Automotive Industry and Markets


Non-tariff trade barriers create massive challenges for the aftermarket

Non-tariff barriers to trade: a position paper for the aftermarket

Non-tariff barriers to trade also play a role in the aftermarket. Motor manufacturers and suppliers who ensure that spare parts are available are faced with massive challenges. They must satisfy the requirements created by these trade barriers, such as providing documents, supplying additional information on labels and adding features to products. In some cases entire processes must be revised. There is also additional work required for the procurement of information and for coordination between departments and processes. All this gives rise to unnecessary costs, which ultimately have to be charged to customers.

Certifications and licenses make sense in principle. They enable a review of compliance with quality and safety standards and of general regulations to be made. This is the reason that UN regulations were created. There are now two additional large collections of regulations from the USA and China (FMVSS and CCC). And the tendency for countries to introduce more and more new standards and regulations is on the rise. Normally these do not provide consumers with any real benefit – not even the increased safety which is often claimed. All they do is increase the already high level of complexity in the aftermarket supply chain. Since the volumes involved in the aftermarket are very low compared to mass production, the cost of meeting these requirements is disproportionately high and very cost-intensive.

The VDA has therefore prepared a position paper with its member companies. The aim is to sensitize politicians and authorities to this problem and to provide arguments for negotiation, so that the overriding aim of creating global standards does not become unattainable. Since it is difficult for companies to obtain an overview of the wide range of trade barriers in the aftermarket and identify the action required to overcome them, the VDA also provides support by the organization of a working party and the establishment of a database.

Remanufacturing, in other words the repair and preparation of defective old parts, the so-called cores, is also affected by trade barriers. The challenge here to distinguish between old parts and waste is often ignored. The VDA is playing an active role in the revision of a technical regulation, the “Basel Convention,” to eliminate this uncertainty, particularly for cross-border transport. Using the definition of remanufacturing prepared in 2013, the VDA and other organizations are campaigning for a clear difference to be made in the regulation between old parts and waste. This will enable old parts to be remanufactured on a cross-border and economical basis.

Karin Ghirodi
Karin Ghirodi Head of Department Aftermarket

Tel: +49 30 897842-410  
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