EU Commission set to vote on spare parts legislation Sept. 14

Brussels. The EU Commission's vote over the reform of design-protection regulations has been postponed a second time to September 14.

The EU representative Christoph Konrad, a conservative member of the EU Parliament, believes that "the pressure on the EU commission is too big."

Konrad, a parliamentary expert on the liberalization of the automobile sector, thinks that these are clear delaying tactics by the auto industry. The industry demands that the design-protection regulations that apply to certain components should also include spare parts.

The umbrella organization for the spare parts trade, GVA, fears that this would practically eliminate the competition from alternative providers of spare parts.

Konrad says opponents of the reform want to play for time until the new EU commission takes over on November 1.

The reason for this is that the initiator of the reform proposal, internal market commissioner Frits Bolkestein, will have left his post by then. Bolkestein is arguing for an inclusion of a repair clause in the design protection regulations.

Konrad believes that car drivers suffer from this most. "They are paying the price for this every day, as in many EU countries that have no design protection regulations, spare auto parts and repairs are significantly cheaper."

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