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Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001

This rule sets requirements aimed at protecting vehicle occupants in a frontal impact crash.

About the rule

The rule is available in consolidated format (ie, a full, up-to-date, version of the rule including all its amendments) or as the original, unamended rule with separate amendment rules. Choose the option that best suits your needs from the list below.

To access the consolidated version of the rule (available only in PDF format), click on ‘Consolidation’ below.

The electronic versions of legislation on this website, and any legislation printed from the website:

  • have no official status

  • are made available for information only and should not be relied on as the authoritative text.

About the questions and answers

Questions and answers are provided to accompany a new rule or amendment rule when it is signed. These versions of the questions and answers are not updated to take into account any later amendments to the rule and are retained for historic interest only.

Land Transport Rules - Questions & answers

Q&A for Frontal Impact Amendment Rule 2008

(Rule 32006/3)

General questions

1. What are the changes in the amendment Rule?

The amendment Rule contains changes to Land Transport Rule: Frontal Impact 2001 (the Frontal Impact Rule) to enable some vehicles that do not comply with a frontal impact standard to be brought into New Zealand and registered for use on the road, subject to specific conditions.

The amendment Rule streamlines the frontal impact compliance process for vehicles that meet these conditions when they are brought into New Zealand.

2. Which vehicles are affected by the changes?

The changes apply to vehicles in the following categories:

  • immigrants’ vehicles (which include vehicles brought in by new immigrants and New Zealand citizens and residents returning from an extended period overseas);
  • special interest vehicles (which cannot currently be operated on the road in New Zealand);
  • vehicles with a recognised motor sport card;
  • passenger vehicles of Classes MA, MB and MC that have a gross vehicle mass of more than 2.5 tonnes.

The amendment Rule removes the need for these vehicles to meet an approved frontal impact standard, subject to their meeting certain other conditions.

3. Why is the amendment Rule needed?

Currently, vehicles that are required to comply with an approved vehicle standard, but do not comply, can enter New Zealand only if the Director of Land Transport (the Director) grants an exemption from this requirement. An exemption regime, however, is intended to allow individual cases to be considered on their merits. Exemptions are not the best way of dealing with a known recurring situation such as the entry into New Zealand of these categories of vehicle. The amendment Rule allows certain vehicles (which do not meet New Zealand's frontal impact standards) to be registered for use on New Zealand roads, subject to meeting specific conditions, without the need for their owners to seek an exemption.

Aside from changes to the process for importing vehicles that do not comply with a frontal impact standard, the amendment Rule also makes necessary changes to some of the terminology and definitions in the Frontal Impact Rule as a result of changes that have been made in other legislation, including other Rules.

4. What effect will the changes have on vehicles covered by the amendment Rule?

  • Vehicles brought in by immigrants and returning New Zealand citizens and residents. The amendment is being made for people who, for personal reasons, would like to import their non-frontal impact compliant vehicle. This proposed change allows people moving to New Zealand to bring in a vehicle they have owned and operated prior to the move, subject to certain conditions. Vehicles that meet these conditions can then be registered in New Zealand without having to comply with an approved frontal impact standard.
  • Special interest vehicles. The changes will allow motoring enthusiasts to bring in vehicles that are of special interest, even if they were not manufactured to meet a frontal impact standard. Currently, only vehicles that enter New Zealand under the ‘20-year provision’ in the Frontal Impact Rule (ie, they were first registered outside New Zealand 20 years or more before first registration in New Zealand) do not have to comply with an approved frontal impact standard.
  • Motor sport vehicles. Vehicles used in motor sports are operated under conditions currently imposed by MotorSport New Zealand. Because of the nature of their use, they have additional safety features. Currently, if they were not manufactured to meet a frontal impact standard, they can only enter the fleet by way of an exemption from the Director. The amendment removes the requirement for an exemption and allows these vehicles to be operated on New Zealand roads, provided this is done under a valid recognised motor sport card.
  • Passenger vehicles over 2.5 tonnes. Passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle mass exceeding 2.5 tonnes are not required to meet a frontal impact standard in Europe and certain other countries and they are now not required to meet it under the amended Rule. This change will bring New Zealand into line with other jurisdictions.

5. What other conditions do immigrant/returning resident vehicles and special interest vehicles have to meet to be registered in New Zealand?

  • Immigrants’ vehicles. To have a vehicle identified as an immigrant’s vehicle, an applicant must:
    • be a New Zealand citizen, a New Zealand resident or a person entitled under the Immigration Act 1987 to take up permanent residence; and
    • have lived outside New Zealand for a period of not less than 21 months before the date of his or her immediate arrival or return to New Zealand; and
    • personally own the vehicle; and
    • have personally owned the vehicle, registered for personal use, in a country outside New Zealand for a period of at least one year before the applicant’s arrival in, or return to, New Zealand; and
    • never had any other vehicle identified as an immigrant's vehicle; and
    • not import the vehicle on behalf of, or for, a third party.
  • Special interest vehicles. To have a vehicle identified as a special interest vehicle, the vehicle must be a Class MA vehicle that either:
    1. the Director considers to be of historic importance; or
    2. meet at least three of the following four requirements:
      • the vehicle (or its make, model and submodel) is identified as being a collector’s item in one of the following magazines (or its respective website): Australian Classic Car Magazine, Car and Driver Magazine (US), Automobile Magazine (US); MOTOR Magazine (Australia); Motor Trend Magazine (US), New Zealand Autocar Magazine; New Zealand Classic Car Magazine; Road and Track Magazine (US); Top Gear Magazine (UK); Top Gear NZ Magazine; Unique Cars Magazine (Australia); WHEELS Magazine (Australia):
      • the vehicle’s make and model has been (or was) manufactured in annual volumes of 20,000 units or less;
      • the vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a two-door coupe or a convertible;
      • the vehicle is, and was manufactured as, a high performance vehicle.

    Additionally, the applicant must be a New Zealand citizen or resident, must not have received a special interest vehicle permit for at least two years prior to the application, and must have another car or similar vehicle for everyday use.

6. Does the amendment Rule change the requirements for registering left-hand drive vehicles?

The amended Rule does not change requirements for bringing a left-hand drive vehicles into New Zealand.

7. Do non-frontal impact compliant vehicles registered in New Zealand after the amendment Rule comes into force have to comply with all other entry requirements?

Yes, vehicles still have to comply with the general safety requirements within the Frontal Impact Rule, and also the general vehicle standards requirements for entry certification.

Once the Rule comes into force, motor sport vehicles will be excluded from the entry requirements prescribed in Land Transport Rule: Vehicle Exhaust Emissions 2007 while immigrants’ and special interest vehicles will be excluded from the requirement to meet an approved vehicle emissions standard.

8. Once a vehicle is registered in New Zealand as a special interest vehicle, are there any further conditions governing its use?

Yes, they are as follows:

  • A special interest vehicle cannot be sold or leased within four years of its registration in New Zealand, and
  • Such a vehicle cannot be used for hire or reward or in a transport service.

9. Once a vehicle is registered in New Zealand as an immigrant’s vehicle, are there any further conditions governing its use?

Yes, they are as follows:

  • An immigrant’s vehicle cannot be sold or leased within one year of its registration in New Zealand, and
  • Such a vehicle cannot be used for hire or reward or in a transport service.

10.Will New Zealand citizens/residents who brought vehicles into New Zealand, which couldn’t be registered for use in New Zealand before 8 May 2008, be able to take advantage of the new provisions?

The Rule allows applications to be made within 18 months of an applicant’s arrival in, or return to, New Zealand.

In addition, the Rule provides transitional provisions for immigrants’ vehicles where vehicles were border inspected before 8 May 2008.

11. Does the amendment Rule affect exemptions?

The Director cannot grant exemptions from any conditions for immigrants’ vehicles or special interest vehicles, including the annual quota for special interest vehicle permits.

12. What does it cost to meet the new requirements?

There is a small charge to cover the process that people wanting to register immigrants’ vehicles and special interest vehicles will be required to complete.

13. When does the amendment Rule come into force?

The amendment Rule comes into force on 8 May 2008.

14. What happens if a person, wishing to register a vehicle, doesn’t comply with the amendment Rule requirements?

  • Immigrants’ vehicles and special interest vehicles. If an individual does not comply with the Rule, their vehicle cannot be entry-certified and will not be able to be registered for use on New Zealand roads.
  • Motor sport vehicles. A vehicle that does not comply with a frontal impact standard can only be registered in New Zealand as a motor sport vehicle if a recognized motor sport card has been issued for it.

15. Is there a limit to the number of special interest vehicle permits that can be issued?

The amendment Rule restricts the Director to issuing no more than 200 special interest vehicle permits in any one calendar year.

A special interest vehicle permit that ceased to be valid in the calendar year in which it was issued will not be counted in the annual quota of 200 permits. A permit would cease to be valid if the vehicle was not inspected at the border, or certified for entry, within six months.

16. Will this amendment help reduce fatalities in head-on crashes?

It is not anticipated that the proposed changes will significantly affect the risk to safety as a result of non-compliant vehicles entering the New Zealand fleet.

17. What is the statutory basis for the amendment Rule?

The Land Transport Act 1998 (the Act) provides for the Minister of Transport to make land transport rules that govern the safety and licensing of vehicles.

Section 155(a) and (b) of the Act states that Rules may set out standards and requirements concerning vehicles, including their construction, repair, maintenance, modification, and requirements concerning systems, components, devices, fittings, or equipment to be incorporated in the construction of, fitted to, or carried in or on motor vehicles, or to be used by the driver or any other person.

18. How can I obtain a copy of the amendment Rule?

Final rules are available on our website(external link).

A copy of the final amendment Rule will be available for purchase from selected bookshops that sell legislation or direct from the Rule printers and distributors, Wickliffe Limited, telephone (06) 358 8231. 

19. How can I obtain further information about the amendments?

Further information about the amendment Rule can be obtained by calling the NZ Transport Agency Contact Centre on freephone 0800 699 000.


 

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