Spain introduces scrap car management law

Government promises entry-into-force of new rules on vehicle dismantling before 2000

The Spanish environment ministry has unveiled plans for new national rules on dismantling of old cars. Environment minister Isabel Tocino pledged this week that the law would come into force before the end of the year. She stressed that Spain was introducing its law ahead of final agreement on the EU end-of-life vehicles directive, and that it would impose an identical target of 85% recovery of car waste by 2005.

The main provisions of the law are: the creation of a network of authorised vehicle reception and decontamination centres (ARDCs) and authorised vehicle dismantling centres (ADCs), the principle that the owner of the end-of-life vehicle be exempt from disposal costs, and a requirement that scrap vehicles receive an official disposal certificate from an ARDC before they can be removed from the vehicle register.

Under the law, all end-of-life vehicles would have to be processed by ARDCs, where liquids and gases would be removed and parts such as tyres, airbags and windscreens separated. Existing vehicle dismantling plants wanting to operate as ARDCs would have two years in which to meet prescribed environmental requirements.

The Spanish vehicle manufacturers' association, ANFAC, described current negotiations with the government as "still being at an extremely sensitive stage". David Barrientos ANFAC welcomed the provision for a network of ARDCs but he told ENDS Daily that there were currently only 80 such centres in existence out a total of over 2000 vehicle dismantling plants. He also described the government's targets for recovery and recycling rates beyond 2005 as "unrealistic".

Rafael Pardo of the Spanish vehicle dismantlers' association EGARA told ENDS Daily that the sector had been operating a voluntary code of practice to improve installations since 1997 and that it was best placed to establish a network of ARDCs. He suggested that the extra costs incurred under the new regulations "could adequately be met out of the scrap value of the end-of-life vehicle as any recycling tax levied on new vehicles would only end up being paid by the consumer".

A environment ministry spokesperson stressed that Spain's regional governments would be responsible for implementing the law. "Discussions are still going on with regional governments and with representatives of the vehicle manufacturing industry, car dealers and the vehicle dismantling industry. It is too early to say which party will bear the cost of the new regulations," she said.

Follow Up:
Spanish environment ministry, tel: +34 91 597 6800; ANFAC, tel: +34 91 343 1340, EGARA, tel: +34 91 593 1266.

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