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VALORCAR – ELV and ELB management in Portugal

Auto Recycling World spoke to Jose Amaral, Director of Operations at VALORCAR, a private, non-profit entity, licensed to manage the integrated management system for ELVs and waste batteries and accumulators in Portugal, to find out about the operation, its relationship with ATFs and government, and what pursuits are planned for the future.


VALORCAR - ELV and ELB management in Portugal p
Jose Amaral

VALORCAR is a managing entity for end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), and end-of-life batteries (ELBs) in Portugal. It has two main objectives:

  • to organize a network of authorized treatment facilities (ATFs) for the collection of ELVs and ELBs with national coverage (currently, there are around 320 ATFs; private independent companies; on the mainland and on the islands of Açores and Madeira);
  • to monitor and collaborate with these companies to maximize the reuse, recycling and recovery rates of ELVs and ELBs, ensuring compliance with the targets established by the legislation.

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VALORCAR started managing ELVs in 2004, and ELBs in 2009. It was created by the Automobile Association of Portugal (ACAP) (which has a 95% share) to address the challenges presented to Portuguese automobile importers by extended product responsibility legislation on vehicles and batteries. The remaining 5% share is owned by AEPSA, an association representing waste treatment companies.

We believe VALORCAR has made a decisive contribution to improving the performance of auto recycling in Portugal, namely by:

  • publishing best practice technical documents (guides on ELV dismantling and ELB management) and performing site visits to ATFs (identifying nonconformities and presenting suggestions for improvement);
  • organizing training for ATF personnel (AC fluid removal, ELV dismantling, EV battery dismantling);
  • implementing an online IT system for issuing CoDs (connected to the Portuguese Environmental Agency and the Portuguese Traffic Authority);
  • classifying ATF performance (annually) and attributing prizes to best performing ATF;
  • supporting legislative improvements such as the connection between vehicle registration and the annual road & property tax, obligatory use of online IT system for CoD emission, vehicle de-registration connected to CoD, prohibition of used part sales by illegal operators;

Has Valocar had any specific impact on illegal operators?

This is for sure. In 2004, when VALORCAR started operating, there were only four licensed facilities in the country. Since the beginning, we have been providing information to non-licensed operators about licensing requirements and procedures.

Many of these became licensed and joined VALORCAR’s network. VALORCAR is also active in informing environmental authorities about illegal ELV dismantling sites.

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Diplomacy and Auditing

VALORCAR has the responsibility to identify and understand the concerns of ATFs and the government and propose viable solutions to improve ELV/ELB treatment.

VALORCAR site visits to ATFs allow:

  • personal contact and exchange of points of view;
  • the identification and resolution of non-conformities preventing possible fines by inspection authorities;
  • sharing information about ELV/ELB management best practices and equipment;

This contributes to more and better informed ATFs and fewer conflicts.

The reused parts sector

Some ATFs are very specialized in selling reused parts, physically and/or online, and have IT systems for controlling stock and sales. We also see an increase in ATFs with online shops. The online sale of used parts by illegal operators is a matter of concern, and Portuguese law forbids the sale of used parts (including online) by non-licensed operators.

Future pursuits

VALORCAR will continue to pursue the objectives mentioned above. From a more detailed perspective, we see some important challenges to overcome, such as, improving the recycling and recovery of ELV non-metallic materials, such as plastics, textiles and foams, and optimizing the collection, reuse and recycling of Li-ion batteries.

For further information about VALORCAR, please visit