The re-writing of the EU Vehicle Type-Approval legislation
The ETO have been lobbying for the revision of the relevant articles in the legislation. At present within the UK, all tuning parts are sold either under UNECE regulations which are more or less worldwide regulations covering parts which are critical in safety or emissions, or simply under normal Product Liability rules. The revision was potentially going to change the law governing sale and use of all parts for cars. The knock on effect for this could lead to barriers for sales by tuning companies, or huge expenses in pursuit of certification. The worst case scenario could be the banning of aftermarket tuning products. The ETO lobbied successfully to get the wording changed so the guidelines remain as they currently are, at least for the time being.
The PAAA gave considerable funds to help this campaign, and board members were heavily involved in lobbying and other actions to try to influence the outcome. The new EU Directive is called 2018/858. Although we were successful, we expect that new legislation on certain aspects of car tuning will probably be introduced over a period of time, and probably via the UNECE rather than as purely EU work. The PAAA will continue to monitor this and make representations as best we can in the future.
At this present time the EU is in the process of producing new rules on Mutual Recognition. Mutual Recognition is the rule under which EU members accept that if a product is legally sold in one member state, then it should also be accepted in other EU states. This could have an important effect in our industry because at present some tuning products are simply banned in some states, or at the very least very tightly restricted. So increasing the strength of Mutual Recognition could be very helpful. The ETO has suggested some changes to wording in the new document, and PAAA is supporting this.
There are many more areas we are involved in, some are less central to our industry but sometimes have peripheral effects which are still equally important to our members, and by cause and effect, potentially every car enthusiast.
The part the PAAA played in objecting to proposed changes to directive 2007/46/EU – the Periodic Technical Inspection where, under one interpretation, ALL non-standard parts would result in an MOT failure. Luckily the wording was changed and the industry lives to fight another day!
The possible enforcement of rules which demand all motor vehicles have third party insurance, even when not being used on the highway, which would mean cars would need insurance when being used at track days or when being raced. An incident on Slovenian farmland known as the Vnuk case has highlighted this issue and the EU Commission still appears to intend to enforce this. See link on the Track Car website for a detailed outline of this case and the possible knock on effects this could have on the racing community. The PAAA, amongst other associations, will continue to monitor this issue.
A possible enforcement of rules about electrical and electronic waste, which could see the makers of electronic car accessories being responsible for ensuring their correct disposal and recycling.
The ongoing case between the German tuning organisation, the VDAT, and Porsche. Porsche have sought to prevent its own range of parts being sold to tuning organisations because they don’t want tuners modifying Porsches or using their parts to modify other cars. The VDAT is resisting this using ‘anti-trust’ legislation, but it is a difficult case. The worry is if one car manufacturer wins this right ……….
There continues to be issues around the problem of OEM car makers restricting access to diagnostic systems and diagnostic information, specialist tools, and other facilities, so that independent garages find it harder to service modern cars. The independent garage sector is closer to the tuning industry than you might initially think. The PAAA is supporting work in this area from time-to-time.
With Brexit on the way, and more and more electric cars and driverless cars being developed, there are many areas of concern which the PAAA must keep an eye on. By supporting members of the PAAA you really are supporting your passion and helping to keep it the exciting industry it is today.
Information provided by Jonathan Douglas, September 11th 2018.