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Automotive sector cannot rely on general competition laws, says FIGIEFA

European aftermarket trade body FIGIEFA has vowed to continue lobbying for a revision of the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) in order to avoid a "legal patchwork" of general protections for the motor industry.

The organisation has responded to the European Commission's evaluation report on the current BER, which indicates that some elements of the motor trade specific Block Exemption are already covered by various other European laws.

FIGIEFA said: "Such a legal patchwork would however not represent a satisfactory framework for competition in the markets for spare parts, tools, servicing and repair."

It is concerned about the independent aftermarket's access to technical information from manufacturers.

It points out that the new Euro 5/6 Regulation (EC) N° 715/2007, which enters into force in September 2009, covers access to repair information only for newly type-approved passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

Therefore it cannot fill the gap for the existing car park, says FIGIEFA. The Euro VI Regulation for heavy duty vehicles is not even adopted and might only apply from 2013 onwards.

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