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New EPR regulation in French ELV sector heading in the right direction

The French Government recently published a decree to change the organization of the end-of-life vehicle (ELV) sector in France; this regulation is going in the right direction, but requires some clarification, according to Mobilians, the movement of entrepreneurs in the automotive industry.


New EPR regulation in French ELV sector heading in the right direction p

On December 1st, 2022, the French government published a decree to change the organization of the End-Of-Life Vehicles – (ELV)

This regulation follows the Circular Economy Law from 2020  – providing for the establishment of an extended producer responsibility (EPR) for producers of certain categories of motor vehicles (passenger cars, vans, two- or three-wheeled vehicles, quads, golf carts). This, to ensure their recovery free of charge throughout the national territory and to fight more effectively against gray market. 

Any strengthening of the ELV sector is very positively received by professionals, however, this decree is also a source of concern and requires some clarification.

In place since 2006, the EPR system for ELVs is widely recognized for its undeniable efficiency: recycling rates are exceeded (87.6% recycling and reuse), while recovery rates have already been achieved (95.7%).

Nevertheless, this decree is a source of concern for professionals on reduced environmental ambitions. Indeed, the decree provides that an ATF corresponds to “any natural or legal person who ensures the reception, storage, depollution, dismantling of parts or disassembly, including cutting and compacting, of end-of-life vehicles […]”. 

This term disassembly did not exist in the original version of the draft decree but was added at the last minute to the final version of the text.

Nowhere defined (neither in the European texts, nor in the French texts) this term must in no case be an opportunity for certain actors in the sector to avoid the production of reused automotive spare parts.

Conversely, Mobilians would like a minimum rate of production of reused parts to be included in the decree. Today, only 3.6% of parts replaced in the context of collision repair are reuse parts, it is necessary to quickly create an incentive for their development to meet the imperative of ecological transition.

In addition, the decree does not, at present, provide guarantees as to the ownership of parts resulting from the dismantling and of the material of end-of-life vehicles.

Overall, the text offers producers an important right to inspect the activities of ATFs. Freedom of trade and enterprise is a constitutional right in a market economy. As such, companies benefit from freedom in the management of their affairs. The drafting of the decree could go beyond what seems acceptable because this would lead to a risk of de facto management by the producers. 

In such a situation, producers could also limit the number of pieces marketed and regulate the freedom of this market. The decree does not respond at this stage to the concerns expressed by Mobilians regarding the structuring of the EPR system, particularly in terms of the risk of imbalance in competition between economic players.

Mobilians will do everything necessary to fight for reused parts and the obligation for ATFs to produce reused parts.

New EPR regulation in French ELV sector heading in the right direction lo