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Sigrauto – Stakeholders must continue to maintain close collaboration in ELV management

Manuel Kindelan, General Director of Sigrauto, the Spanish Association for the Environmental Treatment of End-of-Life Vehicles tells Auto Recycling World not only about how collaboration was key to establishing the organisation but how far it has come since its conception 20 years ago.


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Manuel Kindelan

We can say that, since the mid-1990s, the Spanish vehicle recycling industry has undergone an enormous transformation driven primarily by the collaboration between the sectors involved in the end of life vehicles (ELVs) treatment chain.

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Some years before the Directive was published, Spanish vehicle manufacturers and importers sat down with dismantlers and shredders and all together decided that the best way to face the challenges that the new regulations on vehicle recycling would entail was to work together.

The most visible materialisation of this agreement was the establishment, by the associations of vehicle manufacturers, importers, scrappers and shredders, of an entity that would coordinate their actions and whose decisions had to be taken by consensus among them. This entity was, and still is, SIGRAUTO.

Thanks to the strength that implies that all the sectors affected by the regulations propose measures and solutions to the different problems and challenges of vehicle recycling to the administrations, the vehicle recycling industry in Spain has managed to position itself among the most advanced in the European Union. A very important part of this situation has been the great work done in establishing an effective deregistration system perfectly linked with the delivery of the vehicle to an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) and the issuing of the certificate of destruction. This has undoubtedly been one of the main meeting points between the affected sectors, but there were many others, such as the search for ways to increase recovery levels, reinforce the reuse of parts, the fight against illegal activities, etc.

During the last 20 years since SIGRAUTO was constituted, the main achievements have been:

  • Elimination of all bureaucratic obstacles and costs associated when deregistering a vehicle
  • Establishment of a completely telematic deregistration system, where it is the ATF itself who processes the deregistration in the registry and only when it receives the vehicle together with its documentation.
  • Search for recovery solutions for different fractions coming from ATFs and shredding and post-shredding facilities that has led to a significant increase of the recovery levels achieved reached the 95% target in 2015. However, over the following years, there has been a slight decrease to around 93%.
  • All vehicles must be delivered to an ATF, but extended producer responsibility applies only to the vehicles under the scope of the ELV Directive (passenger cars and light commercial vehicles).
  • The Spanish regulation states that only ATFs can prepare for reuse and commercialise used vehicle parts and only from vehicles permanently deregistered. All reused parts must be accompanied by a certificate proving that it comes from an ATF.
  • Finally, in 2021, we have been able to modify the temporary deregistration regulation so that now it has a duration of one year closing that small “back door” used by some illegal facilities to receive ELVs without being authorised as an ATF.
  • Spanish vehicle producers have contracted, through SIGRAUTO, the biggest and best distributed network of ATFs in the EU to guarantee that any last owner (of a vehicle) can deliver their vehicle free of charge choosing from around 570 facilities.

We expect that the future ELV Directive (or Regulation) will help solve some of the problems detected by the European Commission with regard to ELV treatment, and we look forward to continuing to work together to comply with any new obligations coming from the future text. The truth is, that most of the measures that are being proposed and debated in the process of drafting the Directive are already being fulfilled in Spain, but there will undoubtedly be some changes that will have to be implemented, such as all aspects related to the management of electrified vehicles.

We are convinced that the best way to progress and improve the ELV management is the close collaboration between all the economic agents involved; especially vehicle manufacturers with ATF, shredding and post shredding facilities because the confrontation only brings inefficiencies and possibly non-compliances when the reality is that together it is possible to reach the necessary agreements so that all sectors can continue to develop their activity profitably and sustainably.

To find out more about Sigrauto, visit

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