Legal Notes of R2A GROUP
This catalogue in electronic format, and all its contents, supersede all previous editions of the same catalogue that have been published and distributed in any form whatsoever, for all commercial and legal purposes. The purpose of this catalogue is to make it easier for car owners to identify and verify the spare parts needed to repair their cars. Spare parts for French cars visible from the outside cannot currently be sold in France and French overseas territories.
The brands AUTOBIANCHI, AUDI, CITROEN, DACIA, CHEVROLET, FORD, FIAT, IVECO, HONDA, JEEP, LANCIA, MERCEDES, MAZDA, OPEL, PEUGEOT, RENAULT, SKODA, SEAT, TOYOTA, VOLKSWAGEN, ZASTAVIA used in this catalogue are the property of the manufacturers of the cars to which they refer. Their use in this catalogue, as well as the original references included, serve solely to help identify the car model on which the spare part is to be fitted.
Although our articles are not original, they are perfectly adaptable to the cars to which they refer. Spare parts of equivalent quality intended to be fitted to French cars, such as CITROEN, PEUGEOT, RENAULT, DACIA, and visible during normal use of the vehicle, produced and distributed by R2A SRL may not be sold and/or resold, directly by the customer, its agents and/or customers, or by third parties, in France and in all countries where French law on industrial and intellectual property is in force.
According to the judgment of the EU Court of Justice of 26/09/2000 (Judgment of the Court in Case C-23/99 Commission of the European Communities v. French Republic) “Intra-Community transit consisting in transporting goods from one Member State to another Member State, passing through the territory of one or more other Member States, does not, contrary to the manufacture, sale or importation of a product, imply any use of the appearance of the protected design. The mere physical transport of the goods cannot therefore be equated with the putting into circulation or marketing of the goods in question”. Thus, the mere transit of such goods (legally manufactured in one EU member state to be marketed in another EU member state, on French territory and/or in another where French law on industrial and intellectual property is in force) does not infringe the right of the holder of a trade mark, design or model.
Intra-Community transit does not fall within the specific subject matter of industrial and commercial property rights on trade marks, designs or models and therefore does not imply any unlawful use of the R2A MANUFACTURES AND DISTRIBUTES SPARE PARTS OF EQUIVALENT QUALITY IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE DEFINITION CONTAINED IN CONSIDERATION NO. 20 OF THE GUIDELINES TO EU REGULATION No. 461/2010, AS DEMONSTRATED BY OUR CERTIFICATIONS AND TÜV CERTIFICATIONS.
In the past, the original spare part (i.e. the one produced directly by the vehicle manufacturer, as well as by original equipment suppliers, according to the technical specifications and production standards provided by the car manufacturer for the production of components used for the assembly of its vehicles) was always considered to be of higher quality than the one coming from non-original manufacturers.
With the application of EC Block Exemption Regulation 1400/2002 (the so-called Monti Law) on the application of Article 81(3) of the EC Treaty (now replaced by Art. 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union) to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices in the motor vehicle sector, the concept of “spare parts of matching quality” was introduced, to be understood as “those spare parts manufactured by any undertaking which can certify at any time that the quality of those spare parts corresponds to the quality of the components which have been used for the assembly of the motor vehicles in question” (as defined in Article 1(1)(u)).
With the expiry of Regulation No. 1400/2002 on 31 May 2010, the European Commission introduced a new regulatory framework for the automotive sector, focusing on aftermarket issues. The new rules are contained in the Exemption Regulation (EU) No. 461/2010 and the related Guidelines (sector-specific on vertical restraints on agreements for the sale, repair of vehicles and distribution of spare parts), as well as the Exemption Regulation (EU) No. 330/2010 and the related Guidelines on Vertical Agreements (applied as of 1 June 2010, with an expected expiry on 31 May 2023). This regulation covers the production of and trade in spare parts, as well as the repair and maintenance of cars, light commercial vehicles and trucks.
In order to qualify as ‘spare parts of matching quality’ (according to recital No. 20 of the Guidelines to Regulation No. 461/2010), ‘the parts must be of a sufficiently high quality so that their use does not compromise the reputation of the authorised network in question’. The burden is on the vehicle manufacturer to prove that the spare part does not fulfil this condition. Therefore, a spare part of equivalent quality cannot, in itself, be identified by the quality of the originally fitted part, even though the same spare part of equivalent quality may be better than the original part.