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ELV ruling with ‘far-reaching implications’

Austria – The Austrian Supreme Administrative Court has clarified that end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) can be generally classified as hazardous waste. Only cars bearing repair costs lower than the value of the vehicle at that point may be considered eligible as a used car. As a result, clearance for export to, for example, Africa will be based on what value the ELV represents to the country of origin.

‘We welcome the clarification of the definition as it now tells us when a vehicle counts as waste,’ says Manfred Födinger, ceo of commodity trading at recycling giant Scholz. ‘This will not only have far-reaching implications for the Austrian market but will influence the EU as a whole.’

The Austrian court came to its decision by examining how existing European legislation applied to four old vehicles: in three cases, the vehicles were dubbed ‘hazardous waste’ and so did not qualify for permit-free export, while one was found suitable for consideration as a used car.

According to Scholz’s chairman Oliver Scholz, the European Commission should acknowledge Austria’s view on ELVs as an opportunity to safeguard a burden of proof regarding waste shipment. ‘The further refined guidelines require exporters to prove that an ELV is indeed a ”used car”,’ says Scholz. ‘As such, it could be a meaningful step towards stopping the illegal outflow of raw materials and hazardous waste.’

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