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'Minimise the ELV burden'

Carmakers will be responsible for disposing of end-of-life vehicles, according to Government proposals unveiled last week. Whitehall wants manufacturers to be responsible for contracting a network of authorised treatment facilities to deal with dismantling and disposal.

Vehicle manufacturers will be required to develop appropriate networks of take-back facilities based on customer convenience, economic efficiency and the numbers of ELVs arising in a particular area. The news comes as part of a consultation paper published by the Department of Trade and Industry. Automotive decision makers have until the end of March to respond.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is calling on ministers to ensure the cost burden on manufacturers is kept to a minimum. It says the cost of vehicles treated outside the official networks established by vehicle manufacturers should be borne by the operator collecting the item.

The SMMT adds that operators acting outside the carmaker network must be responsible for meeting obligations imposed by the directive.

It also wants independent importers to take responsibility for the vehicles they put into the UK market and stresses that free take- back must only apply to vehicles that have not been dumped.

Christopher Macgowan, SMMT chief executive, welcomed the consultation process. “As well as minimising the cost burden on industry, this approach represents the most effective method of implementing difficult and complex legislation. We look forward to ensuring that a light regulatory touch is reflected in the final draft,” he says.

The consultation document is available on the DTI website at dti.gov.uk/consultations. Responses must be received by March 30.

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