Directive 2000/53/EC
of the European Parliament
and of the Council
of 18 September 2000
on end-of life vehicles.

Member States were to implement the directive by April 21, 2002. However, there were delays across Europe in implementation and in the UK the government began bringing the requirements of the directive into domestic law in October 2003.

In this section, summarises the main requirements of each Article within the ELV Directive.
Article 1 - Objectives. This article lays down the directive's main aim, the prevention of waste from vehicles and the re-use, recycling and recovery of materials and components from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs).
Article 2 - Definitions. Defines the terms used within the directive. States that the directive covers vehicles as defined in previous European regulations, including three wheeled cars, but not motor tricycles. The "producer" that is to take responsibility for recycling and recovery of vehicles is defined as the vehicle manufacturer or professional importer of a vehicle into a Member State.
Article 3 - Scope. The directive applies to all ELVs regardless of service history or the origins of any components within, without prejudice to safety or environmental standards. Certain exemptions for special cases will be permitted.
Article 4 - Prevention. Member States are to encourage manufacturers to limit the use of hazardous materials in the production of vehicles as far as possible, and to design vehicles to facilitate dismantling and recycling. Manufacturers should increase the use of recycled materials in vehicles and products.

Vehicles and components put on the market after July 2003 should not contain lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium other than in certain special cases where it is unavoidable. Tolerance levels of these substances can be introduced.

Article 5 - Collection. Member States should ensure that stakeholders set up adequately available collection systems for transferring ELVs and waste parts from vehicle repairs to authorised treatment facilities (ATFs) at no cost to the last owner. Producers should meet all, or a significant part of, the costs involved, unless a vehicle does not contain all essential components.

A certificate of destruction (CoD) will be issued to a last owner as a condition for de-registering an ELV when it is taken to an ATF. An ATF must be permitted to issue a CoD. Producers, dealers, collectors could issue CoDs if they guarantee the vehicle is to be transferred to an ATF and provided they are registered with public authorities.

Article 6 - Treatment. Vehicles should be stored and treated at fully permitted sites under standards demanded by existing European regulations and listed in Annex I of this directive. ELVs should be stripped of components and materials containing hazardous substances before further treatment, with those hazardous materials segregated to avoid contamination of shredder residue.
Article 7 - Re-use and recovery. Member States should encourage the re-use of suitable components and the recovery of unsuitable components with preference for recycling. The following targets are to be reached:
  • 85% reuse and recovery, by weight, by January 1, 2006
  • 80% reuse and recycling, by weight, by January 1, 2006
  • 95% reuse and recovery, by weight, by January 1, 2015
  • 85% reuse and recycling, by weight, by January 1, 2015

Targets for vehicles produced before January 1, 1980, can be lower than the given figure for the 2006 target, but no lower than 75% recovery and 70% recycling.

The European Parliament and Council of Ministers will re-assess these targets by December 31, 2005. New targets for years beyond 2015 will be decided following a proposal from the Commission.

The Commission will amend existing European regulations on new vehicles to ensure that they are at least 85% recyclable and 95% recoverable by weight.

Article 8 - Coding standards/dismantling information. This article ensures that vehicle producers use standard component and material coding to facilitate their identification in dismantling for reuse and recovery. Producers should provide ATFs with dismantling information for every new type of vehicle within six months of being placed on the market.
Article 9 - Reporting and information. Member States are to report to the Commission every three years on their implementation of the directive. The report will include changes to the collection, dismantling, shredding, recovery and recycling industries which could distort competition between or within Member States.

Stakeholders within Member States will have to publish information on vehicle design changes that increase their recoverability, the environmentally sound treatment of ELVs and progress of ways to reuse/recycle/recover vehicles and components to reduce waste.

Article 10 - Implementation. This article demands that Member States implement the directive by April 21, 2002, and requires them to keep the Commission informed about domestic laws adopted to implement the directive.

Implementation of the directive can be carried out by agreement between stakeholders as long as these agreements are enforceable, specify objectives and deadlines and are officially published and sent to the Commission. The results and progress should be monitored, reported regularly to competent authorities and the Commission and made available to the public.

Article 11 - Committee procedure. This article lays down rules of procedure for the committee supervising this directive.
Article 12 - Entry into force. States that the directive will enter into force on the day of its publication in the Official Journal, i.e. October 21, 2000.

This article also states that vehicles with a negative value put on the market after July 1, 2002, are to be collected for dismantling at no cost to the last owner as laid out in Article 5. From January 1, 2007, vehicles put on the market before July 2002 are also to be collected and treated at no charge to the last owner.

Article 13 - Addressees. Signatures of the President of the European Parliament and the President of the Council of Ministers to seal the directive.
Annex I - Relating to Article 6 (Treatment), this annex to the directive sets standards for storage of ELVs prior to treatment, sites for treatment, depollution treatment operations, recycling treatment operations and the storage of components and spare parts.

Storage and treatment should occur on fully impermeable surfaces with adequate rainwater controls with appropriate safeguards for hazardous components and materials. Outlines which components and materials are to be removed in depollution procedures before recycling can be carried out.

Annex II - Relating to Article 4 (Prevention), this annex lists materials and components exempt from the directive's ban on hazardous substances in the design of new vehicles.