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ETO member VDAT applied for an infringement violation investigation against Belgium

The specialty products industry is still facing a lot of restrictions in many European countries due to national restrictive or burdensome requirements. Mutual recognition and free movement of goods within the EU is still in practise not fully working. One EU country with restrictive barriers that inhibit the free movement of goods is Belgium.

Therefore the ETO member VDAT applied for an infringement violation investigation regarding mutual recognition of products against Belgium at the European Commission this month.

The investigation request is based on the Belgium’s national technical regulations laying down rules that automotive vehicles and parts must comply to.

In particular article 14 paragraphs (1) (3) of the Royal Decree of 15 March 1968, which states that all cars are prohibited on public roads which do not in all aspects comply to and consist of what is written in the type approval of the vehicle. Article 8 paragraph (5) of the Royal Decree of 15 March 1968 also states that any overhaul of a vehicle results in that the vehicle no longer complies with the original approval of the vehicle.

In addition it says “ Should the modification be carried out by any other person than the manufacturer or his authorized representative, the approval request may only
be accepted with the agreement of the manufacturer or his authorized representative”. Personalization of vehicles is therefore basically impossible and presents a restriction of free inner community trade.

The existing trade barrier in Belgium cannot be justified as to maintaining road safety or compliance with existing exhaust and / or noise emissions, the VDAT states.

Every European Member State must establish the safety of vehicles in a periodic main inspection. The technical competence of these examiners is fully sufficient to be able to assess changes to vehicles in circulation.

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