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R2RC says renew current BER, not rely on other laws

Following the publication of the European Commission's evaluation of the current motor trade Block Exemption Regulation last week, the UK Right to Repair Campaign (R2RC) said it will lobby for renewal.

R2RC believes that parts of the commission's proposals on BER would add uncertainty and penalise the independent aftermarket by making remedies for market abuse harder to obtain.

The independent aftermarket needs simple and sector-specific legislation, it said.

Dealers and repairers can quiz John Clark of the European Commission about the BER evaluation this Thursday, June 5, at the AM/NFDA Autoretailing conference in Birmingham (click here to visit Autoretailing).

Jim Mazza, chairman of the UK Right to Repair Campaign, said: "Though the tone of the report is softer than expected, it still understates the benefits to consumers and the independent aftermarket alike of having a single piece of legislation regulating the availability of service and repair information and the supply of replacement parts."

He added: "The proposed changes would make it harder to be certain about the law and make it much more difficult and expensive for the independent aftermarket to obtain redress.

"Its ability to compete - and to provide motorists with freedom of choice - will be severely reduced. We hope the UK Government will support us." The commission's report indicates that the objectives of BER could be met by using other existing or forthcoming legislation, rather than a motor trade specific Block Exemption.

R2RC fears that the independent aftermarket would face disproportionate costs and delay in obtaining redress for abuse of a dominant position, if the commission's suggestion that it could be countered by using parts of the Treaty of Rome is carried forward.

"The process of seeking information and going through the legal process would take so long that the complainant would be out of business well before any solution was reached", Mazza said.

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