The European Commission is confident that technological and scientific progress will make it possible, in the near future, to replace lead with other substances which improve the recyclability and facilitate the elimination of waste vehicles. There is currently a ban imposed by the Commission on the presence of lead and other contaminating metals such as mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium in vehicle materials and components, applicable to vehicles placed on the market after July 1, 2003. It nevertheless establishes certain exemptions, acknowledging that the use of such substances is still unavoidable in the vehicle manufacturing process.
The new directive, which was published in November, updates the rules on cases in which the use of lead in certain materials and components is still permitted and sets new periods for the review of exemptions, aware that scientific progress may result in other alternatives becoming available. Finally, the Commission calls upon the Member States to adopt whatever legal, reglementary and administrative provisions may be necessary to comply with the terms of the Directive before June 6, 2018.