End of Life Vehicle Regulations

Are you affected?

Since 1 January 2007, the ELV Regulations have required producers – manufacturers or importers – of cars to provide free take back points for end of life vehicles. Basically, this means that a final owner is entitled to take a car to an authorised treatment facility and have it taken free of charge. The main parties affected by these Regulations are therefore:

  • Last owners – entitled to free of charge disposal
  • Scrap yards – must now be Authorised Treatment Facilities
  • Brands – must pay for the costs of treatment and meeting recycling targets if the vehicles have negative value. In practice, this is seldom the case as the scrap value outweighs the cost of depollution and recycling.

The Regulations only apply to cars and vans up to a maximum unladen weight of 3.75tonnes of which it is estimated around 2.2m are scrapped each year. They do not apply to motorbikes, lorries, buses etc.

The Regulations have seen a number of amendments:

The ELV Regulations 2003

The ELV (Producer Responsibility) Regulations 2005

The End-of-Life Vehicles (Producer Responsibility) (Amendment) Regulations 2010

The End-of-Life Vehicles (Amendment) Regulations 2010

BIS have issued comprehensive Guidance (June 2010).

The EA have issued comprehensive Guidance for Authorised Treatment Facilities and more recentrly, brief Guidance.

They have also published Guidance on when a vehicle becomes waste and the use of parts a separate one on the export of vehicle parts.

Un-depolluted vehicles are considered hazardous waste other then when delivered by a householder to an ATF. They must therefore be moved under consignment procedures.

What is required?

The main UK Regulations came into force in 2004 in a phased implementation of the EU ELV Directive.
The key requirements are that:

  • Last owners of vehicles must be able to discard their vehicle free of charge through an ‘adequate network’ of disposal facilities. This is defined as at least 75% of car owners having a facility within 10 miles of where they live.
  • All treatment facilities that want to take in cars for scrapping must have relevant permits and be Authorised Treatment Facilities/
  • All scrap cars must now be ‘treated’. This requires:
    • Removal of battery
    • Removal of LPG tank
    • Removal or activation of explosive devices-airbags and pre-tensioners
    • Removal and separate storage of
      • Fuel
      • Motor oil
      • Transmission oil
      • Gearbox oil
      • Hydraulic oil
      • Cooling liquids
      • Anti-freeze
      • Brake fluids
      • Air conditioning fluids
  • By January 2006 recovery and recycling targets must be met by ‘economic operators’ (Authorised Treatment facilities better known as scrap yards). These rates are 85% recovery and 80% recycling including reuse going up to 95%/90% by 2015.
  • ATFs must issue Certificates of Destruction for all cars received. These must be registered with the DVLA.
  • Around 1,500 facilities have registered as ATFs. Some are part of manufacturer’s networks while others are independent of the networks. Both are able to receive ELVs and if an independent ATF takes your car, it has to treat it in exactly the same way as an ATF in a manufacturer’s network.

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