Four years after its entry into force, the implementation of the End-Of-Life Vehicles (ELV) Directive is still beset by significant problems. According to a new study, complex administrative requirements and reluctance by some members states to impose additional costs on automakers are among the main stumbling blocks.
A new study, commissioned by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committee of the European Parliament and completed in March 2007 by the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP), has found that only the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Austria have made good progress on implementation.
Success in these member states, the report says, can be attributed to sufficient resources and effective administrative systems, backed by “early experience of operating a highly regulated system of car disposal”.
But other member states, including the UK and Italy, have not fared so well. Problems include:
- Significant differences in the waste-management and administrative structures of member states;
- the complexity of the administrative requirements of the directive, including the need in some cases to establish new systems and standards;
- the reluctance by some member states to impose more costs on carmakers, particularly in states in which car production is a major source of employment, and;
- lack of resources, both financial and administrative, particularly in many of the new member states.
Other problems relate to illegal activity. Carmakers or other facilities that accept end-of-life vehicles at no cost are required to issue destruction certificates to the final owner of the vehicle. Numerous “rogue traders,” however, undermine this system by buying old vehicles and then re-selling scrap metal or other parts and dumping the vehicles without any respect for environmental standards. A number of cars are also exported outside the EU and dumped in countries with less stringent disposal laws.
The report also cites a general lack of public awareness about the requirements, or even the existence, of the law.