Every year, millions of vehicles in Europe reach the end of their life. When end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) are not properly managed, they can cause environmental problems and the European economy loses millions of tonnes of materials.
The Directive on end-of-life vehicles (ELV Directive) set clear targets for ELVs and their components. It also prohibits the use of hazardous substances when manufacturing new vehicles (especially lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium) except in defined exemptions when there are no adequate alternatives. The exemptions are listed in annex II of the Directive.
Since this Directive was introduced, several amendments have been made (for more information, see amendments below). The EU has also introduced several related rules such as the Directive on the type-approval of motor vehicles regarding their reusability, recyclability and recoverability.
The ELV Directive sets clear targets for their reuse, recycling and recovery and aims to
- prevent and limit waste from end-of-life vehicles and their components
- improve the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life-cycle of vehicles
- Directive on end-of-life vehicles
- Directive on end-of-life vehicles (consolidated version)
- Summary of EU Waste Legislation on ELVs
The EU has rules on monitoring the targets of the ELV Directive for reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling.
Member States must provide the required data on an annual basis, within 18 months of the end of the relevant year (e.g. by 30 June 2022 for the year 2020). See relevant data on EUROSTAT.
The Commission is currently performing a joint review of the Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles and its corresponding Directive 2005/64/EC on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability and recoverability. The Commission plans to present a legislative proposal in Spring 2023.
- 20 July - 26 October 2021: The open public consultation for the Impact Assessment on the joint review was completed. The factual summary of the consultation feedback is provided in EUSurvey with a more detailed overview available in a dedicated annex
- March 2021:Evaluation of the ELV Directive published
- January 2021: launch of the Impact Assessment of the ELV Directive
Contact: Commission – DG ENV: firstname.lastname@example.org; Consultants assisting the Commission in the Impact Assessment: Oeko-Institut e.V (ELV-Directive-Revision@oeko.de); Joint Research Centre for the study on recycled plastics content: JRCemail@example.com
Stakeholders’ consultation to be announced.
- October 2020: publication of the Roadmap for the Impact Assessment of the ELV Directive
- August 2020: publication of a report supporting the evaluation of the ELV Directive
Previously, the ELV Directive was evaluated in 2014.
Directive 2000/53/EU on end-of-life vehicles restricts the use of certain hazardous substances (lead, mercury, hexavalent chromium and cadmium) in vehicles put on the market after 1 July 2003. Possible exemptions for the use of these substances are set out in Annex II. It is regularly adapted to scientific and technical progress by the Commission according to Article 4(2)(b) of the Directive in order to address when the use of the restricted substances reflected in the exemptions has become avoidable or whether the scope of the exemptions can be narrowed.
10 March 2023, a DELEGATED DIRECTIVE (EU) 2023/544 amending Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the exemptions for the use of lead in aluminium alloys for machining purposes, in copper alloys and in certain batteries was published in the Official Journal.
Following the assessment based on scientific and technical progress, it was concluded:
- For exemption 2(c)(i): "Aluminium alloys for machining purposes with a lead content up to 0,4 % by weight”, the use of lead is unavoidable. Technical progress demonstrates that the use of lead is expected to be phased out by end of 2027. Therefore, the use of lead is prolonged and the exemption will be removed as of 1 January 2028;
- for exemption 3: "Copper alloys containing up to 4 % lead by weight”, the use of lead remains unavoidable. Therefore, the use of lead is prolonged with a new review date in 2025;
- for exemption 5(b): "Lead in batteries for battery applications not included in entry 5(a)", the use of lead can be avoided only for some applications. It is therefore decided to split the exemptions into two separate entries, as follows:
- 5(b)(i) to continue the exemption to lead in batteries used in 12 V applications with a new review date in 2025.
- 5(b)(ii) to continue the exemption to lead in batteries in all other applications such as 24V and 48V applications until the end of 2023. Later use of lead in batteries in 24 V applications will be allowed only in special purpose vehicles as defined in Article 3 of Regulation (EU) 2018/858 of the European Parliament and of the Council with a review date in 2025.
The Delegated Directive enters into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Additional information on adaptations to Annex II of Directive 2000/53/EC:
- 11th adaptation: stakeholder consultation and final report
- 10th adaptation:stakeholder consultation
- 9th adaptation and 10th:stakeholder consultation
- 8th adaptation: Stakeholder consultation and final report
- 7thadaptation: Stakeholder consultation and final report
- 6th adaptation: Stakeholder consultation, contributions and final report
- 4th and 5th adaptations: final report
- 3rd adaptation: final report
- 2nd adaptation: consultation on exemptions 2(a), 4, 13(b) and 17 and consultation on the issue of vehicle spare parts put on the market after 1 July 2003
- 1st adaptation: consultation
Commission implementation reports are based on information provided by Member States pursuant to Commission Decision 2001/753/EC concerning a questionnaire for Member States reports on the implementation of the ELV Directive.
- Report on the implementation of the ELV Directive for the period 2014-2017
- For the reporting period 2014-2017, the Commission contracted Eunomia to analyze and summarize the responses of the Member States to the implementation questionnaires. The following report was produced: Report on the implementation of the ELV Directive for the period 2014-2017
- Report on the implementation of the ELV Directive for the periods 2008-2011 and 2011-2014
- For the reporting period 2008 - 2011, the Commission contracted Bio-Intelligence and for the reporting period 2011-2014 the Commission contracted Oeko Institut to analyze and summarize the responses of the Member States to the implementation questionnaires. The following reports were produced: ELV Implementation for 2008-2011 and ELV Implementation for 2011-2014.
- Report on the implementation of the ELV Directive for the period 2002-2005
- Report on the implementation of the ELV Directive for the period 2005-2008
Compliance Promotion Initiative
The Compliance Promotion Initiative(2017) assessed the implementation of the ELV Directive. It identified measures to improve certain aspects, particularly for ELVs of unknown whereabouts.
- 2023Commission’s proposal for the Review of the ELV Directive
- 20 July - 26 October 2021Public consultation on the revision of EU rules on end-of-life vehicles
- 16 March 2021Evaluation of the ELV Directive published
- 22 October-19 November 2020Roadmap for the Impact Assessment of the ELV Directive published
- 15 September - 8 December 2020Stakeholder consultation on the renewal of three exemptions
For more information visit https://elv.biois.eu/
- 18 September 2000Directive on end-of-life vehicles enters into force
- Scientific paper - Effectively tackling the issue of millions of vehicles with unknown whereabouts - European priority measure: establishing leakage-proof vehicle registration systems
- Study - Enhancing the Separation of Components and Materials from End-of-Life Vehicles Aiming at the Recovery of Critical Metals.(EN abstract p4, and summary p36 – 48)
- UBA study about ELV targets monitoring (EN summary p55-74)
- Report - ELV sector observatory: Full report and synthesis (FR)
- Report - ELV sector observatory: Full report and synthesis (EN)
- Report -Development of proposals, including legal instruments, to improve the data situation on the whereabouts of end-of-life vehicles (in English)(in German)
- Report - Requirements for the management of waste containing persistent organic pollutants – Rules concerning waste in POP Regulation and their application to waste electrical and electronic equipment and ELVs (in English)(in Finnish)
- ELV sector observatory (2016) Full report and synthesis: (in French). Synthesis: (in English)
- Economic study on ELV treatment in France (in French)
- Report - State of the art about Collection and treatment of automobile glass in France (in French)
- Report - Energy recovery of automobiles shredder residue – technical and economical analysis. State of the art in France and Europe (in French)
- Report - Non-metallic content of automobile spare parts from ELV (in French)(Excel file in French)
- Report - ELVs: Legal aspects, national practices and recommendations for future successful approach
- Assessment of the current state of implementation of the ELV Directive by Member State
- Expert opinion on the prohibition of hazardous substances in certain vehicle materials and components
- Rules on compliance with Article 7.2 of the ELV Directive
- Study II - Heavy metals in vehicles
- Study II – Heavy metals in vehicles
- Study on the benefits of the ELV Directive and the costs and benefits of a revision of the 2015 targets for recycling, re-use and recovery
Main law: Directive on end-of-life vehicles
Entry into force: 18 September 2000
Related topics: Circular economyWaste and recycling
Related strategies: Circular economy action plan
Related Commission priorities: European Green Deal
For questions about EU environmental policy, please contact Europe Direct.