Motorbikes, Agricultural and Forestry Vehicles – MEPs vote to ensure access to OBD, repair and maintenance information (RMI) for Independent Operators

The Members of the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) approved the report of Antonio Panzeri (Socialist Party/Italy) on the type-approval of agricultural and forestry vehicles and also the report of Wim van de Camp (Conservative Party/Netherlands) on the type-approval of two-or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles.

EGEA welcomes the IMCO votes because they reaffirm the principle set out by the European Commission that manufacturers must also provide access to technical information for motorcycles and agricultural and forestry vehicles. This is an important signal for the many independent repairers and equipment and parts producers active in this aftermarket segment. The vote has a lighthouse effect and is an example of consistent EU policy-making. The EU legislator now confers similar rights on independent operators for two-wheelers and tractors as have already been given for passenger cars and heavy duty vehicles, as advocated by EGEA. This now puts all categories on an equal footing.

In the case of agricultural and forestry vehicles, a number of amendments had been proposed which would have removed the right of independent operators to access RMI. EGEA welcomes that the IMCO Members rejected these proposals in favour of a fairer compromise and thereby paved the way for free and effective competition in the aftermarket. To respond however to specificities of agricultural and forestry machines (e.g. production in small volumes, customised trailers or interchangeable towed equipment) the Parliamentarians called for proportionality and called upon the European Commission to tackle these in the ensuing technical implementing measures.

For the report on the two-or three-wheel vehicles, the EU Parliamentarians set out a timeline for the introduction of On Board Diagnostics (OBD) on each category of motorcycles. Along with reasserting the principle of fair access to repair and maintenance information, they also supported the mandatory EU-wide introduction of the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) for all new type-approved motorbikes over 50cc in 2016 rather than 2017 as originally proposed.

The dates of application for the two new pieces of legislation (2013 or 2014 for motorcycles and 2014 or 2016 for tractors) are still under negotiation between the European Parliament and the EU Commission.

Next steps: Both IMCO Reports will now have to be voted on in the European Parliament’s plenary session (provisionally be scheduled for February 2012) in Strasbourg and will also have to be accepted by the Council of Ministers as part of the co-decision procedure.

For further information, please contact Eleonore van Haute at the EGEA Secretariat on +32 2 761 95 15 or at [email protected]