Concerning the Approval and Market Surveillance of 2- or 3 Wheel Vehicles and Quadricycles.
We have received from our source in Brussels, the following brief:
The informal trialogue negotiations between the EP and the Council have now come to a close and the responsible Member State Permanent Representatives will discuss the outcome of these negotiations in September (COREPER) with a view to agreeing the detailed points below.
Both the Danish and Cypriot Presidency, which took over on 1st July and the IMCO negotiating team have shown willingness to achieve a first reading deal.
We believe that such a deal is now achievable.
Taking into account the procedures which need to be followed once we have a deal (verification by lawyers, translations, official transmissions, etc), the Plenary vote by the full Parliament will not take place before October or November and Council’s final confirmation of the new Regulation, the following month.
“In other words, this is the state of play, BUT it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”
Higher powered motorcycles will have to feature mandatory ABS (with supplemental CBS at the choice of the manufacturer). For the lesser powered motorcycles and scooters (between 50cc and 125cc), since the general cost effectiveness of ABS on this category of motorcycle is unclear, there is no requirement to fit ABS.
Scooters will however have to feature CBS as standard.
Any future change to the Regulation on this point would need to be supported by a broad feasibility study, which the European Commission would carry out and the cost benefit analysis would need to be clearly positive.
Apart from scooters, the negotiators also agreed to exclude trial and enduro motorcycles and mopeds from the mandatory fitment of ABS.
Most importantly, although not spelt out in the text of the Regulation, there is in any case nothing to prevent manufacturers from fitting an ABS-off switch if they sense that there is strong enough consumer demand.
Since there was never any intention to restrict rider-modifications and the replacement of parts with aftermarket parts, the agreed amendments are about restricting anti-tampering measures to manufacturer obligations which apply before type approval is granted.
These are designed to ensure key safety or emissions requirements cannot easily be tampered with by unscrupulous individuals. Motorcycle enthusiasts and riders with special needs will continue to be able to modify their vehicles and the aftermarket part sales and the repair and maintenance sectors will not be affected.
Furthermore, higher powered motorcycles are entirely excluded from the application of these measures and the anti-tampering measures required of manufacturers only cover low performance motorbikes and mopeds.
Any proposals for policing or compliance checking and further testing in this Regulation have been abandoned.
On Board Diagnostics
The introduction of OBD II (advanced On Board Diagnostics) should be dependent on the positive result of an environmental impact study.
OBD II requirements are in the regulation and so will enter into force unless the Commission thinks it is appropriate to make changes based on the outcome of their study.
This is related to the issue of Euro 5(6) emissions requirements where the cost benefit remains unclear.
This was raised throughout discussions and their introduction should also be subject to an environmental study. The legislators will keep tabs on the Commission to ensure the results are taken into account.
Timetable for implementation
A two stage implementation schedule covering all detailed provisions has been agreed with a 1st phase in 2016.
Manufacturers are supportive of this approach because the timeframe allows for more lead-in time, and the necessary changes to motorcycle design and emissions improvement can be thought through in a holistic way, since the detailed requirements will come into force together.
Delegated acts associated to this Regulation
The Commission can propose technical adjustments to the Regulation once adopted, which cannot however constitute substantive changes.
This is an established procedure in EU law making. Previously, the Commission provided EU Member State ministries (in the Council working party) with a draft proposal on the scope of its delegated powers, in order for Member States to better understand the emerging overall regulatory picture.
Where the Council had doubts or disagreed with the Commission, it asked the Commission to modify the relevant draft proposals. This had a clear impact, for example, in terms of detailing the durability testing requirements in the draft Regulation (where manufacturers secured what they needed, an option to perform partial mileage testing with extrapolation of the results). In any case, any further changes in delegated acts will be subject to European Parliament scrutiny with a formal right to block individual measures.
The most appropriate treatment for e-bikes and pedelecs was also agreed on, as well as the classification criteria for on-road quads and ATVs which now have a category under this Regulation for type approval (previously manufacturers had to rely on the tractors and forestry vehicles Regulation for type approval).
Finally, benefits for small SME manufacturers and enthusiast rider/manufacturers are also expected through this Regulation, notably through ensuring continuity of the small series approvals system.
Rules on individual type approvals will continue to be the responsibility of Member State at national level.
To summarise and reiterate what we wrote on June 22nd, which is what we believe interests the vast majority of motorcyclists:
“The Parliament has agreed to Council’s position on not mandating ABS on scooters (50 to 125cc), it has also agreed with the Council on limiting the anti-tampering provisions to lesser powered motorcycles only and making them manufacturer obligations only, so categories L3eA2 and L3eA3 are entirely excluded from the anti-tampering measures. The Parliament has also agreed to not having detailed EU rules on Individual Approval in this Regulation, with this left to national rules”.
Of course as the brief mentions, there are some issues that need tidying up and the caveat is that it will require formal approval from Council Ministers before parliament can confidently proceed to a plenary vote.
In other words, this is the state of play, BUT it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!