Documents considered by the Committee on 25 April 2017 Contents

15Vehicle type approval

Committee’s assessment

Politically important

Committee’s decision

Not cleared from scrutiny; further information requested; scrutiny waiver granted

Document details

Proposed Regulation concerning vehicle type approval.

Legal base

Article 114 TFEU, ordinary legislative procedure, QMV

Department

Transport

Document Number

(37497), 5712/16 + ADDs 1–4, COM(16) 31

Summary and Committee’s conclusions

15.1The Commission has proposed a framework Regulation focussed on improving enforcement of vehicle type approval standards, which we have held under scrutiny since March 2016. Most recently, in February 2017, we heard from the Government about its developing, mainly supportive, view of the proposal and its expectation that the current Presidency would be continuing previously slow Council consideration of it. We asked to be kept informed about developments in Council discussions and also about the Government’s post-Brexit expectations in relation to international vehicle type approval standards, particularly those developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

15.2The Government has now told us that negotiation in the Council Working Group had proceeded well, that the Maltese Presidency intended to reach a General Approach on the proposed Regulation at the Competitiveness Council on 29 May 2017 and that this might be achievable, subject to further Working Group discussion. On this basis it has asked us for a scrutiny waiver, given consideration of a further update before the Council would not be possible. In support of this request the Government has given us a very detailed account of Working Group discussion of provisions important to the UK. The Government has also commented about the post-Brexit position on international vehicle type approval standards, mentioning particularly a recent strengthening of the role of non-EU governments in standard setting by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

15.3We are grateful to the Government for the information it has now given us. In the light of this we grant the scrutiny waiver it has requested, for use at the May 2017 Competitiveness Council and subject to its positive expectations being met. The Government should report the use of the waiver and the outcome of the Council to the successor Committee in the next Parliament.

Full details of the document

Proposed Regulation on the approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles: (37497), 5712/16 + ADDs 1–4, COM(16) 31.

Background

15.4In January 2016, the Commission proposed a Regulation to replace the existing EU framework legislation which governs type approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers, and of systems, components and separate technical units intended for such vehicles. Changes proposed focus on better enforcement of the existing standards.

15.5When we considered this proposal in March 2016 we noted the Government’s generally positive response to the proposal, particularly in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. We recognised the case for better enforcement of the existing type approval standards and asked for more information from the Government about its fuller analysis of the implications of the proposed Regulation, about the outcome of the consultations it was undertaking and about its consequent negotiating aims.

15.6In February 2017 the Government told us about its efforts to establish, with stakeholders, the impacts, costs and benefits of the proposal. It also said that significant progress in Council working group consideration of the proposed Regulation had so far been very slow, but that the Maltese Presidency intended to continue these discussions. The Government, noting the apparent desire of some Member States to maintain the current system as far as possible, said that it intended to support the majority of the measures included in the draft text, with some refinements. It pointed particularly to ensuring that powers proposed for the Commission were sufficiently defined and were to be used appropriately.

15.7Whilst grateful to the Government for this information, we retained the document under scrutiny pending further reports about Council consideration of the proposed Regulation. We asked also to hear from the Government, when it next reported, about its assessment of how much weight the UK would carry post-Brexit in adoption of international vehicle type approval standards by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), which would be applicable in the EU in accordance with the proposed Regulation.

The Minister’s letter of 19 April 2017

15.8The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Transport (Andrew Jones), first told us that the negotiation in the Council Working Group had proceeded well under the Maltese Presidency and its intention was to reach a General Approach on the proposed Regulation at the Competitiveness Council on 29 May 2017. He said that the Government believed this might be achievable, subject to the progress made in the next Working Group on 26 and 27 April 2017. On this basis he asked us for a scrutiny waiver as it would not be possible for us to consider a further update before the Council.

15.9The Minister also told us that:

15.10The Minister commented further that the Government was generally content with the indicative outcomes from the Working Group negotiations as it had managed to retain the key measures of the proposal, against the early reluctance it saw from a range of delegations. He said that the Government had also been successful in removing the few provisions which it considered to be its red lines. He then gave us a summary of the key areas.

15.11First, in relation to market surveillance, the Minister said that:

15.12On peer review the Minister said that:

15.13The Minister then told us that:

15.14Turning to time limits on type approvals, the Minister said that:

15.15On a possible impact on the VCA the Minister said:

15.16The Minister next said, in relation to the separation of design and testing services, that:

15.17Regarding end-of-series procedures, the Minister said that:

15.18The Minister told us that the Commission’s proposals for the provision of renewal and maintenance information mirror the current procedures. He commented that this was an area where the European Parliament had, however, proposed several amendments which were of concern to industry. He said that the Government intended to follow this closely during the trilogue discussions to seek a suitable and proportionate outcome.

15.19On safeguard procedures, the Minister said that:

15.20The Minister, noting that the Commission was seeking an administrative power to fine non-compliant manufacturers where Member States had not taken action, told us that:

15.21The Minister also responded to our question about the post-Brexit situation in relation to EU and UN-ECE vehicle type approval standards, saying that:

Previous Committee Reports

Thirty-one Report HC 71-xxix (2016–17), chapter 16 (8 February 2017) and Twenty-fifth Report HC 342-xxiv (2015–16), chapter 6 (9 March 2016).





27 April 2017