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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/road-vehicle-authorised-weight-regulations-2017-amendments/road-vehicles-authorised-weight-and-construction-and-use-amendment-regulations-2017-clarification-overview
The Road Vehicles (Authorised Weight) and (Construction and Use) (Amendment) Regulations 2017 encourages use of environmentally-friendly fuels in:
and improves the:
of passenger and goods vehicle haulage.
It also creates the requirement for a shipper statement of weight from senders or consignors.
Alternative (low carbon) fuels incentivising
The regulations allow additional weight amounts for certain buses and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) to encourage the use of alternative low carbon fuels to propel the vehicle. The vehicles will maintain a similar payload compared to a conventional vehicle.
Two axle buses
For 2 axle buses a maximum of 19.5 tonnes is permitted, regardless of fuel system. Great Britain operators hoping to increase the maximum permitted weight of existing fleet vehicles must submit a notifiable alteration (VTP 5) form to DVSA. The technical record for the vehicle will be updated providing there is sufficient:
- design capacity
- axle spacing
for the alteration.
Successful operators must obtain a new manufacturer’s plate from the manufacturer, indicating the vehicle can operate at 19.5 tonnes. This is checked in the notifiable alteration process.
Heavy goods vehicles
Heavy goods vehicles are permitted an extra, maximum 1 tonne, allowance if the weight of fuel tanks or batteries exceeds the weight of the corresponding conventional vehicle components.
This legislation only applies to:
- two-axle rigid vehicles of 18 tonnes
- three-axle rigid vehicles of 26 tonnes
The additional allowance will not apply to gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 44 tonne trucks and the current maximum weight in the UK will remain at 44 tonnes. New vehicles that qualify for extra weight will have this allocated at the time of type approval, prior to registration.
For buses already in service, DVSA will handle any request to operate at 19.5 tonnes via the existing notifiable alterations process (VTP5). This alteration is only possible when a bus has the technical capacity require for:
- axle weights
Buses operating only on domestic journeys will not be obliged to take up the additional allowance.
The allowance is not available to HGVs that are fitted with alternative fuel systems after registration. Further information on how type approval will be applied to HGVs with additional weigh is available from the Vehicle Certification Agency or your type approval authority.
Transport of 45 foot ISO Containers
The regulations regularise the transport of 45 foot ISO containers by allowing an extra 15 centimetres for trailers transporting these containers. The regulation only applies to trailers whilst transporting the containers and not on any other journey.
Eliminating the need for vehicle special orders (VSO) for new hydrogen and liquefied natural gas (LNG) vehicles
New vehicles intended by the manufacturer to operate on:
- liquefied natural gas
- natural gas-fuelled vehicles
Requirements for retro-fitted installations are not changing, with retro-fitted:
- hydrogen vehicles still requiring a VSO
- natural gas still requiring either a VSO or Schedule 12 of the Road Vehicles (Authorisation of Special Types)(General) Order 2003
Shipper statement of weight
The regulations create a requirement for:
to provide hauliers, prior to the vehicle leaving the depot, with a statement of weight to prevent them from carrying heavier loads than are legally permitted. This is to reassure hauliers that the:
- swap body
does not exceed maximum legal weight capacity and clarifies legal responsibilities in the event of roadside inspection.
The maximum legal weight capacity is not the same as the required verified gross mass (‘VGM’) for export containers under SOLAS (International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea) rules and does not need:
- independent verification of process by a third party,
- to have the vehicle and load weighed at a certified weighbridge
The VGM for an import container under SOLAS rules will be accepted as a shipper statement of weight.
The shipper or sender is free to decide what format the statement of weight will take. No standard or additional process currently exists and existing contractual or other business information will be deemed sufficient provided the weight of the loaded container is included.
All arrangements must comply with domestic regulation on maximum loading weights.
A statement of weight:
- is required for the domestic leg of an international export journey, where the container is bound for an ocean-going journey aboard a container ship. Shippers accredited to use Method 2 to produce a VGM will be deemed compliant if they provide the VGM to the road haulier
- can be supplied by shippers with weighing facilities on site provided the haulier is presented with the accurate VGM
- is required for any containers exported on ro-ro vessels for short international journeys
- is required for containers imported via ro-ro vessels at the point of origin, prior to this point these are EU imports and not covered by SOLAS regulations
- is required for domestic journeys of containers and swap body road vehicles
- is not needed for empty containers and you should instead refer to MSC Circular 1475 paragraph 12.1. “Stakeholders are not required to weigh empty containers, but are encouraged to have robust processes in place to ensure that containers presented as empty are in fact empty” with dirty tank containers needing to be weighed and VGM provided
The requirement to have a shipper statement of weight will be enforced by DVSA within the existing roadside check system. Hauliers will be expected to provide the statement of weight to the enforcement officer on request. Failure to do so may result in the vehicle being deemed non-compliant and subject to a prohibition until the statement is provided.