UK AFCAR, the lobbying coalition comprising UK trade federations and commercial organisations, has secured critically important gains in the revised Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Order (MV-BEO) ensuring effective competition and choice for millions of UK motorists.
In the accompanying guidelines, UK AFCAR has secured full access and recognition for independent garages, parts distributors and parts suppliers / manufacturers to full repair and maintenance information and data from vehicle manufacturers.
For parts distributors as well as the workshops who finally fit these parts, software and coding must now also be made available to ensure their ability to complete vehicle repairs. Importantly, the inclusion of the reference to Chapter II of the UK Competition Act introduces the basis for ‘horizontal’ agreements between vehicle manufacturers and independent operators.
The previous Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulations (MVBER) expired on 31 May 2023, with the new post-Brexit competition law and guidelines now in effect. Months of intense lobbying by members of UK AFCAR has created significant improvements when compared to the European MV-BER and guidelines, in particular clearer definitions to support the way vehicles are diagnosed, repaired and maintained.
References are also made in the guidelines to the type approval requirements for access to RMI, which will also need to be revised to ensure continued effective competition that supports consumer choice and affordable mobility.
Mark Field, IAAF Chief Executive and UK AFCAR chairman said: “This is major achievement for the independent automotive aftermarket, and I would look to pay tribute to intense work of the UK AFCAR and its members, Neil Pattemore and our colleagues in FIGIEFA. I’d also like to acknowledge and thank CMA for their detailed understanding of the need to protect consumer choice and their commitment to working with UK AFCAR to ensure compliance of MVBEO.”