End of Life Vehicles – Prohibition on heavy metals

The EU End-of-Life Vehicle Directive (2000/53/EC) sets out measures to prevent waste from vehicles and minimise the impact of end-of life vehicles (ELVs) on the environment.  This contributes to the protection, preservation and improvement of the quality of the environment.

The directive applies to all EU Member States and was introduced into the Irish Statute book through SI 281 of 2014 - European Union (End-of-Life Vehicles) Regulations 2014, as well as through some legislative amendments which have taken place since 2014.

Whilst the Directive itself addresses a broad range of issues related to management of ELVs, such as setting targets for recovery of materials from ELVs, the information on this web page relates to specific requirements of the directive on the prohibition on heavy metals in specified vehicles and their materials and components. These heavy metals which are prohibited (with limited exemptions) are lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium.

Producers and component suppliers have obligations to comply with the requirements of the regulations. Relevant parties who need to be aware of, and comply with, the requirements of the directive include:

  • manufacturers placing vehicles or components on the market in Ireland,
  • professional importers of vehicles into Ireland,
  • professional importers of vehicle components into Ireland.

The Agency has produced a guidance document which summarises these prohibitions and the obligations on operators. Relevant operators in Ireland should familiarise themselves with their obligations under these regulations and ensure that they are compliant with the requirements.

For further information or any queries please email ELVS@epa.ie

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EPA Guidance document on prohibition of heavy metals in vehicles