FAQ Light-duty EU

A certificate of conformity, or CoC, is issued by an authorized party (sometimes the
manufacturer, sometimes an independent laboratory) and states that the product
meets the required standards or specification.

The CoC can either be requested by a buyer to ensure the product being
manufactured has been tested and passes the set criteria within a specification and
meets both technical and safety requirements, or it would be a mandatory
requirement as stated by country regulations and law for certain products, such as
Blue Tooth devices being sold in the USA.

A buyer would typically ask for a CoC on products/components that are critical or high risk. And, in some cases, specific documents are required for certification or to show the end user/customer, that the product is safe. Let’s take an example. An airline buys fan blades for their planes’ engines. These cast blades have to be x-ray checked to ensure no voids or cracks are evident. A defect can lead to a failure that might result in loss of life. Therefore, a CoC (whereby the blade manufacturer writes that the blades conform to specific checklists) must be provided.

In some cases, it has to be provided for EVERY part with its own serial number. In other cases, batch CoC would be good enough.

Certain countries request a CoC for certain categories of imported products.
The CoC is sometimes called Certificate of Conformance or Certificate of Compliance. It is generanspected during customs clearance if the product being imported requires it. Without a CoC, products may be impounded, confiscated, and in some case destroyed.
The main reason a CoC is required at customs is to prove a product that the product being imported meets the required standard(s).

Elements that should be included in a CoC are:
1. Product identification
Description of the product covered in the CoC
2. List of all safety regulations the product must pass
The CoC must clearly list each of the safety regulations the product must be tested for
3. Importer or manufacturer’s identification Provide the name, full mailing address, and telephone number of the importer or U.S. domestic manufacturer certifying the product.
4. Contact information for the individual maintaining records of test results:
Provide the name, full mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of the person maintaining test records in support of the certification.
5. Date and place where the product was manufactured
At last the month and year should be shown and the city, state, and country needs to be shown.
6. Provide the date(s) and place when the product was tested for compliance with the consumer product safety rule(s) cited above: Provide the location(s) of the testing and the date(s) of the test(s) or test report(s) on which certification is being based.
7. Identification of any third-party laboratory on who’s testing the certificate depends: The certifier must provide the name, full mailing address, and telephone number of the third-party laboratory.

The Certificate of Conformity (COC) is a document proving that the produced
type of vehicle at the time of its production fulfils all the technical requirements needed for EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EC-WVTA). A vehicle with a COC is homologated for the EU and this certificate is valid in all EU Member States. This means that with a COC you can register your car anywhere in the EU.

Every Member State of the European Union is obliged to accept all vehicles
accompanied with a COC and covered by a EC-WVTA granted by one of the
European Union Member States (what is referred to as the European
homologation). The COC document contains vehicle identification data (Make, Type-Variant-Version, Commercial Name, VIN), name of the vehicle
manufacturer, number of the EC Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EC-WVTA),
vehicle specifications/characteristics (dimensions, masses, capacities, colour) and official test results of Noise, Exhaust Emissions and Fuel Consumption testing according EU standards.

Type approvals for passenger cars, tractors, motorbikes and mopeds have now been completely harmonized within the European Union. This means that when a manufacturer has received such an approval of the model, this then applies in all EU countries.

From and including 1 January 1998, all new vehicles that are registered for the first time must have a type approval according to the base Directive 70/156/EEC, later amended by Directive 2001/116/EC. Vehicles with EC type approval usually have a model year of 1995 or later. A vehicle with an EC type approval is supplied with a manufacturer’s plate that contains the vehicle’s approval number, for instance 98/140004*01. Furthermore, the manufacturer will certify with a CoC (Certificate of Conformity) that the vehicle is covered by an EU type approval.

A ‘CoC’ is required if the vehicle is new and has not been registered in its country of origin. This is a document in which the manufacturer certifies that the vehicle is covered by an EU type approval. A CoC vehicle must also have a manufacturer’s plate indicating that the vehicle is covered by an EU type approval. This plate is usually found under the bonnet and will include the vehicles approval number and the vehicles identification number (chassis number).
If the vehicle is new, no technical check of the vehicle will be made at the registration inspection. On the other hand, the vehicle and document will be identified.

Is the vehicle used and is there a CoC? If so, the CoC may be used to verify that the technical and environmental requirements have been met. However, some technical checks are made besides an identification of the vehicle and document. This applies to both private individuals and professional importers

A registration certificate from the previous country is now sufficient to show that the vehicle meets Swedish safety requirements.
The registration certificate or corresponding document must have been issued in an EEA country. This applies to series produced vehicles of a standard design with a total weight of no more than 3 500 kg that are or have been registered and approved in another EEA country and that have been used in this country.
If there is no valid CoC, but a type approval is shown by the registration document and manufacturer’s plate on the vehicle, the vehicle is approved without having to apply the Swedish Transport Agency’s exemption for own use.
The same applies if there is a valid CoC, regardless of whether the vehicle has previously been registered in another EU country or whether the vehicle is new or used. There is no restriction on the number of vehicles that may be brought in. The vehicle must be in its original design and correspond with the documents provided. This applies to both private individuals and professional importers.

Glossary and definitions

A Certificate or several certificates are necessary physical or digital document(s) verifying that your product fulfills the required testing according to relevant legislation. Retrieving certificate(s) are necessary requirements to put you product on the relevant market, however is not in itself a sufficient proof that you are compliant. A Certificate approves that you at one point in time fulfilled some necessary requirements.

Homologation is a summarizing word for the whole work process and approval of all necessary certificates and approvals you need to put your product on the market and to reach the end-customer. The word is more used for light-duty vehicles than for other vehicles/engines.


Compliance we like to see as the full legal scope of which retrieving certificate(s) at a given point in time is a subpart. The scope of compliance in vehicle/engine legislation is extensive and affects most roles and processes at your company. To be compliant is an constantly on-going work and something you need to strive for. For any change you do associated with your product, ask yourself if and what the legal impact is and adjust accordingly.

Depending on product and its markets legal setup the “authority” can differ. By authority we mean the legal entity that has the mandate to issue a certificate. In some cases it can be a real governmental authority, in other cases the issuer can be “technical services”, “notified bodies” etc. that acts on behalf of governmental institutions.

Although known by different names in legislation, all legal requirements include demands that you as a manufacturer need to keep track of your production and verify that the manufactured product still conforms in every aspect with that specific vehicle/engine that you as a manufacturer at one given point in time tested a got issued one or several certificates for.

Further, these requirements more generally requires that you as a manufacturer have some kind of implemented quality system connected to your production site(s).

The time frame that the legal requirements says that your engine/vehicle should last for, both in terms of emission and mechanical parts in itself. This might or might not be connected to mandatory warranty requirements.

As a complement to emission testing performed on a relative new engine/vehicle, most legislation require that you as a manufacturer show proof that your vehicle/engine can withhold its emission and have mechanical parts that can endure during the full Useful Life. This results in that the manufacture need to perform long-term testing on the engine/vehicle prior to normal authority witnessed certification to get deterioration factors. Depending on legislation, the time needed to test the engine is somewhere between 20-50% of the Useful Life. These deterioration factors are then either added or multiplied to the emission results on a newly manufactured engine/vehicle.

This is testing on an engine/vehicle in its intended application performing its normal work, i.e. not connected to laboratory testing and pre-known test cycles. Depending on market and product, there can either be demand on you as a manufacturer to perform this yourself and regularly report the results to the authorities, or it is something that the authorities can use a spot-test to verify that your engines are compliant. Emission limits from in-use /in-service testing are usually higher than from laboratory duty cycle testing.


Auxiliary Emission System/Control Device is a definition describing when your engine deviates from its base engine strategy/control device (BES/BECD). It means that your engine is temporarily following an alternative control as an result of a specific reason and with the intention to save the engine, vehicle or the user of the engine. Examples of the need to use an AES/AECD is during start up of engine, during regeneration or during high altitude operation. As a manufacturer you need to fully declare each AECS/AECD you have, justify why it is needed and how it works. It is up to the authority to approve your AES/AECD.


A Defeat Device is an alternative engine control that is used instead of the BES/BECD for which your engine/vehicle has been approved for.

Note that any AES/AECD that has not been presented and approved by the authority, automatically falls under Defeat Device.

Defeat Device are strictly prohibited in any legislation.

Get in touch with us

We are glad to help. Contact us at CerCo Consulting and we will  find the optimal solution for you.