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What is ESC?
Electronic Stability Control

On 10 July 2014 Minister Woodhouse announced an amendment to the Land Transport Rule:

Light vehicle Brakes 2002, mandating electronic stability control for light vehicles entering the fleet.

What this means is that in four stages, over the following six years, each and every light vehicle entering New Zealand must have Electronic Stability Control fitted and functioning.  

Vehicles coming into New Zealand will be required to have ESC as follows:

  • all new class MA, MB, MC and NA light passenger and goods vehicles certified for entry into service
    • from 1 July 2015
  • used class MC vehicles (four-wheel-drive SUVs and off-road vehicles) inspected at the border from
    • 1 March 2016
  • used class MA vehicles (passenger cars) with engine capacity greater than 2 litres inspected at the border from
    • 1 March 2018
  • all other used class MA, MB and NA light passenger and goods vehicles inspected at the border from
    • 1 March 2020
The requirement to have ESC will not apply to some specialist vehicles, such as vintage, motorsport and scratch-built vehicles. This is consistent with other Land Transport Rules.

Thus, from 1 March 2020 all used imports to New Zealand must have ESC fitted and functiong. This will limit the supply of older used vehicles from Japan to the higher spec models, as mandatory ESC was not introduced in Japan until 2014.
Thus imports of vehicles older than 6~7 years will be restricted to those few models that had ESC installed prior to that time.

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