The UK Right to Repair Campaign (UK R2RC) has welcomed the Commission's statement that its evaluation of the operation of the automotive Block Exemption Regulation does not prejudge any decision on the future of that legislation. However, UK R2RC also said that parts of the Commission's proposals would add uncertainty, and penalise the independent aftermarket by making remedies for market abuse harder to obtain. The independent aftermarket needed simple and sector-specific legislation.

Jim Mazza, Chairman of the UK Right to Repair Campaign, said ‘Though the tone of the report is softer than expected, it still understates the benefits to consumers and the independent aftermarket alike of having a single piece of legislation regulating the availability of service and repair information and the supply of replacement parts.'

He added, ‘The proposed changes would make it harder to be certain about the law and make it much more difficult and expensive for the independent aftermarket to obtain redress. Its ability to compete – and to provide motorists with freedom of choice – will be severely reduced. We hope the UK Government will support us.'

The Commission says that the objectives of the Regulation can be met by using other existing or forthcoming legislation. In particular, it thinks that abuse of a dominant position could be countered by using parts of the Treaty of Rome – which Mr Mazza said would make the independent aftermarket subject to disproportionate costs and delay in obtaining redress. ‘The process of seeking information and going through the legal process would take so long that the complainant would be out of business well before any solution was reached', he said.

  • EU proposals would penalise the independent aftermarket
  • Block Exemption Regulation provides certainty and effective competition
  • Proposed legal patchwork will be an wwwinistrative burden