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4 Technical bulletins

29 Declaration for supplementary restraint system, anti-lock braking system and ESC system inspections

Vehicle inspection requirements manual references

This bulletin gives guidance to vehicle inspectors in applying the following requirements in the VIRM: Entry certification:


This document applies to vehicles that require diagnostic checks on electronic control systems during entry certification, for faults identified in the entry or in-service requirements.

Safety concerns

The growing trend towards electronic control of safety-related systems in vehicles means that the repair and re-instatement of electronic control systems is increasingly important. However, specialist equipment and knowledge is required to interrogate the electronic control systems of the various makes and models of vehicles in New Zealand’s fleet. It is important that a vehicle inspector has confidence in any given electronic control system diagnosis.

When the declaration is required
  • When the warning lamp on SRS, ABS and ESC systems illuminates it indicates a fault. Once the fault has been rectified an SRS/ABS/ESC declaration must be supplied by a person listed in 'Inspection requirements' below.
  • If the vehicle is flagged at the border as damaged for warning lamp, and SRS/ABS/ESC declaration must be obtained to remove the flag.
Inspection requirements

Diagnostic checks on electronic control systems, such as supplementary restraint systems (SRS), anti-lock braking systems (ABS) or electronic stability control (ESC) must be carried out by one of the following:

a) The manufacturer of the vehicle or the component, or an approved representative proven to be competent in the use of suitable interrogation equipment.

b) A person or company recognised as reputable and competent by the vehicle inspector, and trained in the interrogation of automotive electronic control systems. This person/company must be proven to have access to and be competent in the use of suitable interrogation equipment.

c) An entry certifier or border entry certifier, trained in the interrogation of automotive electronic control systems, working under an Transport Agency-approved standard operating procedure (Note 1).

A Declaration form for ABS, SRS and/or ESC inspections must be completed by the person/company carrying out a diagnostic check on an automotive electronic control system.
A copy of the declaration must be retained with the vehicle file.

Note 1

A Transport Agency-approved standard operating procedure is developed by the entry certifier and assessed by the Transport Agency to see if it meets requirements including safety and other risk mitigation. For further information on developing a standard operating procedure contact the Transport Agency Vehicles team at

Additional contents

Page amended 1 April 2020 (see amendment details).