The MSA have published (MSA Extra Jan 2017) the following which gives the official position on ROPS. With thanks to MSA and acknowledgement of their copyright we repeat it verbatim.
This guidance sets out to clarify the ROPS requirements for Single-Seater Racing Cars competing in Circuit Racing and Speed Events (Sprints and Hill Climbs).
What is a Single-Seater Racing Car?
A Single-Seater Racing Car is defined in Section (B), Nomenclature and Definitions, of the MSA Yearbook.
What regulations apply to my vehicle?
This is quite a complex answer as there are a number of different applicable regulations which have been amended over time. In principle, if the ROPS complied with relevant regulations at the time it was built, then it will remain acceptable today. ROPS on Single-Seater Racing Cars will have had to comply with one of the following sets of regulations to be eligible to compete in MSA National events (i.e. all events run under MSA National A, National B and Clubman permits);
MSA Yearbook Regulations
The MSA currently offers two levels of certification;
(1) National which is valid for any MSA National events and (2) International which is recognised as valid
for any event worldwide held under FIA regulations. The National certification is relatively recent and the majority of MSA certificates issued prior to 2009 are valid internationally.
FIA Appendix J
FIA Formula Regulations
Do I need a ROPS certificate to present at Scrutineering?
If your ROPS is built to comply with the relevant MSA Yearbook regulations, FIA Appendix J regulations or certain FIA Formula regulations then no certification is required.
To obtain an official copy of a certificate for a ROPS certified prior to 2008, please contact the MSA Sales department. For ROPS certified from 2008 onwards you will need to contact the ROPS manufacturer, they will be able to supply you with an official copy including an installation certificate unique to your vehicle.
How do I find out if my ROPS is certified?
There are a few ways to find out, firstly any certified ROPS manufactured after 1st January 1997 is required to have an identity plate permanently a fixed to the ROPS. From around 2008 this plate will detail the certification number. If the identity plate does not detail the certificate number, then you can contact the MSA Technical Department and we can check for you.
Another way to find out would be to contact the vehicle or ROPS manufacturer, who will be able to tell you if the ROPS was certified. Or again, you can contact the MSA Technical Department and we can check for you.
What do I do if my ROPS does not comply?
If you have found that your vehicle does not comply with the relevant regulations and no certification exists, or it is certified but has been modified from its certified form, then your vehicle may not be eligible for MSA National Events. In this situation the ROPS manufacturer may be able to certify the ROPS, the manufacturer can contact the MSA Technical Department for more information on how to do this. If certification cannot be achieved then the ROPS may need to be replaced, updated or modified to be compliant with the regulations.
The MSA release ends here.
Russ Giles asked the MSA several questions which were detailed here.