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CLEPA Position Paper: Type-approval and Market Surveillance Regulation

The draft EU Regulation COM/2016/031 on the Approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles will increase the quality and independence of vehicle testing and improve the oversight of cars already in circulation. It is also intended to:

 

  • Reinforce the type-approval system as a whole: the independence and quality of testing that allows vehicles and components to be placed on the market
  • Introduce an effective market surveillance system to control the conformity of vehicles and components already in circulation, including OE, OES or IAM parts[1].
  • To mandate type-approval for parts listed in Annex IV part I, including OE, OES or IAM: this will clarify the situation in Member States and will ensure a minimum of technical specification to avoid unfair competition in the aftermarket.

 

CLEPA welcomes this draft regulation and its underlying principles, including the efforts to ensure the independence of technical services. However, the proposed system should not lead to fixed prices, it should ensure the free competition of the technical services and their capabilities and effectiveness. The choice of technical service (including the associated costs) is part of an open market that should be available to manufacturers. Also, the amount of effort required from a technical service for a test report depends on many variables, this means that the calculation of a national fee will become problematic.

 

Regarding the financing of market surveillance activities, CLEPA sees no practical way in which the cost for Member States´ (and even the Commission´s) market surveillance activities could be incorporated into such a national fee levied at time of type-approval without seriously distorting the level playing field. For example, there are Member States which issue very few type-approvals, therefore either the national fee would have to be extraordinarily high or the State will not be able to meet its obligations with respect to market surveillance. In addition, components may be approved outside the EU according to the regulations under the UN 1958 Agreement that the EU is applying, however no fees can be levied at type-approval for such components. Market surveillance financing should not be connected to type-approval fees. In some Members States, type-approval activities and market surveillance activities are even performed by different ministries.

 

Concerning the limitation of validity of type-approval certificate to 5 years, CLEPA does not see the benefit of such limitation for systems, components and single technical unit type-approval. Systems, components and separate technical units are type-approved according to

 

the regulations that were in place at the time of series production of the vehicle they are used for. Spare parts usually have to be supplied for a very long time period after end of series production of the original vehicle according to the original specifications and without any changes. A limitation of type-approval validity to five years would therefore be meaningless. In addition, for systems and components, this limitation is not coherent with the acceptance of UN certificates according to UN Regulations that the EU is applying, as these UN certificates have no limitation.  To have to renew components and systems certificates every 5 years could be difficult as type-approval authorities and technical services may not have the capacity to handle this huge amount of work.

 

Changes to and renewal of designations of technical services: If a technical service had a positive audit before notification of suspension, restriction or withdrawal, then type-approval based on test reports performed before that audit should remain valid until the contrary is demonstrated. Systematically redoing the type-approval tests or after extension of validity for 12 months will be a huge burden for manufacturers and may put some of them in difficulty as they will not be able to sell their products at the foreseen moment. There also is no evidence that the certificates delivered are incorrect.  We think it is not fair to put applicants for approvals in difficulty because of failures of the technical services, of which manufacturers have no control.

 

Additional information to be provided: The disclosure of the software and algorithms seems to be a possible measure to detect potential misuse of the type-approval system. The disclosure can be supported as long as the protection of the intellectual property of the manufacturers and their suppliers is ensured at any time.

 

Compliance verification by the Commission and enforcement co-ordination with Member States: Both the market surveillance authorities and the European Commission should purchase, or lease, components on the market at their own expense to guarantee the independence and the representativeness of the sample tested.

 

Regarding Repair and Maintenance Information (RMI), the latest findings of the Commission`s Ricardo-AEA Report should be considered for the new type-approval legislation.

 

 

CLEPA therefore suggests:

 

  • To re-include into the RMI Regulation definition “Remote diagnostic support” as basis for future repair and maintenance procedures for all vehicles (Art.3 (46). It is already part of the Regulation (EC) No 595/2009, but should not be limited to heavy duty vehicles. CLEPA recognises that the integrity of vehicle security and software systems must be preserved.
  • “Electronically processable data sets”: regarding manufacturers’ obligation to provide OBD and Repair and Maintenance information, Article 65 should also stipulate that this information be available in a “machine-readable” way to allow independent operators to execute their business function by providing this information to the independent aftermarket (also Annex XVIII, point 6.1. paragraph 3).
  • That Annex XVIII, point 6.4 should not be limited to vehicles falling under Regulation (EC) No 595/2009, but should be valid for all Reprogramming standards for passenger cars are currently regulated in the Euro 5/6 Regulation 715/2007 but got lost in consolidation of type-approval 2006 (31) and RMI from Euro 5/6.
  • That “measures and prerequisites for the approval and authorisation of independent operators when accessing security-related vehicle OBD and vehicle and repair and maintenance information” are made by the Forum referred to in Article 70 (2) par. 1.
  • That the Commission gives a mandate to CEN to standardise a new high speed communication protocol for vehicle communication regarding OBD, diagnostics and repair and maintenance information (Annex XVIII, paragraph 2).

 

References:

[1] OE parts : new parts installed on new vehicles by the vehicle manufacturers

OES parts: new replacement parts sold by the vehicle manufacturers’ network

IAM parts: new replacement parts sold by independent networks

 

For a pdf version, please click here.

 

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