Essential information for end of life vehicle dismantling, depollution and recycling

Adam Hewitt
green parts specialists
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A third of ELVs missing in Europe

ELVsAlmost 11 million end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) recorded as having been deregistered and scrapped, one-third of these vehicles are unaccounted for, they quite simply vanish from the paper trail. 

The European Commission recently published a report showing these astounding figures of ‘vehicles of ‘unknown whereabouts’.

The report declares that these vehicles of ‘unidentified whereabouts’ are deregistered yet without a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) issued or accessible to the authorities and in addition with no details available demonstrating that the vehicle has been treated within an ATF or has been exported. 

And according with their prior research, the amount of vehicles of unidentified whereabouts is between 3 and 4 million vehicles per year (in the time between 2008 and 2014), whereas approximately 6 to 7 million ELVs per year, were treated in compliance with the ELV Directive and reported to Eurostat.

Figures from the Ex-post evaluation of certain waste stream Directives study led by BIO Intelligence Service in 2010 show that in the highest estimated number of ELVs illegally treated was more than 850,000 in Poland, whereas the number of legally treated ELVs in Poland was a mere 150,987. Some countries, so the report shows, only have a ‘small number’ when estimating the number of ELVs illegally treated, those countries include Austria, Denmark, Spain, Sweden and the UK. 

Within the recent report regarding ‘vehicles of unknown whereabouts’, the Commission states that ‘complaints have already been received which increase concerns regarding the environmental effect of vehicles of unknown whereabouts along with with regards to distortions of the fair business practises intended for the commercial ELV management throughout Europe.

ELVs, which aren’t depolluted or treated, are classified as hazardous waste materials. Spilled or burned engine essential oil and unsafe fluorinated and chlorinated hydrocarbons (FCHC) handling from air conditioners could cause particular environmental and human health issues. The results present that each year between 20 and 55 million litres of hazardous non-fuel liquids are unaccounted for.

Because of the high number of EU vehicles of unknown whereabouts, whose components and content could be valuable and will potentially trigger significant environmental damage without the correct treatment, and also to decrease the distortion of the legal market by illegal activities, the Commission aims to further investigate the reasons for missing ELVs within the EU.’

The EC requested a report to evaluate the implementation of the ELV Directive with focus on the ELVs of unknown whereabouts, aiming: ‘to recognise the causes for the ‘unidentified whereabouts’; to identify choices to overcome the incomplete execution of the ELV Directive; and also to evaluate if the activities of the member states (MS) are enough to totally enforce the ELV Directive in order to achieve its goals. For this function, the current circumstance was assessed and concepts for improvement have already been developed.’

Within the report it proposes ways to combat the unknown whereabouts of stated vehicles, including; ‘the improvement of registration and deregistration procedures; incentives and/or penalties for issuing and presenting CoDs; combating treatment of ELVs in non-authorised facilities including inspections of workshops and garages and spare part dealers that aren’t ATFs to identify unlawful operations; and improving data on vehicle stock and import and/or export to allow better monitoring of enforcement.’

To find out more from the report click here:


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