Share this on
December - January 2023

The DATA ACT: where are we?

Massimo Brunamonti

Access to data and freedom of competition were among the main topics discussed by global trade associations during the last Associations in Motion meeting in Las Vegas: topics of global interest, yet there is still a long way to go on a regulatory level
“Access to data” is the mantra resounding in the automotive aftermarket all over the world; and that inevitably happened also November 3, 2022 when literally the whole world gathered at ASSOCIATIONS in MOTION: trade associations from America, Asia, Australia and Europe have met again in the frame of the global cooperation between Autopromotec and AAPEX.

The meeting, which is held twice every year, took place this time at the AAPEX trade show in Las Vegas USA. Needless to say, amongst the topics in the agenda the most relevant one was access to data and freedom of competition. It was a choir from the four corners of the world: data and technical information are to be made available to all in the aftermarket industry to ensure a competitive, efficient, developed and sustainable mobility.

Industry stakeholders in all countries are actively calling on political institutions to enact a robust legislative proposal to make it happen. In the EU, the so-called “Data Act” is probably the most advanced legislative proposal in the world; it’s pivoted on the introduction of obligations that give users access to the data they contribute in generating and, at the same time, sets remuneration criteria not to discourage investments in the IT sector. The regulation is under discussion now in Brussels and is expected to be adopted as a European law around mid-2023.

But that’s not enough, at least according to EGEA and the alliance for freedom in car repair AFCAR. A sector specific law is necessary for the automotive aftermarket to safeguard a sustainable mobility. Remarkably, the European Commission proved its sensitiveness by launching a public consultation to which EGEA and its fellow AFCAR members answered by raising the proposal for specific rules for accessibility of data and functions. It seems that the proposal has been seriously considered: an amendment of Regulation 2018/858 (Motor Vehicle Type Approval Regulation) to lay down provisions for access to in-vehicle data, vehicle-to-environment data exchange and cybersecurity, is planned to take shape in early in 2023.

Is this the end of the game? Probably not as other laws are so much intertwined that they too will be affected by the Data Act. Let’s just think about the MV BER: one of its major goals is to ensure that spare parts from any source are available to all operators with no discrimination; but that won’t be achievable if each and every spare part is not easily identifiable. So, here we are again: access to technical information for everyone is what we need. In a scenario where new categories of vehicles, built using new parts, components and sub-assemblies are going to become prominent and a plethora of newcoming suppliers are entering the market, a reinforcement of   the MV BER is all but inevitable.

When? With the general elections of the European Parliament planned for May 2024, we must be realistic: something will be achieved by 2023, the final Data Act Regulation probably, but for the bulk of the consequent changes in other laws we need to wait till well into 2024 when the “new Brussels” will be running full-throttle. Let’s hope that the new MEPs and Commissioners will surprise us and show unprecedented sensitiveness to the legitimate pleas for free competition coming from the industry and the citizens.

Do not miss any article from the Autopromotec Blog! Subscribe to our newsletter!


You might be interested in