EGARA goes for International cooperation

In September 2005 EGARA-secretary Lennart Scharff participated in the ARA-Convention in Tuscon, Arizona – ARA’s 62nd Annual Convention.

Following his presentation on what happens in Europe – especially concerning the ELV-directive and the challenges, threats and opportunities it brings to European Automotive Recyclers – it during the following discussions became evident that, automotive recyclers needs to work together on an international level.

Basically we, together, have a lot of competencies and know ledges, and if we could find a way of sharing these, we could all benefit  – on as well association level as on the level of the individual recyclers.

Some issues are common – some are different across the globe, but in many, many cases what appears to be a problem in one part of the world have been solved in another part – and what has not been solved anywhere is perhaps something we should work together on – for mutual benefits.

Undoubtedly: ARA – as the oldest and biggest association – has done a fantastic work in defending and developing the conditions for automotive recyclers internationally in the past! Without ARA’s efforts, many things would have looked differently – and perhaps even worse – for our industry worldwide. But let’s face it: Things have changed over the past decade.

Our business have become more and more complicated and especially concerning the legal issues, we now see “regulators” move in on the different national levels.

With this in mind, EGARA took the initiative at its last meeting in Brussels, 17. – 18.11.05 to invite participants from other associations to their meeting, to investigate the possibilities for working together. There was great support for this, and our “colleagues” from overseas:

George Eliades, ARA – US; Steve Fletcher, ARC – Canada; Minoru Gouko, JARA – Japan

turned up at the meeting and had encounters with their colleagues in the European Associations in one of the best attended meetings ever – with almost 30 participants, including our new colleagues from Lithuania who turned up for the first time and now will join EGARA.

After a “brainstorming” on issues on which we should cooperate internationally, the meeting made the following list of recommendations:

  • To continue and expand the successful exchange of information between association secretaries
  • To establish a quarterly international newsletter
  • in a harmonised format to be put on web-sites
  • containing short reports from each country/association
  • with key issues to be covered:
    • overview of certification systems
    • overview on rules for testing and selling used airbags
    • overview on rules for how to obtain salvage cars
    • needs for testing equipment
    • exchange of information concerning solutions of important problems

During the next months the secretaries of the different associations, together forming an “editorial committee” – also including our colleague Alan Marshall, APPRA – Australia who unfortunately could not come – but is on board – will finalise the details concerning the newsletter, and it is the plan that the first of these newsletters will come early in 2006.

It was further decided to arrange an International Round Table at the forthcoming ARA-event in Las Vegas, March 2006 to elaborate further on the ideas, and the secretaries will work on the agenda for this meeting, to which all automotive recyclers – worldwide – will be invited.

EGARA looks forward to this, and strongly believes that if we realise and benefit from that ”together we are strong”, the Automotive Recycling Sector will get a better future internationally.

However, dear reader: We need input from YOU on the above listed key-issues, and suggestions for more issues and/or contributions concerning the above are most welcome. I am convinced that Søren in Denmark, Magnus in Finland, Leif in Norway and Henry in Sweden will happily receive your ideas and forward them to the “editorial committee”

2015- Target Review Report has been published

As you may recall, EGARA held the vice-chairmanship on the European Commissions Stakeholder Working Group (SWG) investigating the possibilities for achieving the 2015-targets in the ELV-directive. The final report has now been delivered to the Commission, which based on it, will make proposals to the Parliament and the Council.

The report can be found on the Commission’s web-site:

I am happy to be able to say that, EGARA’s presence clearly can be seen in the report. Most important is perhaps that, it has now been stated that:

  • there is work involved in de-polluting and dismantling for recycling according to the directive – and there are also costs associated with it
  • investments are needed in order to comply with “rules”
  • to base the economy of this purely on high scrap-metal prices is a “fragile” solution and does not guarantee sustainability.

Take a look yourselves! Quite interesting reading!

Lennart Scharff