BLOCK EXEMPTION – Apec Bulletin

What is Block Exemption? A guide for motorists and independent repairers.
On 1st June 2010 European Union legislation, ‘Block Exemption Regulations 461/2010 came into force.

This gives motorists more freedom in their decision as to who should repair and service their vehicles – now any garage can be used without invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty (subject to certain conditions).
This was as a result of four specific ‘freedoms’ that were introduced, aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. This means:

  • parts distributors can supply parts of the appropriate quality to dealers and authorised repairers without the vehicle manufacturer / assembler using ‘dealer / repairer contracts’ or other means to prevent them.
  • anyone with a legitimate need for technical information has a right of access to it in a usable form and at a reasonable cost.

The BER covers service and maintenance during the warranty period and prohibits vehicle manufacturers’ warranties from including conditions requiring that:

  •  all normal maintenance be provided within the vehicle manufacturer’s network.
  •  all parts used must be the manufacturer’s original spare parts.

The European Commission declared that such clauses in a warranty document would represent ‘an unjustified restriction for the consumer’.

Independent repairers CAN carry out normal maintenance and repair services during a vehicle’s warranty period without invalidating the warranty conditions provided that:

  • the service is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s servicing schedules and is recorded as such.
  • any parts used are of ‘appropriate quality’ and are recorded as such.

All products supplied under the APEC brand are spare parts of matching quality as defined by EEC Commission Regulation 461/2010.

All products supplied under the APEC brand comply with current legislation and have full Regulation 90 approval in accordance with European Directives 98/12/EC (BER compliant) where appropriate.

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