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EU wide Repair Clause

The European Parliament has backed plans to make it easier to by car parts from other companies other than the original manufacturer.

Members of Parliament approved a first reading of the Repair Clause, which calls for the European Commission to relax intellectual property rights on car parts.

Louis Shakinovsky, ECAR chairman, the European campaign for the freedom of the automotive parts and repair market, said: "The vote sends out a strong signal to the Council of Ministers to join in and to adopt a solution that Europe so urgently needs and has been so long awaited."

Opponents of the plans include Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Romania, France and Germany, which argues the shake-up would weaken Europe intellectual property rights.

The European Parliament agreed to have a transition period of five years for the Repair Clause to give time for member states to implement changes.

Shakinovsky said: "There’s no good reason for the interim phase because it would give car manufacturers the opportunity in countries which have not yet adopted the repairs clause to litigate competition to death.

"This would make the Repair Clause ineffective before it eventually comes into force."

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