Porsche New Block Exemption Regulation (NBER)
Recent changes to European legislation now mean that Independent garages can now carry out maintenance on your car without invalidating your vehicle assembler's warranty. In October 2003 European Union Legislation affecting the motor trade came in to 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.
NEW LEGISLATION PROVIDES CHEAPER CAR SERVICING
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 invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty.*
The latest revision of the BER introduces four ‘freedoms’ that are aimed at safeguarding free competition in the market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. They affect the way in which the parts distributor can act in the market. 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 can supplyed of appropriate quality to dealers and authorised repairers without the vehicle manufacturers warranty being voided.
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.
The freedom for part manufacturers /suppliers to brand their ‘original equipment parts’ with their own logo. This means: Motorists and garages will be able to identify the manufacturer 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.
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 the same quality as the component used for the assembly of a motor vehicle.
Where parts used are of the same specification and production standards as those used be Vehicle Assemblers.
Where parts manufacturers/suppliers are able to issue a quality (self-) certification.
The BER also covers service and maintenance during the warranty period and prohibits vehicle manufactures’ warranties from including conditions requiring that:
All normal maintenance be provided within the vehicle makers’ network
All parts used must be the VA’s “original spare parts”
The European Commission declared that such clauses in a warranty document would represent ‘an unjustified restriction for the consumer!’
The ADF have written confirmation from OFT that:
Independent repairers CAN carry out normal maintenance and repair services during a vehicle’s warranty period without invalidating the VA’s warranty condition. With two privisos…
Provided: that the service is in accordance with the VA’s servicing schedules and is recorded as such. Provided: that the parts used are of ‘appropriate quality’ and are recorded as such. Don’t forget, the new BER helps parts distributors, independent garages and motorists.
BLOCK EXEMPTION REGULATION 2003
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