ACCESS TO TECHNICAL INFORMATION
IKA-study: COMP/F – 2/2003/26/SI2.371920
The European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition, has launched a study on “Access to Technical Information”, a study performed by IKA- Aachen.
The study focuses especially on the need of garages and workshops, and EGARA, representing the European Automotive Recyclers feels, that our needs in that respect seems to have been forgotten by the Commission and IKA.
The full study can be found at:
Reacting upon the Commission’s wish for comments, EGARA has forwarded the letter shown on the following pages.
Directorate General for Competition
Greffe Antitrust – IKA Study
Subject: IKA-study on Access to Technical Information
COMP/F – 2/2003/26/SI2.371920
EGARA – European Group of Automotive Recycling Association –the European umbrella association of National Associations represents the professional and environment conscious vehicle dismantlers in: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK has carefully studied the above referenced report.
(Further information about EGARA can be found at our web-site: www.egaranet.org)
In this context we wish to point out, that it seems as if our sector – and our needs for technical information – has not been considered in the study, a fact we regret.
As you are probably well aware of, the Directive on end-of-life vehicles (elvs) (2000/53/EC) quite clearly states:
In Article 7.1 (Reuse and recovery)
Member States shall take the necessary measures to encourage the reuse of components which are suitable for reuse, the recovery of components which cannot be reused and the giving of preference to recycling when environmentally viable, without prejudice to requirements regarding the safety of vehicles and environmental requirements such as air emissions and noise control.
In Article 8.1 (Coding standards/dismantling information)
Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that producers, in concert with material and equipment manufacturers, use component and material coding standards, in particular to facilitate the identification of those components and materials which are suitable for reuse and recovery.
In Article 8.4 (Coding standards/dismantling information)
Without prejudice to commercial and industrial confidentiality, Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that manufacturers of components used in vehicles make available to authorised treatment facilities, as far as it is requested by these facilities, appropriate information concerning dismantling, storage and testing of components which can be reused.
In our opinion it follows from these Articles, that we, the Dismantlers/Authorised Treatment Facilities should be granted access to the same technical information provided to other “down-stream” partners in the automotive sector.
Some of this information is readily available and is made available to us, partly through the IDIS (International Dismantling Information System) – the car-producers’ response to requirement concerning dismantling information – as well as we can get technical information from the independent providers of such information, and with respect to that, we do envisage the same problems as independent repair workshops, as they are pointed out in the study report.
Especially concerning electronic coding of parts and components, and information for diagnostic tools, we perhaps envisage even more problems than the repair workshops.
More and more we see the use of electronic coding of components and spare parts, which in fact leads to that a particular component or spare part cab only be used for the particular vehicle from which it stems, unless it is decoded and recoded and the particular information for doing this is only available at the producers’ – and even not the “authorised” dealers are in position of the relevant information.
This in fact means that re-use is impossible, which, as we see it, is a clear violation of the elv-directive and the Commission Regulation 1400/2002 – Group Exemption.
Concerning information for diagnostic tools
According to the elv-directive, re-use should be encouraged, but at the same time on the condition, that re-used components should not create hazards with respect to traffic security or environment. (Article 7 of elv-directive).
If we do not have access to the required diagnostics information, it is impossible to guarantee this – which leads to less re-use and as such is a violation of the elv-directive.
Recommendation to DG Competition
Seen in the light of the above comments, EGARA strongly recommends DG Competition in its further work on ameliorating access to technical information from producers, notable the further study for which a call for tenders has recently been launched (16.09.04 – Document 134562-2004: Assessment of possible legislation on Internet-assisted electronic information for vehicle repairs) to bring our viewpoints into the study.
Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you need further information.