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End-of-life vehicles



Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of life vehicles


It sets out measures to prevent and limit waste from end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) and their components by ensuring their reuse, recycling and recovery. It also aims to improve the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life-cycle of the vehicles.


  • Vehicle and equipment manufacturers must factor in the dismantling, reuse and recovery of the vehicles when designing and producing their products. They have to ensure that new vehicles are:
    • reusable and/or recyclable to a minimum of 85% by weight per vehicle
    • reusable and/or recoverable to a minimum of 95% by weight per vehicle.
  • They cannot use hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium.
  • Manufacturers, importers and distributors must provide systems to collect ELVs and, where technically feasible, used parts from repaired passenger cars.
  • Owners of ELVs delivered for waste treatment must receive a certificate of destruction. This is necessary to deregister the vehicle.
  • Manufacturers must meet all, or a significant part, of the costs involved in the delivery of an ELV to a waste treatment facility. For a vehicle owner, they should incur no expenses when delivering an ELV to an authorised waste treatment facility, except in the rare cases where the engine is missing or the ELV is full of waste.
  • Waste treatment facilities must apply for a permit or register with the competent authorities of the EU country where they are located.
  • ELVs are first stripped before further treatment takes place. Hazardous substances and components are removed and separated. Attention is given to the potential reuse, recovery or recycling of the waste.
  • Clear quantified targets for annual reporting to the European Commission exist for the reuse, recycling and recovery of ELVs and their respective parts. These have become increasingly more demanding.
  • This legislation applies to passenger vehicles and small trucks but not to big trucks, vintage vehicles, special-use vehicles and motorcycles.

Amending Directive (EU) 2018/849

Directive (EU) 2018/849 amends Directive 2000/53/EC giving the Commission the power to adopt:

  • implementing acts concerning the detailed rules necessary to control EU countries’ compliance with the ELV targets and the exports and imports of ELVs;
  • delegated acts to supplement the directive by:
    • exempting certain materials and components containing lead, mercury, cadmium or hexavalent chromium (other than in cases listed in Annex II), if their use is unavoidable and establishing maximum concentration levels allowed as well as deleting materials and components of vehicles from Annex II, if their use is avoidable,
    • introducing coding standards to facilitate the components suitable for reuse and recovery,
    • establishing the minimum requirements for the certificates of destruction,
    • establishing minimum requirements for the treatment of ELVs (Annex I).


The directive had to become law in the EU countries by 21 April 2002. It has applied since:

  • 1 July 2002 for vehicles put on the market as from this date
  • 1 January 2007 for vehicles put on the market before 1 July 2002.


  • Every year, ELVs generate between 8 and 9 million tonnes of waste in the EU.
  • For more information, see:


Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, pp. 34-43)

Successive amendments to Directive 2000/53/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.


Directive (EU) 2018/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directives 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles, 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators, and 2012/19/EU on waste electrical and electronic equipment (OJ L 150, 14.6.2018, pp. 93-99)

Directive 2005/64/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability and recoverability and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC (OJ L 310, 25.11.2005, pp. 10-27)

See consolidated version.

Commission Decision 2005/293/EC of 1 April 2005 laying down detailed rules on the monitoring of the reuse/recovery and reuse/recycling targets set out in Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 94, 13.4.2005, pp. 30-33)

Commission Decision 2003/138/EC of 27 February 2003 establishing component and material coding standards for vehicles pursuant to Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 53, 28.2.2003, pp. 58-59)

Commission Decision 2002/151/EC of 19 February 2002 on minimum requirements for the certificate of destruction issued in accordance with Article 5(3) of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 50, 21.2.2002, pp. 94-95)

Commission Decision 2001/753/EC of 17 October 2001 concerning a questionnaire for Member States reports on the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles (OJ L 282, 26.10.2001, pp. 77-80)

last update 02.07.2020