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Thursday, 23 October 2014

EU will allow car emissions into carbon trading market

Reuters reports that the EU will allow car emissions into carbon trading market. Critics say the move could empower carmakers to push back against more effective curbs on greenhouse gases.

Monday, 6 October 2014

CMA report on private motor insurance

The Competition and Markets Authority's report is available on the private motor insurance case page.

The Consumer Credit (Information Requirements and Duration of Licences and Charges) (Amendment) Regulations 2014

The Consumer Credit (Information Requirements and Duration of Licences and Charges) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 concern only 'green deal' schemes where energy-efficiency improvements are made to a property and the occupier pays in instalments, so this note is to let you know that you don't need to be familiar with them.

The Vehicle Excise and Registration (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2014

The Vehicle Excise and Registration (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2014

From the Explanatory Note:
Schedule 19 to the Finance Act 2014 amends the Vehicle Excise and Registration Act 1994 so that it no longer provides for the issue and display of paper licences, whether they be vehicle, nil or trade licences. These Regulations make consequential amendments to various regulations having effect under the 1994 Act relating to the registration and licensing of mechanically propelled vehicles so as to reflect the changes to that Act.

Regulation 1 provides for the Regulations to come into force on 1st October 2014, which is the date on which Schedule 19 to the Finance Act 2014 will also come into force. Regulation 2 introduces Schedule 1 which contains amendments to the Road Vehicles and Licensing Regulations 2002; regulation 3 introduces Schedule 2 which amends the Vehicle Excise Duty (Immobilisation, Removal and Disposal of Vehicles) Regulations 1997 and regulation 4 introduces Schedule 3, of which Part 1 amends the Sale of Registration Marks Regulations 1995 and Part 2 the Retention of Registration Marks Regulations 1993.

Dealer Protection Code - Dead in the Water?

The much-vaunted code of conduct to which the Commission encouraged the two sides of the industry to agree after removing the dealer protection measures from the 2010 block exemption, has finally been knocked on the head by ACEA. Auto Retail Network reports the Association’s Legal Director Marc Greven, stating at CECRA’s European Car Dealer Conference in Brussels in late September that the organisation did not plan to agree to a code.
That is not to say that there will never be a code, just that ACEA does not consider that its job includes agreeing one. Mr Greven said it was a contractual matter between manufacturers and their dealers. But if that is the case, what was the draft (at least I had always thought of it as a draft, but it seems I was wrong) code promulgated by ACEA and JAMA supposed to be for? CECRA never liked that much, and of course the manufacturers never liked the dealers’ proposals either. Has the ACEA/JAMA code also been dropped? Apparently not: it is here on ACEA's website (though JAMA don't seem to be mentioned). So ACEA's position appears to be that they don't see it as their job to agree a code with the dealers, but they are happy to produce their own. That sounds like a fundamental difference of opinion between the two sides about what a code of practice is.
The Commission announced last December that if the two sides did not agree, it would impose a solution, and it set the end of this year as a deadline – coinciding with the conclusion of work on the CARS 2020 Project (see Motor Law, volume 13 number 12 and this posting). That looked encouraging, for those who like the idea of a code, but it appears that it failed to take into account that the Commission was up for a replacement in the interim, and as we are seeing now new Commissioners are being appointed as the old ones make their exits. Commissioner Almumia’s parting speech is reported elsewhere in this issue. So along the line, the Commission’s commitment went from a statement of intent to see this through, to reserving the right to introduce legislation on unfair trading practices. Since when, incidentally, did the Commission have to reserve the right to do something within its powers?
Carlo Pettinelli, currently Director of Industrial Innovation and Mobility Industries in DG Enterprise & Industry, did however assure the CECRA Conference that the subject was still firmly in the minds of the people responsible. So action before the year end can still be expected.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Tax discs go, but not smoothly

The BBC reports that the abolition of tax discs has led to a certain amount of confusion - occasioned by having many more people than usual trying to renew online. That was probably inevitable.

The government is also getting some stick for the "double taxation" that is an inevitable consequence of the change in the vehicle excise duty rules: when a car is sold with VED remaining on it, the buyer has to pay VED from the beginning of the month but the seller gets no refund for the month in which the sale takes place. Will car sales become concentrated at the end of the month - claim a refund on the last day, retax on the first of the next month, keep it off the road in the interim (if that is even possible for the seller)? With everything being done online these days it might be possible to do the business each side of midnight so it is almost seamless.

The government argues that the extra revenue is very small, and that 65 per cent of cars are not sold with VED on them at present anyway, but the impression that they are squeezing a few more pounds out of the milchcow cannot be ignored.

Bryan Cave EU & Competition Law

Bryan Cave EU & Competition Law: "On 1 October 2014, the Belgium Court of Appeal held that requirements that spare parts providers also had to be authorised dealers infringed Article 102 of the TFEU, the abuse of a dominant position."

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