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Issue No. 1, 2009

Further Commission amendments to exemptions from the ELV 'heavy metal ban'

The third EU Decision amending Annex II to the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC) was adopted on 1 August 2008, in conformity with the relevant EU regulatory procedure.  This latest amendment redefines the materials that are exempted from the heavy metal ban contained in the ELV Directive, extending certain exemptions and removing others.

Adopted in 2000, the ELV Directive provides clear targets for the recovery, reuse and recycling of end-of-life vehicles and their components.  Essentially, the Directive seeks to encourage manufacturers to produce new vehicles that will be easier to recycle.  It stipulates a ban on the use of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and hexavalent chromium in vehicle materials and components placed on the market after 1 July 2003, while listing a number of exemptions in its Annex II.  It also states that Annex II is to be regularly updated on the basis of scientific and technical progress.

The Commission recently issued a restricted call for proposals in order to select a consultancy that will assess the exemptions now included in the ELV Directive's Annex II, for the purpose of amending them once again in the context of a fourth revision.  The 18-month consultancy contract is still under preparation and a formal announcement of the launch of the revision of Annex II will only be made once the name of the contractor is publicly released in, the Commission anticipates, early January 2009. 

The selected contractor will be required to evaluate the 'overlap' between the so-called RoHS Directive (2002/95/EC on the Restriction of certain Hazardous Substances Directive), which is also under revision.  The exercise should result in further harmonisation between the RoHS and ELV Directives.

The full revision process is likely to run until mid-2010 and will include a stakeholders' consultation and the establishment of a webpage for interested parties.  An informal meeting with DG Environment is expected to take place in February 2009.

The Decision was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 23 August 2008.