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Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation

Date

20 Apr 2023

Sections

Transport

Brussels, the 19th of April 2023 - FIGIEFA considers the prolongation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption  Regulation (MVBER) for another 5 years and the updating of the Supplementary Guidelines (SGL) an  important step in maintaining competition in the automotive aftermarket. However, some aspects will  require further clarifications. 

FIGIEFA welcomes the update of some of the provisions on technical information to take into consideration  technical progress, namely the inclusion of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems and Battery Management  Systems. As connected and electric mobility is becoming increasingly important, such reference will help the  independent aftermarket to service the latest vehicle models. Activation codes, which are increasingly  needed for the installation of replacement parts, have been included as well into the scope of technical  information. 

FIGIEFA also welcomes the recognition that vehicle-generated data are an “essential input” for the provision  of competitive digital services. The new guidance, whereby a dominant supplier withholding vehicle generated data (as one example of an essential input) from independent operators “may amount to an  abuse under Article 102 of the Treaty” is an important signal that the European Commission provides.  However, complementary technical requirements under vehicle type-approval clarifying the specifications  for such inputs remain necessary, in form of a sector-specific legislation on access to in-vehicle data,  functions and resources.  

Moreover, FIGIEFA regrets that the European Commission did not bring additional clarifications to the  provisions on the misuse of warranties. According to the European Commission’s own Evaluation Report,  most of the infringement decisions adopted by National Competition Authorities (NCAs) concern abuses of  warranties, and a considerable number of NCAs perceived the existing guidance in this field, as providing  little legal certainty. 

Sylvia Gotzen, FIGIEFA CEO, underlined: “The MVBER is and remains an essential piece in the legislative  framework for competition in the automotive aftermarket. The changes introduced in the new SGL provide  new means for independent operators to address hindrances to access inputs, such as vehicle generated  data, technical information, tools and training, that are necessary to carry out repair and maintenance tasks  and continue to develop innovative services. Regrettably, not all concerns expressed by FIGIEFA during the  consultation phase have been heard. We remain confident however that the evidence gathered in the last  years will serve to show to the European Commission, in the next 2-3 years when starting the discussions on  the next MVBER revision, the necessity to make more comprehensive adaptations in light of market and  technological developments.”

 

About independent distributors of automotive spare parts Through a dense network of over 30.000 companies, most of them SMEs, and 350.000 employees,  European independent distributors of automotive spare parts deliver innovative and competitive  solutions for safe, smart, sustainable and affordable road mobility all over Europe. They are a key  component of the wider European automotive aftermarket’s ecosystem, composed of 500.000  companies and 4,3 million employees maintaining in perfect condition the 320 million vehicles on  European roads. 

About FIGIEFA 

Founded in 1955 and based in Brussels, FIGIEFA is the European federation representing the political  interests of independent distributors of automotive spare parts towards European Union’s and United  Nations’ institutions. It brings together 19 national associations, as well as leading market players. 

Contact 

Pierre Thibaudat, pierre.thibaudat@figiefa.eu 

 

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