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Parliamentary question

Publication date: 29 April 2009

ORAL QUESTION for Question Time at the part-session in April 2009 pursuant to Rule 109 of the Rules of Procedure by Jim Allister to the Commission

Subject: Block Exemption Regulation 

What kind of impact assessment has been conducted of the implications of the abolition of the Block Exemption Regulation (1400/2002(1)) for motorists and car repair agencies? In particular, will the latter face additional costs as a result of more restricted access to information and supplies, which could be monopolised by larger players?

(1) OJ L 203, 1.8.2002, p. 30.


Reply to oral question by Mr Allister

The Commission adopted an Evaluation Report on the motor vehicle block exemption Regulation[2] in May 2008. In this report, the Commission underlined that access to technical information and alternative sources of spare parts are essential for independent repairers to compete with authorised dealer networks. We believe competition in the automotive aftermarket is essential for ensuring consumer choice and reliable repair services at affordable prices.

The Commission is currently reviewing several options, and is taking into account views expressed in a public consultation we have conducted, and we are ready to ensure an appropriate regime for motor vehicle distribution and servicing remains in place once the current Block Exemption expires in May 2010.

No decision about the Commission's preferred policy has been taken yet. However, any future framework should safeguard repairers' access to technical information and to alternative sources of spare parts.

It should also be noted that notwithstanding the future policy in the competition framework, detailed provisions on access to information for independent operators are introduced by Regulations 715/2007 and 692/2008 on the type-approval of Euro 5 and Euro 6 light-duty vehicles. Euro VI legislation on the type-approval of heavy-duty vehicles, currently in the final stage of adoption by the Council, imposes similar requirements, for which the Commission is preparing implementing legislation.

[2] Evaluation Report on the Operation of Regulation (EC) n° 1400/2002 concerning motor vehicle distribution and servicing

Source: The European Parliament

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