Leaseurope welcomes new Block Exemption regime
The new Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER) continues the existing rules relative to the market for automotive sales and distribution until 2013. After this period the non sector specific Vertical Block Exemption Regulation (VBER), which was adopted last month, will apply; it will cover the after-sales market as well. In addition the Commission has adopted a "mini" MVBER, paired with comprehensive guidelines, which will apply as of 1 June 2010.
Within this "mini" MVBER and related guidelines, the European Commission continues to recognise leasing companies as "end users", a status which confirms leasing companies as the economic owners of the leased vehicles. In addition, the European Commission has clarified that the sale of new vehicles to leasing companies cannot be made dependent on the requirement to disclose the identity of the lessee.
Additionally, guidance regarding the misuse of warranties has been reinforced. For example, it is now clearly stated that a vehicle's warranty cannot be made conditional upon the end user having after-sales services which are not covered by the warranty provided only within the authorised repair networks.
Underlining the significance of this development for the automotive leasing industry in Europe, Vincent Rupied, chair of Leaseurope's Automotive Steering Group, said: 'This is a major achievement for Leaseurope and a very positive development for the industry it represents. Indeed, the new regime clearly recognises the vital contribution of automotive leasing to a constantly evolving and competitive market. It will enable leasing companies to enjoy improved protection vis-à-vis uncompetitive behaviour, for the benefit of their customers.'