The National Traction Engine Trust

FIVA’s Legislation Commission met in Turin

The task of the commission is to monitor developments in international and national legislation that have or may have effect on the use or ownership of historic vehicles. The commission meets a couple of times per year. In the last weekend of February FIVA’s ANF in Italy, ASI, hosted the first commission meeting of this year, in its beautifully situated headquarters “Villa Rey”, overlooking the river Po and the whole city of Turin.

EU – Roadworthiness Testing Directive

The most important agenda item was the situation around the Roadworthiness Testing Directive of the European Union. The European Commission is working on an amended version of the existing directive. It is expected that it will have a specific regime for historic vehicles, like the current version has as well. But will it again be linked to a certain, fixed year of first registration, like is the case today, for vehicles from before 1960? FIVA is in good dialogue with the EU Commission on the matter, and has committed itself to give guidance to the Commission, especially with regard to the definition issue. Because the Commission has raised the point that it wouldn’t be satisfactory, when just all vehicles from a certain age onwards would be treated more beneficially than more modern vehicles. Via a survey under its members in the wider EU (including Norway and Switzerland) the Legislation Commission got valuable insight in the various regimes in the EU, with regard to the question whether criteria apply that make a vehicle a historical vehicle in a legal sense, and- if so - what criteria are in place. The main results of the survey soon will be published to FIVA-members.

The draft Roadworthiness Testing Directive is expected in the course of this year. FIVA’s concerns concentrate on the following three issues:
-          will the principle remain, that the Roadworthiness requirements of the year of first registration of the historic vehicle will apply?
-          Will it be taken into account that modern testing methods and equipment not always can be applied for historic vehicles?
-          and, of course, which regime will come out for historic vehicles, in terms of frequency and / or total exemption.

Asbestos

The availability of certain materials and parts necessary for the preservation and maintenance of historic vehicles is one of the areas of attention of the Legislation Commission. Asbestos is a material, that the commission has been dealt with already several times in the past. Since many years it is generally prohibited, in the European Union, the United States and other parts of the world, because of the severe danger to health that exposure to asbestos fibres may cause. FIVA’s European Affairs consultant and lobbyist Andrew Turner (of EPPA in London) noted that EU Member States need to implement a regulation on banning the manufacture, use and sale of products with asbestos. Strictly interpreted this would mean a ban on use and sales of historic vehicles, containing asbestos. The regulation however provides in an exemption for continued use and sales of products that were already in use before 1 January 2005. Member States may implement this exemption in their national legislation. FIVA’s ANF’s in the EU already were addressed, via a separate mailing, to check if and how this exemption has been implemented in their country, and if necessary to ensure that historic vehicles are exempted from this ban.

Tyres

The Legislation Commission took note that Regulation No 30 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE)-–“Uniform provisions concerning the approval of pneumatic tyres for motor vehicles and their trailers”-has an exception for the tyres designed primarily for the equipment for ”vintage cars”. Other recently published Regulations on tyre approval of this UN Commission has exceptions for tyres for vehicles built before 1 October 1990. This shows, that historic vehicles are taken into account by legislators, but as well that no uniform approach is applied.

Surveys

The Legislation Commission stressed the need for regular supply by FIVA members of updated national data with regard to historic vehicle legislation, for a good overview of the various situations, solutions and threats in FIVA member countries. The Commission plans to distribute a new „Annual Report“ survey to members well before Summer of this year. It was agreed, that FIVA needs as well reliable and actual statistical data, in first place regarding numbers of registered historic vehicles per country, in relation to the total vehicle park . Members will be invited to share the relevant data in this respect, if possible based on official sources .

Torino Charta

The final draft of this important FIVA document was published in November 2011 , under responsibility of a FIVA working group. The Charta presents the main principles that need to be respected for recognition of a vehicle as an historic vehicle and for its protection. Meanwhile the Torino Charta has caused a lot of discussion. Germany’s ANF ADAC even edited and distributed a new version, and presented it to the Legislation Commission. The commission took a positive stand towards ADAC’s proposal, especially because it is in line with other statements of FIVA that legislators pay attention to, more specifically FIVA’s historic vehicle definition and the Technical Code. It is less detailed than the final draft, and the commission thinks that this will contribute to a wider acceptance. But the commission expressed as well that the FIVA working group has to be consulted and invited to give comments to ADAC’s proposal.

Other issues

The Legislation Commission discussed a range of other issues as well, like environmental zones, road safety and bio-fuels.

The Legislation Commission invites all FIVA members to share developments and concerns with regard to upcoming or existing legislation in their country, that might be of interest for historic vehicles enthusiasts from other countries, with the commission.

The next Legislation Commission meeting will take place in the city of Leiden (Netherlands), on 7 and 8 July 2012.

22 Mar 2012