Block Exemption Regulations (BER) 1400/2002/EC, 330/2010/EC, 461/2010/EC

The new AUTOMOBILE BLOCK EXEMPTION REGULATION (BER) 1400/2002/EC, which entered into force on 1st October 2002 for the consumer’s rigths, is the new legislative framework for motor vehicle distribution and servicing argeements. Also containing important provisions for the automotive market, the new BER aims at creating more competition in the sales and servicing markets as well as in the markets for the supply of spare parts. The European Commission thereby intends to preserve the motorists’ right to have their vehicles serviced, maintained and repaired at a workshop of their choise using ‘competitive or matchig quality spare parts’, at prices controlled by competition.

Since 1st June 2010 and up to May 2023, new regulations 330/2010/EC και 461/2010/EC are in force, in addition to BER 1400/2002/EC and according to article 101/3 EU.

Concerning spare parts, it is important to underline that both contractual partners, the authorised dealer and the authorised repairer, have the right to freely purchase ‘original spare parts’ as well as spare parts that are at least of ‘matching quality’ (if not superior quality = improvements) from independed parts wholesalers. This creates an efficient supply alternative, increases quality competition and reduces cost of repair for the consumer. The EU Commission considers any restriction to this right imposed directly or indirectly by a vehicle manufacturer as a serious violation of the new BER.

  1. Original spare parts (OEM), considered these parts produced ‘in-house’ by vehicle manufactures themselves.
  2. Spare parts, manufactured by independent spare parts producers, which by agreement are used in the vehicles’ production line and also supllied via the vehicle manufacturer and his authorised partners. The vehicle manufacturer may require – as is often done in daily business – the use of his logo on the parts distributed via his channel. The spare parts producer, however may not be hindered (max 5 years) from using his own trademark (either exclusively or in parallel as “double branding”) and sell his products in the aftermarket.
  3. Spare parts, manufactured by spare parts producers (whether or not they are OEM suppliers), which are technically identical to the component parts that were used in the new vehicle, and which are supplied to the independenr aftermarket. These parts, of course bear only the trademark of the spare parts producer. The new BER defines these as “spare parts of matcing quality” and must correspond to the ‘original part’ in terms of its construction, production, quality, and functional standards.

The term “original spare parts” is thus no longer defined with regard to the vehicle manufacturer’s distribution system, but instead, in consideration of the quality of the components. Parts that are identical in technical terms can now be offered and procured as ‘original spare parts’. The new definition breaks through the terminology monopoly of vehicle manufacturers and opens up new marketing opportunities for the independent aftermarket. These practices of the past in regard with demanding exclusive use of OEM parts sold ony from authorised dealers, have been ruled out as unfair customer tying by the EU Commission.

The EU Commission renders it clear that the consumer shall not lose his warranty claims against the vehicle manufacturer when using either OEM or ISO certified matching quality spare parts, provided a normal service or repair work, has been carried out by an independent certified repair outlet. However, if a faulty repair of an independent repairer is the cause of the damage, the independent repairer is held liable for it.

The clarifications apply to the two years’ legal warranty, but the EU Commission has expreely included vehicle manufacturers’ extended guarrantees and other contractual warranties (consumer rights that go beyond the two years statutory minimum period provided by the Consumer Goods Directive 1999/44/EC).

We are constantly trying to be able to cover your needs i.e. ready to inform you, to advice you, to guide you and to deliver you with the apropriate quality OEM or ISO certified competitive brand name spare part required to perform your car’s maintenance or repair, always in conjunction with the independent certified repairer.

In our PRODUCTS page you have numerous possibilities to browse and navigate through top worldwide manufacturers’ website pages, pick up the spare part’s commercial code you are looking for and then check availability and competitive brand pricing in our e-shop page.

Alternatively, you can directly use our e-shop’s search engines in order to choose spare parts, provided you have gained access to it. Please, get informed and use our CONTACT page.

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