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Technical bulletins

5 Threshold for lifting border damage flag

Reference material

This bulletin explains the threshold a repair certifier must use to determine whether or not a light vehicle may have a border damage flag lifted once the vehicle has been repaired in accordance with the requirements of the light vehicle repair VIRM and a LT308 issued. This procedure must be read in conjunction with the requirements of the light vehicle repair VIRM when assessing vehicle structural integrity.

Applicable legislation

A repair to a vehicle (including its structure, systems, components or equipment) must restore the damage or wear to within safe tolerance of its state when manufactured or modified.

Criteria for border damage flag lifting

Before a vehicle can be considered for border damage flag lifting it must meet the threshold for repair certification as required in Technical bulletin 4 and have been presented to a TSD agent for entry certification and if applicable have a VIN issued and affixed.

Types of repairs that are eligible for border check damage flag removal

Structural repairs
Single panel structural repairs

This means only one structural panel being repaired or replaced. This enables sill repairs, replacement of the outer guard, H/L support panel, rear dog legs, etc to be replaced. A single panel structural repair would in no way affect the chassis alignment of the vehicle. A trammel bar measurement and four-wheel alignment must be carried out as required by section 8-1.

Section 9-4 in terms of component protection also applies to any repairs.

Corrosion damage

Corrosion damage to a structural area where there are no signs of major pitting, swelling or any holes are evident.

Note 1

For the purpose of this threshold, corrosion damage includes any signs of ‘rust bleed’. Rust bleed is a rust coloured stain or mark that appears around an area of corrosion that may not be visible. Rust bleed is most commonly found where panels join or overlap when corrosion has started between the two surfaces and moisture has caused a rust stain or mark to run into the external surface.

All areas affected by corrosion must under go a clean and treat process (Note 2).

Note 2

For the purpose of this threshold, clean and treat is defined in the following steps:

1. Abrasive blasting of the affected area, and
2. Affected area coated in rust neutraliser, and
3. Application of a two pack epoxy primer to the affected areas , and
4. Application of final protective coatings, and
5. Application of cavity wax to interior and seams of all affected box sections.

Types of repairs that are not eligible for border check flag removal

Structural repairs

1. Any repair that has affected the chassis alignment of a vehicle and requires 3D chassis alignment, or

2. Damage to multiple panels whether the structural integrity and/or chassis alignment of the vehicle been affected or not (excluding purely cosmetic damage such as hail or vandalism).

Corrosion damage

Any perforated corrosion in a structural area where the metal is corroded to the extent that it has holes, or holes are exposed when rust scale is removed. If metal is badly pitted causing a loss of metal thickness, it must also be treated as perforated corrosion.

Any vehicle with rust heave or swelling that will require removal of any original panel or part of panel in order for an area to be patched.

Water or fire damage

No vehicle with water or fire damage may have the damage flag lifted, the normal process as set out in section 9-1 applies.

SRS components

A damage flag will not be lifted if a SRS component has been deployed.

Flag lifting process

Once the repair certifier has issued a LT308 to a vehicle, the entry certifier must fill out the Request to remove border damage flag – light vehicles form and fax this along with a copy of pages 1 and 4 of the LT308 to:

Vehicle Certifiers Register
Palmerston North Office
NZ Transport Agency
Fax: 06 953 6282


As a repair certifier you will be determining that a vehicle meets this threshold for the lifting of a border damage flag and as such you are required to keep a complete vehicle file which must include photos of but not limited to:

1. damage before repairs have started, and
2. the completed repair before filler and paint application, and
3. the finished repair.

If there are any inconsistencies between what has been flagged as damage and what appears on the vehicle, ie damage flag for damage to L/R dog leg but no damage is found, you must contactthe Transport Agency on 0800 804 580 (press 4, for Inspection and pre-registration) or with the vehicles VIN/chassis number and request the border check damage photo.

Page amended 10 April 2017 (see amendment details).