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EU Commission could extend Block Exemption

The European Commission is proposing to extend the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) until 2028, following a review process.

The five-year extension will also see a slight revision of the accompanying guidelines. The Commission will be consulting stakeholders on the draft rules in the second quarter of this year, with a further twelve months until adoption. This would coincide with the current ending of MVBER, scheduled for May 2023.

Therefore, attention must now turn to the UK. Following the completion of Brexit, the country no longer takes its regulations directly from the European Commission, but applies its own. While many updated papers follow along the same lines as those of Europe, there are opportunities for the UK Government to stray away down its own path, with either positive, or negative, consequences. Just like in Europe, the UK version of MVBER expires on 31 May 2023. 

The recently formed UK AFCAR is gathering increasing evidence that demonstrates Vehicle Manufacturers (VMs) and their authorised networks are ‘misinterpreting’ current Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations

Prevention of access

The new UK automotive lobbying group, comprising automotive trade associations and commercial organisations, will call for the UK MVBER to be modernised, in-line with technical and digital enhancements within the modern motor vehicle.

In recent months, UK AFCAR has received information on the prevention of access to technical information for independent garages, and also an unwillingness to investigate customer issues, once the vehicle has been worked on by the independent aftermarket within the warranty period.

“We welcome the news from the European Commission and will lobby the UK government to follow suit,” Said Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive. “We shall also call for greater enforcement of the regulations as the reality is that there is a lack of understanding on the interpretation of the legislation, with many issues falling into ‘grey areas’ or being applied incorrectly. 

“This is not in the spirt of the legislation and co-operation needs to happen so that motorists can continue to access local and affordable independent garages that have access to the right parts, tools and technical information. 

“Lack of co-operation, prevention of access and unreasonable costs all place additional barriers and burdens on the aftermarket in its position as the leading provider to motorists for service, repair and maintenance of vehicles. Ultimately, the motorist loses out and we will make this clear to government through our work as part of UK AFCAR.” 

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