IMPORTANT INFORMATION !!!!

FOR MOTORISTS, GARAGES AND PARTS SUPPLIERS INCLUDING: CAR SERVICING – DURING THE WARRANTY PERIOD AND BEYOND. PARTS SUPPLY AND PARTS QUALITY

In October 2003 European Union legislation affecting the motor trade came into force. Its full title is “Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002″ (in short ‘BER’).

This legislation changes the way cars may be serviced and repaired and gives motorists a lot more freedom in their decision as to who should look after their cars. Before BER, it was very difficult to have cars, which were still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, serviced anywhere except a franchised dealer. Now motorists can use any garage of their choice to service their cars without invaliding the manufacturer’s warranty.*

The latest revision of the BER introduces four ‘freedoms’ that are aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. They affect the way in which the parts distributor can act in the market.In October 2003 European Union legislation affecting the motor trade came into force. Its full title is “Block Exemption Regulations 1400/2002’ (in short ‘BER’). This legislation changes the way cars may be serviced and repaired and gives motorists a lot more freedom in their decision as to who should look after their cars. Before BER, it was very difficult to have cars, which were still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, serviced anywhere except a franchised dealer. Now motorists can use any garage of their choice to service their cars without invaliding the manufacturer’s warranty.*

The latest revision of the BER introduces four ‘freedoms’ that are aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. They affect the way in which the parts distributor can act in the market.


1. Freedom for a franchised dealer and/or an ‘authorised repairer’ to purchase up to 70% of their purchases of ‘original spare parts’ and ‘matching quality’ spare parts from independent market operators of their choice.

This means: Parts Factors can supply parts of appropriate quality to Dealers and Authorised repairers without the Vehicle Manufacturer/Assembler using dealer/repairer contracts or other means to prevent them.


2. The freedom for parts manufacturers/suppliers to sell their OE-components without restrictions into independent wholesalers or independent repairers.

This means: Parts manufacturers can no longer be forced by their ‘OE’ contract to limit supply of certain parts to the Vehicle Manufacturer/Assembler. The end of the ‘tied parts’ arrangements.


3. The freedom for parts manufacturers/ suppliers to brand their ‘original equipment parts’ with their own logo.

This means: Motorists and garages will be able to identify the manufacturers of a component when it is removed from a vehicle and source its replacement from any distributor of the part. They will no longer feel that they ‘have’ to go to a dealer for a part.


4. An extension of the obligation on vehicle assemblers to pass on technical information to operators in the independent aftermarket. This information includes, for instance: Access to electronic systems for controlling the vehicle’s operation. Right of “reprogramming” information to correct maladjustment.

This means: Anyone with a legitimate need for technical information – parts manufacturers – remanufacturers – distributors – factors – garages – technical publishers – security companies – will have the right of access to it in a usable form and at a reasonable cost (the same cost as charged to anyone within the VAs network) The new BER also introduces certain definitions of importance to the independent aftermarket.


There is a new definition of ‘original spare parts’ and ‘matching quality parts’ that is based on the quality of the component. This definition can be used:

  • Where parts used are of the same quality as the component used for the assembly of a motor vehicle.
  • Where the parts used are of the same specifications and production standards as those used by the Vehicle Assemblers.
  • Where parts manufacturers/suppliers are able to issue a quality (self-)certification.

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