Block Exemption Regulations (BER) explained

Block Exemption Regulations (BER) introduced in 2003 brings four 'freedoms' that are aimed at safeguarding free competition in the entire market for vehicle spare parts, service and repair. They affect the way in which the parts distributor can act in the market. Please see below an extract fram a BER leaflet produced by the Automotive Distribution Federation (ADF).

  1. Freedom for a franchised dealer and/or an 'authorised repairer' to purchase up to 70% of their purchases of 'original spare parts' and 'matching quality' spare parts from independent market operators of their choice. This Means: Parts Factors can supply parts of appropriate quality to Dealers and authorised repairers without the Vehicle Manufacturer/Assembler using dealer/repairer contracts or other means to prevent them.

  2. The freedom for parts manufacturers/suppliers to sell their OE-components without restrictions into independent wholesalers or independent repairers. This Means: Parts manufacturers can no longer be forced by their 'OE' contract to limit supply of certain parts to the Vehicle Manufacturer/Assembler. The end of the 'tied parts' arrangements.

  3. The freedom for parts manufacturers/suppliers to brand their 'original equipment parts' with their own logo. This Means: Motorists and garages will be able to identify the manufacturer of a component when it is removed fram a vehicle and source its replacement from any distributor of the part. They will no longer feel that they 'have' to go to a dealer for a part.

  4. An extension to the obligation on vehicle assemblers to pass on technical information to operators in the independent aftermarket. This information includes, for instance: Access to electronic systems for controlling the vehicle's operation, Right of "reprogramming" information to correct maladjustment. This Means: Anyone with a legitimate need for technical information - parts manufacturers - remanufacturers - distributors - factors - garages - technical publishers - security companies - will have right of access to it in a usable form and at a reasonable cost (the same cost as charged to anyone within the VAs network).

For a full copy of the ADF's Block Exemption Regulation leaflet, please contact ADF on 0870 458 2300 or visit their website at www.adf.org.uk

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