Lawrence Bleasdale, IAAF board and council member, has warned the industry not to underestimate the importance of the Block Exemption Regulations, due to expire in May 2023, calling it “central to ensuring a level playing field in the automotive aftermarket.”
“The Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) needs to be maintained and modernised. It is the central piece of legislation ensuring a certain level playing field for competition in the automotive aftermarket between independent operators and vehicle manufacturers and their authorised networks.”
The European Commission recently launched the public consultation to evaluate the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation.
This is a very important exercise as the European Commission will be basing its decision on, amongst other things, the outcome of this consultation as to whether to maintain, modernise or drop this crucial piece of legislation.
“Abandoning the MVBER and its principles in 2023 would put us back decades and increase the vehicle manufacturers monopoly of the aftermarket, threatening the very existence of the independent aftermarket,” added Bleasdale.
Block Exemption regulations contain essential provisions, ensuring the servicing of vehicles under warranty, the trade of spare parts and the access to technical information.
“These regulations, fought for over many years” added Bleasdale, “have provided independent garages protection and the ability to successfully access newer vehicles, bringing about new skills and standards. If they were to disappear, there is no quick workaround.”
“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.
“We have fought decades for the rights afforded to us under block exemption – we must protect them.”