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Portugal prepares to close ELV loophole

Portugal – The Portuguese government has announced it is taking measures to close a legislative loophole that allowed over 30% of last year’€™s end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) to be de-registered without the certificate of destruction demanded by European law.

There has been room for illegal operations ever since the 2000 ELV directive was first transposed in 2003. Ricardo Furtado, spokesman of Portuguese industry association Valorcar, said the leniency shown by the authorities had had a significant impact on both licensed recyclers and the national economy.

Data from the Portuguese transport authority for 2011 shows that thanks to abuse of freedom of information legislation, only 62 195 out of a total of 97 730 de-registered vehicles were accompanied by the appropriate paperwork.

Rui Berkemeier, spokesman for Portugal’€™s Quercus envionmental group, said a profit was being made from high-value vehicles written off in traffic accidents. He claimed this was unlikely to change in the short term, since he had ‘€˜a strong suspicion that insurance companies have a financial interest in maintaining the current system’€™.

However, both parties recently met with the country’€™s environment ministry and were told that the ELV regulations would be tightened from the end of June.

Previously, Mr Furtado had hinted at taking the matter to a higher level. ‘€˜Ten years is long enough to have resolved this problem,’€™ he said. ‘€˜If the government does not act quickly, we are considering going to the European Commission.’€™

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