Saturday, September 08, 2007

Rogue UK Car Dealers Threaten EU Environmental Regulations

Source: EU eco vehicle law under threat from rogue car dealers

The European Commission enacted the EU End-of-Life Vehicle Directive (the ELV Directive) in 2003 to address excess pollution resulting from the disposal of vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life. Proper disposal requires owners to take unwanted vehicles to one of 1200 authorized treatment facilities (ATFs) for the removal of possible contaminants such as oil, brake fluid, tires and airbags. Car owners are issued with a “certificate of destruction” to prove that the vehicle was properly disposed, and the ATF disposes of the vehicle.

However, according to ALDE group deputy Chris Davies, unscrupulous operators, particularly in the UK, are circumventing the ATFs by purchasing old cars directly from owners. These operators dismantle the vehicles for salvageable parts, and illegally dispose of the remaining unwanted parts. Recent estimates suggest that this practice accounts for the unlawful collection of as many as 1.1 million vehicles each year.

Car owners who sell their vehicles to these operators are at risk of prosecution for failing to obtain a Certificate of Destruction. Additionally if the car is driven, rather than scrapped, the seller is responsible for costs arising from the operation, including road taxes, parking and speeding tickets.

More importantly, Davies warns, [these owners] “can be certain that the pollutants in their car will end up polluting the environment. This EU law is good news for the environment but the entire scheme is undermined if these people can simply carry on letting oil and brake fluids wash down the nearest drain.”

Questions for Discussion
1. Do you agree with Davies? Does the ease of circumventing the ATFs seriously undermine the ELV directive, or does it represent a correctable weakness in an otherwise solid policy?

2. Are stricter penalties for car owners who sell their vehicles to illegal operators as opposed to disposing of them at the ATFs likely to deter potential offenders?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More than 25,000 jobs in Britain's chemical industry are threatened by European Union plans to tighten environmental regulations, according to the Confederation of British Industry.

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