Commission plans to exempt car spare parts from metals ban

Spare parts for use in cars sold before July 2003 will be exempt from the ban on the use of heavy metals in new cars, the European Commission has decided.

The EU Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELVs), issued in 2000, bans the use of mercury, lead, cadmium or hexavalent chromium from materials and components in cars put on the market after 1 July 2003, except for a number of exemptions listed in an annex (ENDS Report 316, pp 23-26 ).

In January the Commission issued a Decision amending the annex so that it would also exempt spare parts for use in cars sold before July 2003.1 The Decision says the exemption is justified because "product reuse, refurbishment and extension of lifetime are beneficial".

However, the Decision must be repealed and re-submitted in late spring as part of a wider review of the Directive because the Commission failed to consult the European Parliament before issuing the document.

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