SMMT welcomes Commission’s proposals on Block Exemption

03 June 2008 #SMMT News

* SMMT supports EU desire to simplify regulation

* Competition alive and well in motor industry

* Industry in dialogue with government to validate findings


Following publication of the European Commission’s evaluation report on the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation, SMMT is looking forward to furthering its dialogue with the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) in order to validate the Commission’s findings.


Although the report does not make proposals as to the future of Block Exemption, the Commission indicates that there appears to be no requirement for a motor industry sector-specific regulation and wishes to consider the accommodation of motor vehicle distribution under the general regime on vertical restraints.


The current regulation has contributed to positive consumer benefits through healthy competition in all areas of the industry, and the report suggests that the same results can be achieved by using the general scheme. The sector-specific rules contain complex and unattractive options that simply are not used by businesses. The new EU Type-Approval legislation makes certain aspects, such as access to technical information for new cars, redundant.


SMMT attended The Future Shape of Motor Vehicle Sales and Servicing meeting held today in Brussels. Organised by the Forum for the Automobile and Society the event looked at how the motor industry has operated under the existing regulation which is due to expire in 2010 and discussed how the new proposals are likely to impact on business and the consumer.


“The motor industry has come a long way since Block Exemption was first adopted and we welcome the  Commission’s desire to now simplify the regulation,” said SMMT chief executive, Paul Everitt. “We look forward to engaging with government and other stakeholders in order to evaluate the report findings, with the aim of maintaining a healthy balance of the many and varied interests of the industry.”


SMMT will be reviewing the report in more detail and is in dialogue with the OFT and BERR to discuss the proposals and frame the debate going forward.


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