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Vehicles

Road Vehicle Standards legislation

A new era for road vehicle regulation in Australia started on 1 July 2021 when the Road Vehicle Standards Act 2018 (RVSA) replaced the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA).

The operational aspects of the RVSA are contained in the Road Vehicle Standards Rules 2019 (the Rules). The RVSA, the Rules and other related legislation are collectively referred to as the RVS legislation.

The RVS framework represents the biggest legislative overhaul of road vehicle regulation in more than 30 years and sets nationally consistent standards suited to the 21st century.

A 12-month transitional period began on 1 July 2021, where some MVSA approvals will continue to remain in force to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulatory framework.

The Australian Government has implemented the new RVS legislation to support the safety, environmental and anti-theft performance of all road vehicles being provided to the Australian market for the first time—both new and used.

The department administers the RVS legislation and develops and implements national road vehicle standards as part of the regulation of new and used vehicles before they can be provided to the market for the first time in Australia.

The department undertakes compliance and safety investigation activities to ensure vehicles meet minimum safety and environmental standards that maintain the safest possible environment for the community.

Please visit the Road Vehicle Standards laws page for more information, including latest news and updates.

  • To ensure vehicles on our roads are safe, secure and environmentally-friendly, the Road Vehicle Standards (RVS) laws established a new regulatory framework for road vehicle importers and manufacturers when they replaced the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989 (MVSA) on 1 July 2021.

  • Before importing a road vehicle into Australia you must obtain an approval to import the vehicle from the department.

  • This page provides members of the public, industry and other regulators with the opportunity to report potential vehicle safety issues, as well as possible non-compliance with the RVS legislation.

  • The department’s online IT system, ROVER, integrates all activities and approvals under the RVS legislation. During the 12-month transitional period (1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022) some MVSA portals are still available.

  • The department is responsible for managing policy and standards development on vehicle safety, emissions, vehicle noise and fuel consumption labelling.

  • This page provides information for consumers, manufacturers and suppliers in relation to the department’s involvement in road vehicle recalls.

  • The department takes a risk-based approach to managing compliance with the RVS legislation and the Australian Design Rules (ADRs).

  • The Australian Government maintains jurisdiction over road vehicles up to the point of first supply to the Australian market (i.e. manufacture or importation).

  • This page provides links to general information on the old MVSA legislation and regulations and more.

  • Until 1 July 2021 when it was replaced by the RVSA, the MVSA set vehicle standards for all new vehicles entering the Australian market and regulated the supply of used vehicles to the market.