IMCO Committee

The Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO) met on the 30th November 2010 to discuss the EU Commission’s proposal for a regulation on type-approval and market surveillance of L-category vehicles.

The IMCO is responsible in this context for – the harmonisation of technical standards – The promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers, in the context of the establishment of the internal market.

Right To Ride has written to all members of the committee including the Chairman Malcolm Harbour (UK MEP), the Rapporteur Mr van de Camp and N.Ireland’s 3 MEPs.

“Therefore we would ask you to consider our opinions at the meeting (next) to be held in January and make the point that:

1) mandatory ABS brakes will drive up costs for consumers and stifle innovation – without any proven evidence of safety benefits;

2) extending anti-tampering measures will stop small businesses and/or individual engineers from innovation and it would mean that once a motorcyclist has passed the various tests to be introduced within the new 3rd European Driving Licence Directive, they would not be able to de-restrict their motorcycle and be forced to buy a new one – increasing profit for the benefit of industry, but not for consumers.

Analyse This!!!

Our friends over at Back Roads Rider have analysed the IMCO meeting in their usual style of short concise and sometimes controversial articles designed to invite comment and debate.

Extract of Post

If you hadn’t already guessed the European Union (EU) Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry (DG Enterprise) framework regulations on motorcycle anti-tampering, modification measures, emissions and noise checks, as adopted by the European Commission, have hit the European Parliament committee stage. The bit where the civil servants collided with the democratic loop, in this case IMCO.

So what’s going on? It’s up to IMCO to pick through the bones of the 14 proposals of the “Approval and market surveillance of two or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles” legislation and decide what’s in and what’s out. Before moving on to approving it with any amendments and passing it on to the European Parliament.

On one side we have Malcolm Harbour and around 27 IMCO Committee members on the other Giacomo Mattino from the Automotive Unit DG enterprise and somewhere in the middle Wim van de Camp the IMCO Rapporteur charged with sorting out a good ole compromise.

Any action in Committee then? Well Mr Mattino, who assured us that he is a motorcyclist, went to considerable lengths to emphasise the amount of consultation that has gone on. Of course he didn’t mention the figures which actually are; consultation responses from companies, associations and public authorities 41 and from EU citizens 16.

Mr Habour questioned Mr Mattino over the accident stats relating to mandatory ABS and upon Mr Mattino’s apparent confusion over the merits of advanced braking systems, antilock brake systems and combined braking systems. He also made a somewhat worrying statement in relating the fact that EU legislation on the type approval of after market car parts had actually improved the market for parts so he expected this would apply in relation to the anti tampering proposals for motorcycles and scooters.

Mr van de Camp, also stating that he is a motorcyclist and is thus aware of the ‘problems’, made a statement on scooter safety and anti tampering which appears to mean he intends to ensure that the euro scooter boys days of fun are over.  i.e. It’s not a good time to buy shares in Italian after market scooter exhaust companies.

So what’s really going on?  It seems that both in public and private Harbour is unhappy with the ABS issue. He has asked Mattino to go away and come back with more evidence of the effectiveness of ABS in reducing accidents. He is perhaps unhappy with Mattino’s benefit to cost ratios. After all this is mandatory legislation that IMCO are being asked to endorse. News reaching BRR from a number of sources also indicates that Harbour is confused over the Federation of European Motorcycle Associations (FEMA) position on ABS and has asked them to sort it out. IMCO is to meet with FEMA in February.

Full Post from Back Roads Rider – Click Here

Time Schedule for IMCO to consider European Commission Proposal

Expert visits January/February 2011 – Presentation working document 28 February 2011 – Consideration draft report 13-14 April 2011 – Deadline for amendments 4 May 2011 – Consideration amendments 24-26 May 2011 – Vote in IMCO 15 June 2011 – Plenary 5-8 July (tbc)


Presentation of the Commission impact assessment – pdf 3.8mb – Click Here

First Exchange of Views presentation Rapporteur Mr van de Camp – pdf 187kb – Click Here

Procedure file – European Legislative Observatory – Two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles: approval and market surveillance – Click Here

Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) website – Click Here


Trevor Colman – United Kingdom Independence Party – Member
Catherine Stihler – Labour Party – Member
Ashley Fox  – Conservative Party – Substitute Member
Ian Hudghton – Scottish National Party – Substitute Member
George Lyon – Liberal Democrats Party – Substitute Member
Emma McClarkin – Conservative Party – Substitute Member
Claude Moraes – Labour Party – Substitute Member
Contact details – Click Here

Northern Ireland MEPs

Diane Dodds – Democratic Unionist Party
Bairbre de Brun – Sinn Féin
James Nicholson – Ulster Unionist Party
Contact details – Click Here


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