End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC)

Implemented in the UK as the "End-of-Life Vehicles Regulations 2003"

Under Article 4, section 2(a) of this Directive, materials and components for use in "vehicles" put onto the market after 1 July 2003 must not contain lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium. Per homogeneous material, levels of lead, hexavalent chromium and mercury of up to 0.1 % and up to 0.01 % of cadmium are tolerated, provided that these substances are not intentionally introduced.

Annex II of the original Directive included a list of exemptions from this requirement. This list has now been updated (by a Commission decision dated 27th June 2002). The only exclusion which may affect cadmium pigments is for "thick film pastes": this exclusion expires on 1 July 2006, unless extended by that time.

It is important to note, however, that the Directive only applies to certain types of vehicles. Under Article 2 (1) of 2000/53/EC, these are categories M1 and N1, as defined in Annex IIA to Directive 70/156/EEC and three-wheel motor vehicles as defined in Directive 92/61/EEC, but excluding motor tricycles. Articles 1 to 16 of Directive 70/156/EEC have subsequently been amended by Directive 92/53/EEC. The relevant definitions as they currently stand are as follows:

"Vehicle" (from Article 2 of 92/53/EEC)
Vehicle means any motor vehicle intended for use on the road ... having at least four wheels and a maximum design speed exceeding 25 km/h, and its trailers, with the exception of vehicles which run on rails and of agricultural and forestry tractors and all mobile machinery ...

M1 (from Annex II of 92/53/EEC)
Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and comprising no more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.

N1 (from Annex II of 92/53/EEC)
Vehicles used for the carriage of goods and having a maximum mass not exceeding 3.5 tonnes.

Three-wheel motor vehicles (from 92/61/EEC)
All three-wheel motor vehicles, twin-wheeled or otherwise, intended to travel on the road except vehicles with a maximum design speed not exceeding 6 km/h, vehicles intended for pedestrian control, vehicles intended for the physically handicapped, vehicles intended for use in competitions (on roads or whatever the terrain), tractors and machines, used for agricultural or similar purposes.

Vehicles defined as above are the only ones affected by this legislation. Other vehicles such as buses and coaches with more than 8 seats (excluding the driver), vans and lorries above 3.5 tonnes, tractors, travelling cranes and construction vehicles eg JCB's are not affected. Railway and tramway passenger coaches, maintenance and service vehicles are also excluded.

Please feel free to contact us for further information and advice on this subject.

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