with the Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, the NZTA may do one or more of the following:
a) require that remedial action, such as training, be undertaken by the inspector or organisation
b) suspend the whole or any part of the appointment of the inspector or organisation for a specified period or until specified conditions are met
c) revoke the whole or any part of the appointment of the inspector or organisation.
13. Obligation to comply (subclause 3.2(8) of the Rule)
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation must comply with a requirement of the NZTA in relation to paragraphs 1, 11 and 12.
3.2 Identifying the vehicle class
Table 3-2-1 defines the vehicle classes specified in transport legislation such as Land Transport Rules and the Transport (Vehicle Standards) Regulations 1990.
A vehicle inspector or inspecting organisation can inspect and certify vehicles for entry into service only if these belong to the classes for which they have been appointed by the NZTA.
3.3 Establishing whether a vehicle requires inspection and certification for entry into service
All motor vehicles require inspection and certification for entry into service, except the following:
- vehicles of class AB, TA or TB
- armoured vehicles used exclusively as equipment of the New Zealand Defence Force
- traction engines
- mechanically propelled rollers
- tractors and machines, including trailers, for use solely in agricultural, land management or roading operations, whether for traction or otherwise
- vehicles registered for use on a road in a country other than New Zealand that are not going to be in New Zealand for a continuous period of more than 18 months
- vehicles listed below:
a) pedestrian-controlled goods service vehicles
b) vehicles propelled and supported solely by self-laying tracks
c) vehicles used on roads only in road construction zones in accordance with notices declaring those zones
d) vehicles that are used on a road only when crossing or proceeding along a section of the road where the vehicles have been authorised to operate by an authorisation of a road controlling authority that requires:
i. a written agreement by the vehicle’s operator or the person for whom the vehicle is being operated, to construct, reconstruct, maintain, or restore to the satisfaction of the road controlling authority all or part of the road used by the vehicle, and
ii. the erection and maintenance of warning devices, signs or control devices as required by the road controlling authority and the NZTA, and
iii. where the use of the road does not consist solely of the direct crossing of the road, the prior approval of the NZTA
e) all-terrain vehicles that are used on a public highway
f) motor vehicles exclusively designed and used on a road for driving, carrying or propelling any of the following, which must be permanently attached to the vehicle:
i. aerodrome runway sweepers
ii. electrical substations
iii. filters for transformer oil
iv. log haulers that are stationary when hauling logs
v. aero engine test benches
g) tractors owned by a local authority and used exclusively for the construction, maintenance or mowing of stopbanks and the banks of rivers, streams, drains, canals or other watercourses
h) mobile or movable huts, galleys or similar motor vehicles that are used on a road solely in connection with the construction or maintenance of roads
i) tractors used exclusively for shunting railway rolling stock.
j) traction engines
l) aerodrome crash fire tenders that are used on a road only in emergencies
m) trailers while being drawn by a motor vehicle specified in (m) to (s) of this schedule
n) motor vehicles, used exclusively in connection with the embarking and disembarking of ships’ passengers or for loading and unloading ships’ mails, cargo, and passengers’ baggage, and used on a public highway only when proceeding unladen from one wharf to another wharf or from its usual place of storage to a wharf and returning to that place of storage
o) motor vehicles designed exclusively or principally as part of the armament of the New Zealand Defence Force
p) cable jinkers
q) front-end loaders
r) log skidders
s) tractor cranes
t) rough-terrain cranes
u) mobile crushing and screening plant machines, which are mounted on trailers
v) motor graders
w) motor scrapers
x) trailer scrapers
y) plant for servicing oil-filled cables
z) post debarkers
aa) saw bench apparatus
bb) forestry chippers
cc) tree feller bunchers
dd) trench diggers and excavators
ee) vehicles that are always used unladen on the road and that are designed exclusively for carrying earth or other bulk materials
ff) mobile concrete mixers that are mounted on tractors
gg) a vehicle that is similar in design, construction or purpose to a vehicle listed above that cannot be categorised by vehicle class.
3.4 Establishing whether a vehicle may be inspected and certified for entry into service
A new light vehicle that requires inspection and certification for entry into service (see section 3.3) can be inspected and certified for entry into service only if:
1. the vehicle’s identity (by VIN or chassis number) can be, and has been, established without doubt
2. the VIN process has been completed – see LTSA Pre-registration procedures manual (new light vehicles).
3.5 Establishing whether a vehicle complies
To establish whether a vehicle complies:
1. Select the relevant sections in this manual that set out the requirements for the vehicle class and/or type.
2. Inspect the documentation that relates to the vehicle make, model (and sub-model) in order to determine whether the vehicle (and its components and systems) complies with approved standards as required by this manual (documentation may include a plate affixed to the vehicle).
3. Inspect the vehicle in order to determine whether the vehicle complies with the condition, performance, modification and repair requirements set out in this manual and the VIRM: In-service certification. Unless stated otherwise, equipment labelled ‘permitted’ must comply with legal requirements.
4. Where an inspecting organisation determines that a reason for rejection in either the VIRM: In-service certification or this manual applies to a vehicle, the inspecting organisation must reject the vehicle for certification for entry into service.
5. Where the inspecting organisation requires further information in order to determine compliance with a requirement, the inspecting organisation must reject the vehicle until the information has been obtained.
3.6 Inspection documentation
Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, clause 2.3.
3.6.1 Statement of compliance
The inspecting organisation must specify the standards to which a vehicle or vehicle model comply.
3.6.2 Checksheets and outcomes
126.96.36.199 Pre-delivery inspection checksheet
The inspecting organisation must complete the pre-delivery inspection checksheet as specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
188.8.131.52 WoF checksheet
The inspecting organisation must complete an NZTA-approved WoF checksheet as specified in the VIRM: In-service certification. Checksheet specification and approval application forms are available from the Vehicles Unit of the NZTA. The checksheet must be completed legibly and in full.
An inspecting organisation can determine one of two outcomes:
a) Passed inspection: Record the determination and issue a WoF label as set out below.
b) Failed inspection: Record the determination as set out below. The reasons for the failed inspection must be clearly stated.
If requested, supply a copy of the checksheet to the vehicle owner.
In cases where the LATIS system is not used, an LTSA4085(N) form is used. If, following the inspection of a vehicle and accompanying documentation, an inspecting organisation determines that the vehicle complies with all applicable requirements in this manual, the inspector must issue an LTSA4085(N) Vehicle Compliance Certificate. The inspector must complete the LTSA4085(N) form in every detail and sign it. In such cases a Transport Service Delivery Agent (TSDA) enters the details into the LTSA system.
3.7 Recording the inspection outcome (record of determination)
Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, clause 6.6.
The inspecting organisation:
- records the inspection outcome (pre-delivery inspection and WoF) in the LATIS system, either directly or using WoF Online. The record of the inspection outcome in LATIS is the record of determination, and
- enters the inspection outcome into the system before the vehicle leaves the premises of the inspecting organisation.
3.8 Issuing the WoF label (‘evidence of vehicle inspection’)
Applicable legislation: Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Standards Compliance 2002, clause 6.8 and section 9.
3.8.1 Expiry dates
Expiry date of the WoF
The WoF expiry date must be 12 months from the date of inspection for a vehicle that is less than six years from its date of manufacture.
3.8.2 Completing and affixing the WoF label
Completing the WoF label
Figure 1. Warrant of Fitness (WoF) label details
If the vehicle passes the WoF inspection, the new WoF label must be completed in the following manner:
a) Front side:
i. select the WoF label with the correct year of expiry of the WoF, and
ii. using a hole punch of at least 6mm diameter, punch out the appropriate number representing
the month of the WoF expiry date.
b) Reverse side:
i. record the name of the inspecting organisation (business stamp is acceptable), and
ii. vehicle registration number, and
iii. system authorisation number, and
iv. full expiry date of the WoF.
Each WoF label has a unique serial number printed on three places on the reverse side. The two small serial number stickers on the left are for cross-referencing of the inspection documentation. The inspecting organisation must remove both serial number stickers and attach one to the file copy of the checksheet and the other to the customer’s copy of the checksheet.
Affixing the WoF label
The WoF label must be affixed by the inspecting organisation in the following position:
a) on the inside of the windscreen facing outwards on the same side as the steering wheel, and
b) as close as possible to the edge of the windscreen where it is clearly visible from the outside and is not obscured by an antiglare band.
Not more than one WoF label may be displayed at one time. When issuing a new WoF label, the inspecting organisation must remove the existing label.
3.9 Collecting fees
Applicable legislation: Land Transport (Certification and Other Fees) Regulations 1999, Regulations 7 and 8.
3.9.1 Application for inspection and certification of vehicles for entry into service
Any fee to be paid by an applicant for inspection and certification of a vehicle for entry into service is the amount fixed by the inspecting organisation that is reasonable, having regard to:
a) the time spent in inspecting the vehicle to ascertain whether it complies with the relevant requirements, and
b) any fees payable to the NZTA, and
c) any standard or usual rate at which the inspecting organisation imposes charges for other work carried out in respect of motor vehicles.
3.9.2 Duplicate evidence of vehicle inspection
The fee to be paid by the operator of a motor vehicle to an inspecting organisation for a duplicate of an evidence of vehicle inspection is $7.70.
The vehicle distributor must demonstrate that they have procedures for the handling of customer complaints. Complaints that relate directly to the safety of the vehicle must be investigated promptly and fully and the details recorded.
Franchise dealers must maintain an effective complaints management process in accordance with the NZTA Performance review system manual that:
1. recognises the positive value of complaints
2. encourages customers to direct any complaints about vehicle safety to the inspecting organisation in the first instance
3. gives clear and concise instructions to all customers on how to register a complaint
4. includes standards for resolution and the customer’s right to appeal to the NZTA if they are dissatisfied with the proposed resolution
5. keeps records of all complaints about vehicle safety
6. acknowledges in writing all written complaints and states a proposed date of resolution
7. retains documentation of an investigation into a complaint
8. provides directions for any customer who wishes to make a complaint or appeal a decision made by an inspecting organisation, to use the NZTA freephone 0800 699 000.
Table 3-2-1. Vehicle equipment standards classifications
- 1 Vehicle identification
- 2 Standards compliance
- 3 Pre-delivery inspection
- 4 Warrant of Fitness inspection
- Technical bulletins