Consultation on CMA’s proposed recommendation to be held in coming weeks ahead of final recommendation to Secretary of State
The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is to review the UK’s retained Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation and inform of its recommendation to government on whether to replace or vary it when it expires on 31 May 2023.
A consultation on the CMA’s proposed recommendation will be held in the coming weeks, ahead of the CMA’s final recommendation to the Secretary of State in late summer.
Following the UK’s exit from the EU, the EU ‘block exemption’ regulations that were in force under EU law at the end of the Transition Period on 31 December 2020 were retained in UK law.
It sets out automatic exemptions for certain categories of agreements related to the purchase, sale, and resale of spare parts for motor vehicles, and the provision of repair and maintenance services for motor vehicles.
In a statement, the CMA said: “The CMA’s review will assess whether the retained MVBER meets its intended purpose and takes account of specific features of the UK economy serving the interests of UK businesses and consumers, as well as considering the impact of recent developments in technology and industry business models.
“The CMA’s review will also include assessing the European Commission guidelines that accompany the existing MVBER, namely the supplementary guidelines on vertical restraints in agreements for the sale and repair of motor vehicles and for the distribution of spare parts for motor vehicles.
“The European Commission launched its review of the MVBER in December 2018.
“In May 2021, the European Commission finalised its evaluation phase and concluded that the MVBER remained useful and relevant for stakeholders, but that its effectiveness and coherence could be improved.
“The CMA will draw on evidence from the European Commission’s evaluation, to the extent that it is relevant to the UK.”
The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation (IAAF), as part of UK AFCAR, previously submitted a paper to the CMA detailing its concerns over the need to renew the current sector-specific regulations.
Mark Field, IAAF chief executive, said: “These regulations, fought for over many years, have provided the independent aftermarket protection and the ability to successfully access technical information.
“The IAAF and UK AFCAR stands ready to protect the sector which provides quality, choice and affordable mobility to millions of UK motorists.”