THE MOTOR VEHICLE BLOCK EXEMPTION REGULATION (EU) No. 461/2010
CLEPA FEEDBACK TO THE COMMISSION’S EVALUATION EU AUTOMOTIVE SECTOR EXEMPTION FROM ANTI-TRUST RULES
CLEPA welcomes the Commission’s evaluation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (set to expire on 31 May 2023), to comment on its effectiveness, efficiencies and consistencies with other EU and national rules, and how this has impacted OE-Suppliers agreements and practices.
In general, the MVBER is of major importance to automotive component suppliers, in that it legally secures the supplier’s ability to sell spare parts to authorized repairers, to independent distributors, to repairers or to the end users. It further protects supplier’s rights to place its Trade Marks or logos on spare parts sold to the independent aftermarket (IAM).
However, since the Regulation’s entry into force, in 2010, it has been noted that the rights granted by the MVBER, intended to benefit the automotive suppliers to gain access to the IAM, have been effectively circumvented, in a variety of limiting restrictions, applied by the OEMs.
Such limitations can be legal restrictions e.g. the increasing request to suppliers to transfer tooling rights or Intellectual Property (IP) titles to OEMs which usually end in commercial restrictions in case suppliers have to bear often substantial costs for either additional tooling, de-branding or license fees. In some cases OEM do not even offer licenses allowing parts distribution to the independent market. Increasingly we observe also technical restrictions on parts which can no longer be sold to the independent channel because necessary software to make the product work is not made available by an OEM or special software, authorized by OEMs is needed for the installation and matching the component to a specific vehicle.
Within the revision of the MVBER, CLEPA would like to see common business practices and the latest technical developments to be considered. Together with the right to sell parts to thirds parties, also all other obstacles working against this approach discussed and covered by the revised regulation.