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REPORT     ***I
PDF 223kDOC 151k
27 January 2004
PE 332.596 A5-0025/2004
on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles
(COM(2003) 418 – C5‑0320/2003 – 2003/0153(COD))
Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market
Rapporteur: Giuseppe Gargani
PROCEDURAL PAGE
 DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION
 EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
 OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, EXTERNAL TRADE, RESEARCH AND ENERGY

PROCEDURAL PAGE

By letter of 14 July 2003 the Commission submitted to Parliament, pursuant to Articles 251(2) and 95 of the EC Treaty, the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles (COM(2003) 418 – 2003/0153(COD)).

At the sitting of 1 September 2003 the President of Parliament announced that he had referred the proposal to the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market as the committee responsible and the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy and the Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism for their opinions (C5‑0320/2003).

The Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market appointed Giuseppe Gargani rapporteur at its meeting of 11 September 2003.

The committee considered the Commission proposal and draft report at its meetings of 17 and 26 November 2003 and 22 January 2004.

At the last meeting it adopted the draft legislative resolution unanimously.

The following were present for the vote: Giuseppe Gargani (chairman and rapporteur), Bill Miller (vice-chairman), Uma Aaltonen, Paolo Bartolozzi, Luis Berenguer Fuster (for Maria Berger), Ward Beysen, Bert Doorn, Raina A. Mercedes Echerer, Janelly Fourtou, Marie-Françoise Garaud, José María Gil-Robles Gil-Delgado, Malcolm Harbour, Kurt Lechner, Klaus-Heiner Lehne, Sir Neil MacCormick, Manuel Medina Ortega, Elena Ornella Paciotti (for Arlene McCarthy), Anne-Marie Schaffner, Marianne L.P. Thyssen, Ian Twinn (for Rainer Wieland), Diana Wallis, Joachim Wuermeling and Stefano Zappalà.

The opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy is attached. The Committee on Regional Policy, Transport and Tourism decided on 10 September 2003 not to deliver an opinion.

The report was tabled on 27 January 2004.


DRAFT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles

(COM(2003) 418 – C5‑0320/2003 – 2003/0153(COD))

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2003) 418)(1),

–   having regard to Articles 251(2) and 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C5‑0320/2003),

–   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (A5‑0025/2004),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 10 a (new)
 

(10a)   The development and transposition of UN/ECE rules should take place in an ongoing dialogue with the European Parliament and the Council.

Justification

To safeguard democratic accountability it is important to ensure that Parliament and the Council can be properly informed on the development and transposition of UN/ECE rules and can when necessary influence them.

Amendment 2
Recital 13 a (new)
 

(13a)   It is important that independent operators have unrestricted access to any technical information required for the repair and maintenance of motor vehicles in order to ensure that system functionality, safety and environmental requirements of a vehicle’s components subsystems are maintained in the course of repair and maintenance measures and in order to protect effective competition on the market for repair and services.

Amendment 3
Article 2, paragraphs 2 and 3

2.   This Directive does not apply to the type-approval or individual approval of the following vehicles:

2.   This Directive does not apply to the type-approval or individual approval of the following vehicles:

(a)   agricultural or forestry tractors, as defined in Council Directive 74/150/EEC, and trailers designed and constructed specifically to be towed by them;

(a)   agricultural or forestry tractors, as defined in Council Directive 74/150/EEC, and trailers designed and constructed specifically to be towed by them;

(b)   quadricycles as defined in Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and Council;

(b)   quadricycles as defined in Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and Council;

(c)   vehicles designed and constructed for use principally on construction sites or in quarries, port or airport facilities;

(d)   armoured vehicles designed and constructed for use by the army, civil defence and forces responsible for maintaining public order;

(e)   mobile machinery;

(f)   tracked vehicles;

(g)   vehicles intended exclusively for racing on roads;

(h)   prototypes of vehicles used on the road under the responsibility of a manufacturer to perform a specific test programme.

 

3.   The vehicles referred to in points (g) and (h) of paragraph 2 may be approved on an individual basis only for the specific purpose for which they have been designed and constructed.

3.   Type-approval or individual approval under this Directive is optional for the following vehicles:

 

(a)   vehicles designed and constructed for use principally on construction sites or in quarries, port or airport facilities;

(b)   armoured vehicles designed and constructed for use by the army, civil defence and forces responsible for maintaining public order;

(c)   mobile machinery;

(d)   tracked vehicles;

(e)   vehicles intended exclusively for racing on roads;

(f)   prototypes of vehicles used on the road under the responsibility of a manufacturer to perform a specific test programme.

Justification

It ought to be possible to apply the Community approval procedures to all road vehicles whose approval is not already governed by specific directives, as is the case for the categories in points (a) and (b) of this article. Apart from these cases, however, although for some vehicle categories it is advisable to rule out compulsory application of Community rules, it does not seem reasonable to wholly eliminate the possibility of making use of them, albeit only on an optional basis. The current proposal for a directive, in contrast to the rules now in force, does not make provision for such a possibility: either a category of vehicle falls within the directive's scope (in which case compliance with Community rules is compulsory) or else it is completely excluded from its scope (in which case it does not appear possible to make use of the rules on an optional basis). The provision should therefore be amended in such a way that for the categories of vehicle indicated above it is possible for the approval procedures governed by the directive to be applied on an optional basis.

Amendment 4
Article 3, point 13

(13)   ‘mobile machinery’ means any self-propelled vehicle which is designed and constructed specifically to perform work off the road or to perform specific work in agriculture or forestry and which, because of its construction characteristics, is not suitable for carrying passengers or for transporting goods. Machinery mounted on a motor vehicle chassis shall not be considered as mobile machinery;

13.   'non-road mobile machinery' means any mobile machine, transportable industrial equipment or vehicle with or without body work, not intended for the use of passenger- or goods-transport on the road;

Justification

The definition of non-road mobile machinery should be harmonised with that in Directive 97/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1997 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to measures against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery.

Amendment 5
Article 3, paragraph 24 a (new)
 

(24a)   "independent operator" means any person or legal entity engaged in commercially repairing or servicing, road-side rescuing, inspecting or testing of vehicles or in manufacturing or selling replacement or retro-fit components, repair or diagnostic tools and equipment.

Amendment 6
Article 17, paragraph 8

8.   The certificate of conformity for vehicles approved in accordance with Article 26 shall, in the case of an end-of-series waiver, bear the additional statement “sale, entry into service and registration permitted in application of Article 26 of Directive [this Directive…...]”.

Member States may apply equivalent measures in so far as they enable the number of vehicles to be registered in the framework of that procedure to be effectively monitored.

deleted

Justification

Many vehicles become 'end-of-series' only after they are put on the market. Stipulating that the certificate of conformity for such vehicles should bear the statement 'sale, entry into service and registration permitted in application of Article 26 of this Directive' would amount to imposing an obligation on manufacturers to trace every vehicle in service. Such an obligation is not in fact necessary, since the approval authorities are in all cases obliged to inform the competent registration offices of their decision to allow certain vehicles to be registered as end-of-series vehicles. The information provided by the approval authorities to the registration authorities thus renders an additional statement by the manufacturers superfluous.

Amendment 7
Article 22, paragraph 3

3.    A waiver pursuant to paragraph 1 shall not be granted or maintained if it has, or is likely to have, an adverse effect on any other policy pursued by the Community.

3.    In all cases, the Member States may grant or maintain a waiver pursuant to paragraph 1 only on condition that a satisfactory level of environmental protection and road safety is nonetheless guaranteed.

Justification

It is necessary to lay down a condition that a satisfactory level of road safety and environmental protection must nonetheless be guaranteed.

Amendment 8
Article 22, paragraph 5a (new)
 

5a.   Where there is an intention to register a vehicle in a Member State other than that which granted the type-approval, under the procedure set out in paragraph 5, it shall be presumed that the vehicle complies with the requirements imposed in the state of registration provided that an analysis of the documents supplied by the manufacturer or its representative does not rule out such compliance.

Justification

In compliance with Articles 28 and 30 of the Treaty, and in application of the principle of mutual recognition deriving from them, the provision clarifies the substance of the Member States' obligation when they are asked to register a vehicle approved under the national procedure of a different Member State.

Amendment 9
Article 23, paragraph -1 (new)
 

-   1. At the request of the manufacturer or purchaser of the vehicle, the Member States may allow individual approval for a vehicle complying with the provisions of this directive and the special EEC/UN directives or regulations listed at Annex IV or Annex XI of this directive.

Justification

Individual approvals should be granted not only to vehicles that do not comply with all the provisions but also to vehicles with unique specifications.

Amendment 10
Article 23, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1

1.   Member States may exempt a particular vehicle from compliance with one or more of the provisions of this Directive or with one or more of the separate directives or UN/ECE regulations listed in Annex IV or XI, provided that they impose comparable national requirements based on those measures which ensure an equivalent level of environmental protection and road safety.

1.   Member States may exempt a particular vehicle or a vehicle with unique technical characteristics from compliance with one or more of the provisions of this Directive or with one or more of the separate directives or UN/ECE regulations listed in Annex IV or XI, provided that they impose comparable national requirements based on those measures which ensure an satisfactory level of environmental protection and road safety.

Justification

It should be specified that the individual approval procedure is also applicable to those vehicles which have technical features that are unique of their type. Equivalence with the Community rules on road safety and environmental protection, while it has few benefits from the safety and environmental viewpoints, may have a very negative effect in both economic and social terms. Conditions such as this are overly burdensome for small and medium-sized manufacturers and not proportional to the aim pursued, since requiring satisfactory levels of protection is sufficient to guarantee that this aim is achieved.

Amendment 11
Article 23, paragraph 2, subparagraph 1

2.   The application for individual approval shall be submitted by the manufacturer or by the owner of the vehicle.

2.   The application for individual approval shall be submitted by the manufacturer, by the owner of the vehicle or by their representative.

Justification

Steps should be taken to avoid dealers or independent agents being able to apply for approval.

Amendment 12
Article 23, paragraph 2, subparagraph 3

The validity of an individual approval shall be restricted to the territory of the Member State that granted the approval.

The validity of an individual approval shall be restricted to the territory of the Member State that granted the approval. Where there is an intention to register a vehicle in a Member State other than that which granted the individual approval, it shall be presumed that the vehicle complies with the requirements imposed in the state of registration provided that an analysis of the documents supplied by the applicant together with the registration application does not rule out such compliance.

 

When the vehicle complies with all the requirements set out in Annexes IV and XI, the approval shall be valid in all the Member States.

Justification

In compliance with Articles 28 and 30 of the Treaty, and in application of the principle of mutual recognition deriving from them, the provision clarifies the substance of the Member States' obligation when they are asked to register a vehicle approved under the individual procedure in a different Member State.

Amendment 13
Article 25 a (new)
 

25a.   For identification purposes, each vehicle to be registered shall be supplied with a unique, non-removable VIN code in accordance with ISO 3779 and 3780. This VIN code shall be marked on the essential parts of the vehicle, and in several places which are easily accessible and legible to the emergency services.

Justification

In the event of an accident it is essential for the occupants that the emergency services should be able to provide help rapidly and safely. To that end the emergency services must be able to identify the vehicle clearly by make, type and model and, on the basis of the information available to them about the vehicle in question, to locate and use the protective devices, structures or special equipment present in that vehicle.

Amendment 14
Article 26, paragraph 3, subparagraph 2

The Member States concerned shall decide, within three months of receiving such a request, whether and in what number to permit the registration of those vehicles within their territory.

The Member States concerned shall decide, within 30 days of receiving such a request, whether and in what number to permit the registration of those vehicles within their territory.

Justification

Since the number of unsold vehicles will only be known in practice at the expiry of the relevant date and since a limited period is laid down for selling stocks, a deadline of 30 days seems more appropriate.

Amendment 15
Article 30, paragraph 1

A manufacturer who has been granted an EC vehicle type-approval and who, in application of the provisions of a separate directive or in application of Article 8 of Council Directive 92/59/EEC, has to operate a recall campaign of vehicles already placed on the market because one or more systems, components or separate technical units fitted to the vehicle, albeit duly approved in accordance with this Directive, presents a serious risk to road safety, public health or environmental protection, shall immediately inform the approval authority that granted the vehicle approval.

A manufacturer who has been granted an EC vehicle type-approval and who, in application of the provisions of a separate directive or in application of Article 8 of Council Directive 92/59/EEC, has to operate a recall campaign of vehicles already placed on the market because one or more systems, components or separate technical units fitted to the vehicle, albeit duly approved in accordance with this Directive, presents a serious risk to road safety, public health or environmental protection, or because there have proved to be serious deficiencies in terms of its life expectancy or proper operation, shall immediately inform the approval authority that granted the vehicle approval.

Justification

The manufacturer is required to make available to independent market participants (see new article 34 a) all information relating to repair and maintenance. This includes information supplied by a manufacturer to the participants in its networks on any deficiency in terms of the life expectancy and proper operation of its vehicles or parts thereof. It therefore makes sense to state this expressly.

Amendment 16
Article 30, paragraph 2

The manufacturer shall propose to the approval authority a set of appropriate remedies to neutralise the risk referred to in paragraph 1. The competent authorities shall ensure that the measures are effectively implemented in their respective territories.

The manufacturer shall propose to the approval authority a set of appropriate remedies to neutralise the risk or serious deficiency referred to in paragraph 1. The competent authorities shall ensure that the measures are effectively implemented in their respective territories.

Justification

The manufacturer is required to make available all information relating to repair and maintenance to independent market participants (see new article 34 a). This includes information supplied by a manufacturer to the participants in its networks on any deficiency in terms of the life expectancy and proper operation of its vehicles or parts thereof. It therefore makes sense to state this expressly.

Amendment 17
Article 34 a (new)
 

34a.   The manufacturer shall make available to independent operators any technical information required for the repair and maintenance of vehicles unless that information is covered by an intellectual property right or constitutes secret know-how; in such case the information shall not be withheld in an improper manner. The information (including all subsequent amendments and supplements) shall be provided upon reasonable and non-discriminatory payment (where appropriate), in a prompt and proportionate way and in a practically usable form.

 

"Technical information " includes, but is not limited to, the unrestricted use of electronic control and diagnostic systems of a motor vehicle, the reprogramming of these systems in accordance with the vehicle manufacturer's standard procedures, and those particulars that are necessary to design diagnostic and service tools and equipment.

Amendment 18
Article 34 b (new)
 

34b.   The vehicle manufacturer may impose on the organisations referred to in Article 34a a binding agreement to protect the confidentiality of information relating to the vehicle protection.

Justification

Information on the protection of motor vehicles should be treated with the utmost care.

Amendment 19
Article 40, paragraph 3

3.   Until the dates specified in the fourth column of Annex XVI, Article 25(1) shall not apply to new vehicles for which a national approval has been granted before the dates specified in the third column thereof or for which there was no approval

3.   Article 25(1) shall not apply to new vehicles approved under this Directive on an optional basis nor, until the dates specified in the fourth column of Annex XVI, to new vehicles for which a national approval has been granted before the dates specified in the third column thereof or for which there was no approval

Justification

Amendment necessitated by Amendment 1.

Amendment 20
Article 41, paragraph 2

2.   If appropriate, the Commission may propose the postponement of the application dates referred to in Article 40.

2.   On the basis of the information supplied under paragraph 1, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive by 1 October 2007. If appropriate, the Commission may propose the postponement of the application dates referred to in Article 40.

Justification

In case it is not possible for manufacturers to apply the technical provisions of this directive in full within the timescale laid down, there must be provision for a procedure in which, at the least, Parliament and the Council can be informed of the state of progress with its implementation.

Amendment 21
Annex XII, table A1, category M1, Units

500

3000

Justification

The ceiling chosen by the Commission is set at too low a level, which does not take account of European economic realities. Many small and medium-sized businesses have production levels which, although low, are above the ceilings indicated. As a result, these businesses will be forced to meet approval requirements which are stricter than the current ones, and therefore to incur production costs which are unsustainable for them, or they will be forced to decrease their production or, worse still, to restrict their turnover to the national market. All this translates into a closure of the market and a barrier to intra-Community trade, in obvious contrast to the directive's aim.

Amendment 22
Annex XII, table A2, category M1, Units

50

300

Justification

The national type-approval procedures are used in the main by small and medium-sized enterprises, which occupy specialised niches in the market. The majority of these have annual production levels which, while low, are considerably higher than the level proposed by the Commission. This means that many enterprises will have to comply with the more onerous requirements of Community type-approval, with an overall increase in production costs. Such compliance is not in fact necessary for products intended solely for marketing on the national market, since no other Member State will be obliged to accept vehicles registered in this way where such vehicles do not meet quality standards corresponding to those required within that state.

Amendment 23
Annex XVI, Special-purpose vehicles of category M1,
New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 July 2007

1 January 2012 (six years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 24
Annex XVI, table, Special-purpose vehicles of category M1,
Existing types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 July 2009

1 January 2014 (eight years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 25
Annex XVI, table, Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1
New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2007

1 January 2009 (three years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 26
Annex XVI, table, Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1
Existing types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2009

1 January 2011 (five years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 27
Annex XVI, table, Completed vehicles of category N1
New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2008

1 January 2012 (six years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 28
Annex XVI, table, Completed vehicles of category N1
Existing types of vehicles Obligatory

1 January 2010

1 January 2014 (eight years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 29
Annex XVI, table, Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04 New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2008

1 January 2010 (four years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 30
Annex XVI, table, Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04 Existing types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2010

1 January 2012 (six years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 31
Annex XVI, table, Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04
New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2009

1 January 2013 (seven years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 32
Annex XVI, table, Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04
Existing types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2011

1 January 2015 (nine years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 33
Annex XVI, table, Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04
New types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2010

1 January 2013 (seven years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

Amendment 34
Annex XVI, table, Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, 01, 02, 03, 04
Existing types of vehicles (Obligatory)

1 January 2012

1 January 2015 (nine years)

Justification

The proposed transition periods are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures.

(1)Not yet published in the Official Journal{19/11/2003}.


EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

1.   The Commission's proposal

This proposal aims to complete the internal market in the automotive sector by extending the principles and procedures of Community type-approval, which currently only apply to passenger cars, to all motor vehicles.

At a time when the Community is preparing to welcome ten new Member States, and in view of the significant progress being made in the automotive sector, including at international level, it is necessary to bring in a single compulsory system for the type-approval of motor vehicles which is able to replace the national procedures which still exist. Such a harmonisation will bring undoubted advantages to the European automotive industry, making it possible to decrease production costs significantly and therefore to provide greater ease of access and expansion in the European market. In addition, there will be gains in terms of road safety and environmental protection.

Although in formal terms the proposal is expressed as a recasting of Directive 70/156/EEC, already amended on several occasions, the directive's main priorities have been combined with some totally new concepts.

Completely new is the laying down of a flexible type-approval procedure for the production of small series of cars, based on simplified versions of the normal tests, or by comparison with tests carried out on similar vehicles. However, such provisions apply where annual production is no more than 50 vehicles, provided that the vehicles remain within the borders of the approval state.

Another innovation is the introduction, for the automotive sector, of the 'split-level' approach, which is a legislative method under which Parliament and the Council are responsible for laying down the fundamental elements of the legislation and the Commission, assisted by a regulatory committee, establishes the detailed technical provisions and practical implementation measures.

Rapporteur's conclusions

The Commission's initiative, which is all the more welcome for coming at the right time, could nonetheless be more forceful if some aspects of the proposal - in respect of which the impact of liberalisation does not appear to be so clear - had been examined more thoroughly.

First, while large firms within the automotive industry will undoubtedly benefit from the harmonisation being targeted, the advantages for small and medium-sized manufacturers seem fewer, since as far as they are concerned the proposal does not fully achieve the hoped for opening of the market. Of course, the introduction of flexible type-approval procedures which are less onerous than the normal procedures represents a considerable advance for these manufacturers, since it allows them to have access to the market more easily and at costs which are contained. However, the advantages which small and medium-sized undertakings might gain from such a system are totally nullified by the conditions the proposal imposes for using it. The annual production limit required is set at too low a level, which does not take into account the real economic situation of small and medium-sized European enterprises. (Consider the fact that in a single Member State, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises involved in vehicle production is approximately 7000 units). Not only does this not improve the situation in which many small and medium-sized undertakings find themselves today, but it may even worsen conditions.

The majority of such firms have annual production levels which, although low, are above the ceiling proposed by the Commission. This means that for these undertakings the applicable system will not be the simplified one but the normal one, with the result that the firms will be forced to adjust to much more stringent type-approval requirements. It follows that the firms in question will be forced to incur significantly higher production costs or, more probably, to reduce their production or restrict their market to the national one. Whichever option is chosen the result is the same: a production disincentive. And even with respect to those undertakings whose production levels on the European level fall within the limits set by the proposal, it certainly cannot be said that the proposal promotes expansion in the European market.

Overall, the proposal has a highly negative effect on the production of small series at European level, not only from the economic viewpoint but also in social terms. Reducing incentives for undertakings to produce amounts to slowing down economic growth in the sector, which translates to a reduction in jobs, with a resulting increase in the unemployment rate.

Apart from representing an important source of employment, small and medium-sized enterprises are a favourite place for large-scale automotive industry, both European and international, to experiment with new technologies. Taken to its logical conclusion, the proposal, by disincentivising the growth of these small businesses, is depriving the entire sector of its potential for development and technological innovation.

Therefore, the Commission's proposal misses its mark and betrays the very liberalising spirit which underpins the common market, since instead of promoting it hinders intra-Community trade, for the small businesses on which the greater part of the European economy rests.

The production ceilings laid down for national type-approval are equally detrimental, and the same points made above also apply in relation to this procedure.

In both cases, the maximum production ceilings proposed should therefore be increased; they should be set at a higher level to enable small and medium-sized enterprises to benefit from economies of scale and to genuinely enjoy the advantages connected with the internal market.

The provisions on individual approval lays down conditions which are overly burdensome and not always justified with respect to the objectives being pursued. This is the case with equivalence to Community rules, which is required with respect to road safety and environmental protection: this, while it has few benefits from the safety and environmental viewpoints, has a very negative effect in economic and social terms. Consider, for example, a crash test to be carried out on a vehicle with special features, which has been adapted to meet specific consumer needs (e.g. vehicles for the disabled). The firm will be forced to produce two absolutely identical vehicles, one of which is to be destroyed. This will mean a doubling of production costs, with all the consequences already examined. The same aim could instead easily be achieved by requiring the vehicle to comply with high and satisfactory safety rules, albeit not equivalent to those set at Community level. This would enable production costs to be limited, with significant benefits for consumers, who inevitably bear the brunt of these costs.

Finally, the issue of the compulsory nature of the type-approval system deserves special attention. The transitional periods which must precede the system's entry into force are too short and do not take into account the adjustments that will need to be made, not only by the manufacturing firms but also by all those operating in the sector who will be required to deal with the new procedures. For these reasons, it is proposed that the periods be lengthened, but that differing deadlines be maintained for new vehicles and for existing vehicles, along the lines of the Commission's proposal.


OPINION OF THE COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRY, EXTERNAL TRADE, RESEARCH AND ENERGY

20 January 2004

for the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market

on the proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive on the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles

(COM(2003) 418 – C5‑0320/2003 – 2003/0153(COD))

Draftsman: Gérard Caudron

PROCEDURE

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy appointed Gérard Caudron draftsman at its meeting of 2 October 2003.

It considered the draft opinion at its meetings of 1 December 2003 and 20 January 2004.

At the latter meeting it adopted the following amendments unopposed with 1 abstention.

The following were present for the vote: Luis Berenguer Fuster (chairman), Peter Michael Mombaur (vice-chairman), Jaime Valdivielso de Cué (vice-chairman), Gérard Caudron (draftsman), María del Pilar Ayuso González (for Concepció Ferrer), Ward Beysen (for Marco Cappato), Guido Bodrato, Felipe Camisón Asensio (for Elizabeth Montfort), Giles Bryan Chichester, Willy C.E.H. De Clercq, Francesco Fiori, Norbert Glante, Malcolm Harbour (for Sir Robert Atkins), Roger Helmer (for Bashir Khanbhai), Hans Karlsson, Bernd Lange (for Rolf Linkohr), Peter Liese (for Dominique Vlasto), Caroline Lucas, Eryl Margaret McNally, Erika Mann, Hans-Peter Martin (for Mechtild Rothe), Marjo Matikainen-Kallström, Ana Miranda de Lage, Elizabeth Montfort, Angelika Niebler, Reino Paasilinna, Paolo Pastorelli, Elly Plooij-van Gorsel, John Purvis, Bernhard Rapkay (for Massimo Carraro), Christian Foldberg Rovsing, Paul Rübig, Konrad K. Schwaiger, Esko Olavi Seppänen, W.G. van Velzen, Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca and Myrsini Zorba.

SHORT JUSTIFICATION

General

Since January 1998, private cars put on the market (and since June 1999, motorcycles and mopeds as well) have had to comply with more than 45 directives on technical construction standards. These directives concern practically all these vehicles’ systems and equipment. The standards are among the strictest in the world and are constantly revised and updated as technology evolves.

This proposal is the second stage of the recasting of Council Directive 70/156/EEC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the approval of motor vehicles and their trailers, which is the Community’s main legal instrument for implementing the single market in the automotive sector. Until now, only cars had to comply with the harmonised construction standards in the EU. This proposal will cover all categories of vehicle from 2006.

The Commission considers that this proposal should ensure greater clarity in the current administrative provisions and regulations and thus make EC type-approval of the various categories of vehicle and their components operational. Replacing national approval procedures by a Community system based on technical requirements will have the effect of speeding up and simplifying administrative formalities prior to vehicle registration.

Draftsman’s position

Your draftsman supports the principle of the proposed directive, which is essential to improve the operation of the single market, increase road safety and simplify procedures for approving and registering vehicles. The automotive industry, with a few reservations, supports this proposal. Nevertheless there are a few considerations that must be taken into account.

The timetable for adopting this directive (under the codecision procedure) is very tight. Given that Parliament comes to the end of its legislature next year and the last part-session will be held in May 2004, we must reach an agreement with the Council at first reading. If a second reading were needed, it is very likely that an inordinate delay would ensue, in view of elections to Parliament, the constitution of the new Parliament, the election of a new Commission, etc.

The European automotive industry has clearly expressed its wish for a directive to be adopted as soon as possible. Informal consultation procedures with the Council could prove necessary to reach an agreement at first reading. Your draftsman considers that this is in Europe’s interests and also makes good sense.

Your draftsman has nonetheless put forward a few changes to the proposed directive, endeavouring to take account of the concerns expressed by the automotive industry and of its development, and also of employment.

AMENDMENTS

The Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy calls on the Committee on Legal Affairs and the Internal Market, as the committee responsible, to incorporate the following amendments in its report:

Text proposed by the Commission(1)   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Recital 10 a (new)
 

(10a)   The development and transposition of UNECE rules should take place in an ongoing dialogue with the European Parliament and the Council.

Justification

To safeguard democratic accountability it is important to ensure that Parliament and the Council can be properly informed on the development and transposition of UNECE rules and can when necessary influence them.

Amendment 2
Recital 13 a (new)
 

(13a)   It is important that independent market participants have unrestricted access to all the technical information required for vehicle repair and maintenance. This will ensure that requirements as to the functioning, safety and environmental compatibility of a vehicle’s components continue to be upheld after repair and maintenance work and that there is effective competition in the repair and service market.

Justification

To preserve the functioning, safety and environmental compatibility of vehicle components and systems throughout a vehicle’s life and ensure there is effective competition in the repair and service market, it is essential to grant independent market participants unrestricted access to all the technical information required for vehicle repair and maintenance.

Amendment 3
Article 3, point 24 a (new)
 

24a.   ‘Independent market participants’ means persons who are commercially engaged in the repair or maintenance, breakdown assistance, technical supervision or testing of vehicles or in the manufacture or sale of replacement or accessory parts, diagnostic appliances and testing equipment.

Justification

To preserve the functioning, safety and environmental compatibility of vehicle components and systems throughout a vehicle’s life and ensure there is effective competition in the repair and service market, it is essential to grant independent market participants unrestricted access to all the technical information required for vehicle repair and maintenance.

Amendment 4
Article 17, paragraph 8

8.   The certificate of conformity for vehicles approved in accordance with Article 26 shall, in the case of an end-of-series waiver, bear the additional statement “sale, entry into service and registration permitted in application of Article 26 of Directive [this Directive…...]”.

deleted

Member States may apply equivalent measures in so far as they enable the number of vehicles to be registered in the framework of that procedure to be effectively monitored.

 

Justification

Many end-of-series vehicles do not become so until they have left the factory. Paragraph 8 would impose an unnecessary bureaucratic burden on manufacturers, since in any case the competent authorities for approval have to inform their registration offices of their decision whether or not to grant approval.

Amendment 5
Article 23, paragraph -1 (new)
 

-   1. At the request of the manufacturer or purchaser of the vehicle, the Member States may allow individual approval for a vehicle complying with the provisions of this directive and the special EEC/UN directives or regulations listed at Annex IV or Annex XI of this directive.

Justification

Individual approvals should be granted not only to vehicles that do not comply with all the provisions but also to vehicles with unique specifications.

Amendment 6
Article 23, paragraph 2, indent 3

The validity of an individual approval shall be restricted to the territory of the Member State that granted the approval.

deleted

Justification

This paragraph is contrary to the principles of the single market and this directive.

Amendment 7
Article 26, paragraph 3, indent 2

The Member States concerned shall decide, within three months of receiving such a request, whether and in what number to permit the registration of those vehicles within their territory.

The Member States concerned shall decide, within 45 days of receiving such a request, whether and in what number to permit the registration of those vehicles within their territory.

Justification

Given the very short time that manufacturers have to sell stocks of end-of-series vehicles, a time limit of three months seems excessive.

Amendment 8
Article 34 a (new)
 

Article 34a

 

Manufacturers shall make the technical information required for the repair and maintenance of vehicles available to independent market participants, unless such information is the subject of intellectual property rights or constitutes know-how; in such a case they may not refuse to supply the information without due cause. The information (and any subsequent modifications and supplements) must be made available without delay, in a non-discriminatory and proportionate way and in practicable form.

 

“Technical information” shall include the unrestricted use of a vehicle’s electronic control and diagnostic systems, programmed in accordance with the manufacturer’s standard procedures, and such data as is necessary for setting up diagnostic and maintenance tools and appliances.

Justification

To preserve the functioning, safety and environmental compatibility of vehicle components and systems throughout a vehicle’s life and ensure there is effective competition in the repair and service market, it is essential to grant independent market participants unrestricted access to all the technical information required for vehicle repair and maintenance. Intellectual property rights and know-how must be taken into account, without this being used as an excuse to withhold information.

Amendment 9
Article 41, paragraph 2

2.   If appropriate, the Commission may propose the postponement of the application dates referred to in Article 40.

2.   On the basis of the information supplied under paragraph 1, the Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of this Directive by 1 October 2007. If appropriate, the Commission may propose the postponement of the application dates referred to in Article 40.

Justification

In case it is not possible for manufacturers to apply the technical provisions of this directive in full within the timescale laid down, there must be provision for a procedure in which, at the least, Parliament and the Council can be informed of the state of progress with its implementation.

Amendment 10
Annex XVI, column 3

Categories concerned

New types of vehicles

Obligatory

Categories concerned

New types of vehicles

Obligatory

M1

[.....]+

M1

[.....]+

Special-purpose vehicles of category M1

1 July 2007

Special-purpose vehicles of category M1

1 July 2008

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1

1 January 2007

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1

1 January 2008

Completed vehicles of category N1

1 January 2008

Completed vehicles of category N1

1 January 2009

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2008

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2009

Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2009

Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2010

Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2010

Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2011

Justification

It is proposed to extend all the application dates by one year to take account of the needs of the industry, as a suggested compromise between the demands of the Commission and those of the industry.

Amendment 11
Annex XVI, column 4

Categories concerned

Existing types of vehicles

(Obligatory)

Categories concerned

Existing types of vehicles

(Obligatory)

M1

N.A.   ++

M1

N.A.   ++

Special-purpose vehicles of category M1

1 July 2009

Special-purpose vehicles of category M1

1 July 2010

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1

1 January 2009

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N1

1 January 2010

Completed vehicles of category N1

1 January 2010

Completed vehicles of category N1

1 January 2011

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2010

Incomplete and complete vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2011

Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2011

Special-purpose vehicles of category N1, N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2012

Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2012

Completed vehicles of category N2, N3, M2, M3, O1, O2, O3, O4

1 January 2013

Justification

See justification for Amendment 10.

(1)OJ C ... / Not yet published in OJ.

Atnaujinta: 2004 m. vasario 6 d.Teisinis pranešimas