Inspection centres entrusted with the collection of real consumption and co2 emissions data
News has just reached us of the publication of the new European Regulation 2021/392, concerning real consumption data and CO2 emissions monitoring on cars and light commercial vehicles. The Regulation, issued in execution of previous laws that have, among other things, imposed the presence on board vehicle of devices for recording real data on emissions and consumption (OBFCM), provides that inspection centres perform the collection of such data through a "device connected with the electronic interface of the vehicle, such as the scanner referred to in Annex III of Directive 2014/45/EU". This new turn, which might have seemed obvious given the nature of vehicle inspections, has actually been the object of mush debate around the various hypotheses on the table. Where other stakeholders proposed solutions based on new and different infrastructures, EGEA supported the line of using already existing, qualified and widespread structures and equipment such as inspection centres and OBD2 scanners under Directive 2014/45 (see Autoattrezzati - Pneurama 5/2020). Fortunately, a more practical approach has prevailed and the new Regulation 2021/392 assigns the National Authorities with the task of collecting such data using the existing MOT testing facilities, starting from 20 May 2023. From a technical point of view, this would be quite easy to do, if the inspection centres are already equipped with OBD scanners, which is not yet the case in Italy. Unfortunately, after years of profitable work that made us one of the leaders in Europe, the scenario in our country has now become bleak, given the heavy delays accumulated in terms of both regulatory compliance and efficiency of inspection services. The main issues are three: heavy-duty vehicles, agricultural vehicles and the updating of equipment and procedures. Regarding heavy-duty vehicles, the migration of MOT tests to private facilities became official in December 31, 2018 when, with the 2019 Budget Law, Parliament had assigned the competent Ministry 30 days to issue the appropriate Implementing Decrees (see Autoattrezzati - Pneurama 1/2019). To date, after more than two years, the Administration has not issued anything to implement the legislative decree despite the persistent delays. The same applies to agricultural vehicles, which are expressly included in Directive 2014/45: here too, no implementing measures have yet been seen. Last but not least, there is a problem also with equipment and inspection procedures: much had been done until the end of 2017 to build a framework of amendments capable of upgrading the current decrees issued back in the 1990s, and adapting them to current technological developments and Directive 2014/45. But then, following the changes at the top of the Administration at the beginning of 2018, everything stopped and today we find ourselves in the same situation we were three years ago with problems that have festered and are blatantly failing to comply with both the national law and European directives and regulations. Three years have been lost, and we are talking about trucking safety, a strategic sector that proved crucial during the pandemic and needs to ensure safety, readiness and capillarity in delivering goods and services vital to the community.
But perhaps there is a glimmer of hope: on February 3, 2021, a Decree was issued reactivating the Equipment Working Group, set up in 2013, "in order to integrate or rectify the existing structure in relation to technical progress or needs to improve the production cycle of inspection activities ... and the effectiveness of all the tests involved". The initiative goes in the right direction in the sense that, in order to comply with current legislation, which has evolved in the meantime, it is necessary to restart a qualified technical discussion using all available expertise.
Not simple, but at least now, after three wasted years, something is moving. The hope is that the work will quickly produce the necessary updates to the national inspection register, which, however controversial, was up until yesterday taken as an example by the entire EU.