The UK government has confirmed it will review the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MVBER) ahead of their expiration on 31 May 2023.
Britain retained the European MVBER following the transition period after it left the European Union. This block exemption sets out automatic exemptions for certain categories of agreements related to the purchase, sale, and resale of aftermarket parts for vehicles, and the provision of repair and maintenance services. It is crucial for the independent aftermarket that this remains.
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) will review UK MVBER to see if it meets its intended purpose. This will take into account specific features of the UK economy, serving interests of UK businesses and consumers, as well as considering the impact of recent development in technology and industry business models.
The CMA’s review will also include assessing the European Commission guidelines that accompany the existing MVBER, namely the supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts.
European MVBER findings
As part of its review, the CMA will look at the findings of the European Commission’s review into MVBER. This was announced in December 2018 and concluded in May last year. The Commission found that the regulations remained useful and relavent for stakeholders, but its effectiveness and coherence could be improved upon.
The CMA plans to consult on its proposed recommendation in late spring/early summer of 2022, with a potential recommendation to the Secretary of State following around late summer of this year. If you have any queries regarding the review, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, UK AFCAR was formed to lobby the government on behalf of the aftermarket, with Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations at the top of the agenda. The group comprises of the Association of Bodyshop Professionals (ABP), the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) and the UK Lubricants Association (UKLA). A representative from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) will also attend meetings on behalf of aftermarket members.
Commercial organisations include the AA, Alliance Automotive Group (AAG), Halfords, LKQ Euro Car Parts, Kwik-Fit and the RAC.
“The coming together of such a wide group of trade associations and businesses underlines what’s at stake for the automotive aftermarket,” said Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive.
“Independent access to information, an effective parts supply chain, competition and a vibrant Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) landscape are critical to keeping millions of vehicles roadworthy and ensures the consumer benefits from choice and affordable mobility.”