German and UK industry criticise implementation plans for car recycling

The German government has drafted strict new legislation on car recycling, implementing the EU’s directive on end-of-life vehicles. If adopted in the autumn by Mr Schröder’s cabinet, the German legislation could set the tone for other Member States’ implementation of the EU’s car recycling laws. In the UK, the motor industry also criticised the lack of consultation in the UK government’s implementation plans for this directive.

According to German newspaper Handelsblatt, the proposed legislation stipulates that the last owner of a car registered in Germany will have the right to return the car free of charge to the producer or importer. Return points for old scrapped cars will be set up as locally as possible.

Handelsblatt estimates that the measure will cost the German car industry around DM800 million a year when it comes into effect in 2007.


The German car industry has criticised the goverment’s proposals. In a press release, the German Car Industry Association (VDA) said that the government had not taken into consideration several alternative solutions presented by industry.

The UK motor industry (SMMT) issued a critical press release on 10 August, calling the Blair government’s consultation on the issue ” a farce”. The Society for Motor Manufacturers and Traders said the UK Department of Trade and Industry is proposing that car makers bear the cost of vehicle recycling from 2002, five years ahead of the European Commission deadline of 2007.


The proposed legislation will be discussed in a hearing with stakeholders on 13-14 September. The German cabinet might approve this new law after the hearing.


Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles was adopted in May 2000. This EU legislation aims to prevent waste from end-of-life vehicles and promote the collection, re-use and recycling of their components to protect the environment. Member States have to transpose this EU legislation into national law before April 2002.



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