FIRM has signed up with the CER – but now it’s over to you, the members. The association needs to know what you think, and what you want going forward so that legislators can help the reman industry. We must be able to give Europe’s politicians our reman ‘wish list’, explains FIRM’s Volker Schittenhelm.
FIRM has become a trade association member of the European Remanufacturing Council (Conseil Européen de Remanufacture, or CER), Volker Schittenhelm writes. It is matter of record that, with the intense participation and contribution of FIRM, automotive reman - and with it engine remanufacturing – is now firmly on the political agenda. For proof of this we need only look at the final documents of the last G7 Summit, the sustainability report of the German federal government and - last but not least – the work of CER itself.
CER supports reman ‘as the backbone of the circular economy’. First, some background: Horizon 2020, the financial instrument and flagship initiative from the European Union, is aimed at positioning the EU to secure Europe’s global competitiveness with regard to environmental protection and resource efficiency. Within that framework, the Center of Remanufacturing and Reuse received the order to establish a European Remanufacturing Network (ERN) - in which FIRM is already participating – and, perhaps more importantly, the CER.
As part of the general political will to support and develop the circular economy, it is the task of all of us to promote engine remanufacturing as an integral part of that economy. With our participation in the CER, we have made a giant step forward in that direction. It means that we now will have a voice in a comprehensive forum to represent our members, who are involved in the remanufacturing of combustion engines of all applications (passenger cars, commercial vehicles, heavy duty, off-road, marine, agricultural, construction equipment, stationary equipment). And please bear in mind that we will not just speak about the service of remanufacturing or the sale of remanufactured engines themselves - but also the legal aspects impacting our business: core collection, branding rules, repair and maintenance information, tax issues and so on.
Speaking with one voice: that can only work, if the representatives of FIRM in the CER have holistic knowledge of the needs, requirements and vision which the engine remanufacturers in Europe have. Therefore we need your help: bottom up communication is a must, an indispensable precondition in order to represent your business. After the politicians have become aware of the automotive reman business and discover its environmental protection benefits, they will next ask us about our ‘wish list’, about our targets and about the means to support us. Is it financial support and legal relief? Or shall we go for tax issues, such as the unique additional tax in case of sales of a remanufactured product? Or shall we focus on tax reduction in general for remanufactured products? The kick-off of this council will be in Brussels and takes place in the fourth quarter of 2016.
After that, FIRM must come up with your wish list, with your ideas for the future, in a package that we can present. Now it’s up to you to make trade association democracy work: ask your national members, collect and classify what they want and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. All your statements, demands and comments are needed - and they are highly welcome.