Ireland's Publication for the refinishing & associated Industries

European Commission plans to extend Block Exemption Regulations

The European Commission is proposing to extend the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MVBER) until 2028 and revise slightly the accompanying guidelines, following a review process, the IAAF has said.

The five-year extension means the regulation would expire on May 31, 2028.

According to the a statement from the Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation, the European Commission will be consulting stakeholders on the draft rules in the second quarter of 2022, and the final adoption is foreseen in the second quarter of 2023.

Chief executive of the IAAF Mark Field welcomed the news of an extension, and said the organisation will call for “greater enforcement of the regulations”.

“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,” Mr Field said.

He added: “This is not in the spirit 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.”

The IAAF said back in October 2020 that scrapping the MVBER in May 2023 would set the automotive aftermarket “back decades”, and would “increase the vehicle manufacturers monopoly of the aftermarket, threatening the very existence of the independent aftermarket”, including here in Ireland.

The organisation also said in October 2020 that the European Motor Vehicle Block Exemptions “are the envy of many automotive industries around the world, who see first-hand the detriment to consumer choice through a lack of regulation and safeguards for the IAM”.