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Press Release: Major Concerns from the European Commission’s Proposal about the Revision of the EU Directive on the Insurance against Civil Liability in Respect of the Use of Motor Vehicles

Brussels, 24th May 2018 – The European Commission has today released a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the revision of the insurance against civil liability with regard to the use of motor vehicles. The mentioned proposal includes Electrically Power Assisted Cycles in the scope of the revision and aims at making a third-party liability insurance mandatory for all EPAC users.

Although Electrically Power Assisted Cycles (EPACs) have an element of electric power assist, this power assist is designed to complement rather than replace the main propulsion, which is by human muscle energy through manual pedalling: EPACs provide electrical assistance to the cyclist only while pedalling, up to a speed of 25km/h and that has maximum 250W. EPACs are excluded from the scope of the EU Type-Approval (Reg. EU 168/2013) because they are not considered, from a regulatory point of view, to be motor vehicles.

CONEBI agrees with the European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) that if today`s proposal becomes law, third-party liability insurance will discourage millions of European citizens to use EPACs, undermine the efforts and investments of Member States as well as the ones of the European Union to promote sustainable mobility.

Moreover, the European Commission’s proposal – if accepted by the European Parliament and the Council – will put at risk thousands of jobs and jeopardise the development of a sector that has been able to invent one of the most appreciated means of transportation and leisure all over Europe. Two million EPACs were sold in the European market in 2017: a strong contribution to transport’s decarbonisation that should be seriously taken into consideration.

CONEBI, together with the European Cyclists’ Federation ECF, will immediately start the discussion with the European Parliament and the Council on the detrimental impact that the Commission’s proposal would have if the mentioned proposal is going to be accepted as such by the other EU co-legislators.

The European Commission’s proposal is available at the following link.

You can download the full Press Release here.


Press Release: The Bicycle Industry at the Symposium Future Networked Car 2018

Brussels, 12 March 2018

“Intelligent transport systems and automated driving are fast moving towards widespread commercialization and market acceptance. High levels of automation – the penultimate step to fully automa​ted driving – are expected on the road by 2020 and hold great promise to improve road safety, reduce congestion and emissions, and increase the accessibility”: that is why on 8th March the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  convened the Symposium on the Future Networked Car (FNC-2018) within the 88th Geneva International Motor Show.

The FNC-2018 brought together representatives of vehicle manufacturers, the automotive and information and communication technology (ICT) industries, governments and their regulators to discuss the current status and future of vehicle communications and automated driving.​ In such a context, Manuel Marsilio – General Manager of CONEBI (Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry) and delegate of the newly founded WBIA (World Bicycle Industry Association) received the invitation to be one of the speakers and present the opinion of the Bicycle Industry with regard to the ongoing policy and regulatory work at both European and international level as well as to give an overview of the work that such a sector is developing worldwide in terms of connectivity.

We know more and more that in the very near future, vehicles will interact directly both with each other and with the road infrastructure. The future of mobility will be electrified, automated and connected: bicycles and electric Bicycles will play a major role in personal mobility, in recreation and in commercial transportation. They will be connected and will represent an important element of the Internet of Things ecosystem. In other words they will become “Smart”. Bikes will foresee monitoring systems for real-time usage & sensor data, and WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and GPRS connections are going to offer the connectivity for the next generation of bikes and e-bike riders. From the security point of view, connectivity will provide users with theft alerts and geofencing while, on the safety side, bicycles will definitely have to communicate with the other vehicles as well as with the road infrastructure: this interaction will allow road users and traffic managers to share information and use it to coordinate their actions. The cooperative element enabled by digital connectivity will significantly improve road safety and traffic efficiency by helping cyclists to take the right decisions and adapt to the traffic situations.

We have great examples of the work that several companies in our sector are doing in that direction: Trek has partnered with Tome and Ford to create an AI-based Bicycle-to-Vehicle communication system to help drivers get alerts to bicycles ahead in dangerous areas of the road, and Bosch has recently established a Division for Connected Mobility Services.

We also know very well that technology development and regulatory frameworks go hand in hand: three months ago, thanks to the valuable contribution of industry experts coming from its national member associations – like RAI Vereniging in the Netherlands and ZIV in Germany (just to name a few) – CONEBI replied to the public consultation by the European Commission on “specifications for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems”: to go a bit more into details, the 2016 EU Strategy on Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems foresees the need to amend and supplement the ITS Directive 2010/40/EU for aspects where legal certainty is needed, through the preparation of a delegated regulation on C-ITS. It will be focused on a list of services which are technologically mature, highly beneficial and ready for large scale deployment: we are talking about the legal framework regarding – for example – intersection safety, traffic signal priority and vehicle data.

The automotive industry and the telecommunications sector are leading the technological process towards the future connected and autonomous driving mobility, while contributing to the high-level political and legal decisions that arise around such fascinating topics: CONEBI is definitely committed to be part of those discussions.

Also BikeEurope and Bicle reported on this topic.


Press Release: Foundation of World Bicycle Industry Association (WBIA)

SWITZERLAND, 4th January 2018 – At the end of December 2017, the World Bicycle Industry Association – abbreviated as WBIA – was founded in Switzerland. The Bicycle Association Japan (BAJ), the Bicycle Products Suppliers Association based in the US (BPSA), the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) and the Taiwan Bicycle Association (TBA) are its founding members.
The WBIA is a non-profit association which represents the Bicycle, E-bike and Bicycle parts and Accessories Industry at global level. Its main purpose is to join forces and to actively participate in the technical meetings at the United Nations facility in Geneva. Here the different Working Parties of the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations (WP.29) discuss various technical matters such as safety, noise or lighting, that are important for the bicycle industry.

During its first General Assembly on 31st August 2017, the first Board of Directors and Treasurer of the WBIA were appointed:
• President: CONEBI – Mr. René J. Takens
• 1st Vice-President: BAJ – Mr. Satoshi Yuasa
• 2nd Vice-President: BPSA – Mr. Larry Pizzi
• Treasurer: TBA – Mr. Michael Tseng

As Mr. Erhard Büchel recently became CONEBI President, he is taking over the WBIA Presidency as well. The WBIA Board of Directors and Treasurer hold a 2 year mandate, during which they will manage the work of the WBIA and will be responsible for the press contacts in their respective region. The WBIA will be supported by the Secretariat of the association holding the Presidency, which will be CONEBI Secretariat for the first 2 years.
Press contact: the WBIA Secretariat (


Press Release: General Assembly, election of new Board of Directors and new Member

Brussels, 12 October 2017 – During its General Assembly, which is held today 12 October in Brussels, the Confederation of the European Bicycle Industry (CONEBI) announces the appointment of the new CONEBI Board of Directors for the next two years:

– Mr. Erhard Büchel (Büchel GmbH & Co. KG) as President
– Mr. Jeroen Snijders Blok (COO of the Accell Group) as Vice-President
– Mr. Paulo Fernando Monteiro Rodrigues (Miralago/Orbita Group Administrator) as Vice-President
– Mr. Massimo Panzeri (CEO of Atala) as Vice-President
– Ms. Sacha Boedijn (Manager and Representative of the Bicycle division within RAI Vereniging) as Treasurer

CONEBI – which is the EU Industrial association that represents the EU Bicycle, Electrically Power Assisted Cycles and Parts & Accessories Industries towards the EU and International Institutions – would like to sincerely thank Mr. René J. Takens for his highly valuable contribution to the work and prestige of CONEBI: unanimously, the CONEBI Members have decided to appoint Mr. Takens as Honorary President of CONEBI.

Moreover, CONEBI is very glad to welcome the Hellenic Bicycle Manufacturers Association HEL.BI.M.A. as new CONEBI Member.

The full press release is available here.


Amendments of the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee on a European Strategy for low emission mobility

Brussels – July 5, 2017

After the European Strategy for low emission mobility was proposed by the Commission in June 2016 it was transferred to the Transport committee of the European Parliament. In this next step of the legislative process, the committee with the help of rapporteur Bas Eickhout, green MEP from the Netherlands, can amend the proposed strategy. Therefore, amendments were tabled in the Transport committee in May (see here and here) and the Environment committee added multiple suggestions to the draft report of the Transport committee (see here).

Many of these amendments want to make sure that cycling becomes an integral part of the low emission mobility strategy. Concrete recommendations and objectives present in the amendments are

  • Fostering networks among cities that promote sustainable forms of transport such as biking and the sharing of best practices
  • Encouraging a modal shift for mobility distances of less than 6 km from road to the intermodal mobility chain including cycling
  • Supporting the Commission, the Member States and the regions to invest more in the combination and integration of the EuroVelo Cycling Network with the TEN-T railway networks
  • Urging the European Commission and Member States to develop a European Cycling Strategy
  • Asking for a 25% increase in the area given over to cycle routes and greenways, and a 50% increase in the rate of use of bicycles, by 2025
  • Supporting Member States to introduce tax incentives that foster low-emission mobility such as cycling
  • Calling on the Commission to encourage the use of cargo bikes for last mile logistics
  • Increasing and improving biking infrastructure EU-wide

These amendments from a wide variety of MEPs will be voted upon in the transport committee on September 25. Then they will be sent for an overall vote to the plenary before negotiations between all EU institutions can start to finalize the strategy.


Big Bike Event and the role of Intelligent Bicycles in Road Safety

Brussels – June 28, 2017

The official introduction of the EU Cycling Strategy in Brussels took place on June 28 at the Big Bike Event, in presence of a high-level, distinguished audience.




The list of guest speakers included:

  • the Belgian Federal Minister for Mobility, François Bellot,
  • the Luxembourg Minister for Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, François Bausch,
  • the Dutch Ambassador to Belgium, Maryem van den Heuvel,
  • the Professor at the History Division of Technological Innovation of the Eindhoven University Ruth Oldenziel,
  • the Director for Investment, Innovative & Sustainable Transport of the European Commission DG Move, Mr Herald Ruijters
  • The Director-General for Transport and mobility of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, Mark Frequin
  • The Advocacy Director of ECF, Adam Bodor
  • PON’s Director of Public Affairs and Future Technologies, Raymond Gense

Among the interventions, Mr Gense gave a very interesting presentation about the future of Bicycles, which will soon become “Smart Bicycles”: they will include tablets as HMI, vibrating handlebars and saddles, radars, haptic pedal assistance, computers, speed sensors and cameras – just to name a few features. The progress towards the Smart Bicycle will undoubtedly increase the safety of Cyclists, especially in situations where the road conditions, the mix of road vehicles and the traffic will make it difficult for cyclists to be enough safe.

The seminar was followed by a bike ride through Brussels with the European Commissioner for Transport, Violeta Bulc and in a closing session, Pascal Smet, the Brussels Minister of Mobility and Public Works, bridged the gap to local politics by reflecting on his challenges in turning Brussels into a cycling city and how Europe can help municipalities and regions in doing so.


EU Industrial Strategy: update

Brussels/Berlin – June 30, 2017

Follow-up on the Competitiveness Council conclusions and the Berlin Declaration

On the occasion of the 5th Ministerial Conference of the Friends of Industry – focused on key issues such as Digitisation, Investments, Sustainability and Trade – 18 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Spain) signed the so-called ‘Berlin Declaration’.

In this Joint Declaration, the Ministers of Economy and/or Industry of the mentioned 18 Member States “reiterate the necessity for the European Commission to draw up a new industrial policy strategy” and insist once again: “as far as the timeframe is concerned, we would like to pick up on the Competitiveness Council Conclusions of May 2017 which ask for an extensive industrial policy strategy to be presented in time for the spring meeting of the European Council in 2018”.

Upcoming European Parliament Resolution on “Building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe

Moreover, at the initiative of 8 ITRE MEPs (Members of the European Parliament), the European Parliament organised a one-hour debate on the EU industrial strategy during its last Plenary Session in Strasbourg on 15 June. You can still watch the entire debate here. As you will see, many MEPs from all Political Groups supported the Member States’ and the Industry’s request for a Strategy and an Action Plan at EU level.

Following this Plenary debate, the European Parliament adopted a  ‘resolution on building an ambitious EU industrial strategy as a strategic priority for growth, employment and innovation in Europe’, which you can find here.

With the adoption of this Resolution, the European Parliament sends a strong sign of support to both our Joint Declaration and the COMP Council Conclusions of 29 May. MEPs indeed call on the Commission to “develop, by early 2018, together with the Member States, a Union strategy and an action plan for a consistent and comprehensive industrial policy aimed at Europe’s reindustrialisation, with targets, indicators, measures and time scales”.


Vote of the European Parliament’s INTA committee on the New Anti-Dumping calculation methodology

Brussels – June 20, 2017

Members of INTA Committee adopted on 20 June the legislative report amending the Commission’s proposal related to a new Anti-Dumping calculation methodology. Based on the inclusive work of the rapporteur Mr Salvatore CICU and of the shadow rapporteurs representing all political groups, the text defines more precisely what the significant market distortions are and how the Commission should produce reports on countries and sectors on the basis of which the new methodology will be triggered.

More in detail

On the basis of these amendments, the European Commission will not use domestic prices and costs as the starting point to construct the “normal value” in anti-dumping calculations for countries affected by “significant distortions”.

Once established the existence of significant distortions in a certain country/sector, the European Commission will therefore automatically construct the normal value on the basis of costs and prices reflecting undistorted prices or benchmarks for each and every factor of production.

In the construction of normal value, the European Commission will still be able to use domestic prices and costs, but only if exporting producers can clearly show that (i) they are not directly or indirectly affected by distortions, and that (ii) their factors of production are not distorted.

The INTA vote also guarantees that the “determinations” made as to the existence of significant distortions in a certain country or sector will remain in place until revoked. This system, similar to the US one, makes sure that EU industry does not have to prove the existence of significant distortions on a case-by-case basis.

Moreover, a determination can be revoked only if it is conclusively shown that the country or sector is no longer affected by significant distortions.

The INTA vote also strengthens the role of the macroeconomic reports issued by the European Commission to describe significant distortions in a certain country or sector. The reports showing the existence of significant distortions will constitute sufficient evidence to use the new non-standard methodology.

For countries which have a substantial number of antidumping cases, the report shall be adopted within fifteen days from the entry into force of the Regulation.


Then, the European Parliament includes the five market economy criteria in the definition of significant distortions, in line with what the US does. This is key to justify the use of a non-standard methodology.

Finally, concerning “grandfathering”, it is ensured that the transition period between the old system and the new one lasts until the first expiry review after the transition is terminated (and not initiated).


The EU Cycling Strategy is finally ready and has been handed over to Commissioner Bulc

Nijmegen – June 16, 2017

The EU Cycling Strategy has been finalised! Please find here both the full version and the summary.

Through the valuable umbrella of ECF, the contributions of many stakeholders (NGOs, academics, cities, Bicycle Industry) have been put together to create an 11-chapters EU Strategy: it contains recommendations directed at the EU, national, regional and local level which, if implemented by the EU, will improve conditions to get more people cycling. More in details, the strategy embraces the points that the Cycling sector advocates for, from Cycling in the EU policy to have an equal attention in comparison with other modes of transportation to considerably more EU direct and indirect investments in projects that are related to Cycling and the Bicycle Industry – just to name a few.

The Industry brought its important contribution by writing an entire chapter about the development and potential of Manufacturing and Supply Chain, concentrating on the enforcement of the rules as well as on the conditions that enable the EU to be competitive in terms of maintaining and growing its share of the Industry. The Industry provided also valuable information that is present in other chapters of the Strategy on topics like vehicle regulations and standards, Intelligent Transport Systems and the potential growth of the market.

The EU Cycling Strategy was handed over to the Transport Commissioner of the European Commission Ms Bulc on the last day of the Velo-City in Arnhem-Nijmegen: a remarkable milestone that sets a new important step forward in our advocacy work towards a higher level of Cycling in the EU Policy, Regulatory and Financial Agenda.


ECHA publishes a new guideline for Manufacturers and Importers regarding the compliance with the REACH Regulation

Brussels – June, 2017


Article Manufacturers and Importers are advised to use the new 109-page guidance document to verify that they comply with all their obligations under the European Chemicals Regulation REACH.


Main driving force for the new version of the REACH guidance document

In September 2015, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling which states:

  1. Article 7(2) of the REACH Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that, for the purposes of application of that provision, it is for the producer to determine whether a Candidate List substance of very high concern, is present in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of any article it produces and, for the importer of a product made up of more than one article, to determine for each article whether such a substance is present in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of that article.


  1. Article 33 of the REACH Regulation must be interpreted as meaning that, for the purposes of application of that provision, it is for the supplier of a product one or more constituent articles of which contain(s) a Candidate List substance of very high concern in a concentration above 0.1% weight by weight of that article, to inform the recipient and, on request, the consumer, of the presence of that substance by providing them, as a minimum, with the name of the substance in question.

Following the judgement, a fast-track update procedure was initiated and ECHA (European Chemical Agency) published an updated Version 3.0 of this guidance document in December 2015, correcting the key parts of the guidance that were no longer consistent with the conclusions of the court’s judgement, and in particular removing examples.

The present Version 4.0 is a more comprehensive update of the guidance, which aims primarily at aligning further the text of the guidance and introducing new examples that are consistent with the conclusions of the Court judgement.


In Appendix 6 illustrative examples have been described explaining the requirements under Articles 7 and 33: bicycles have been added as one of the examples of a complex object that is produced by combining a number of articles (or simpler complex objects) mechanically assembled and/or joined together by using substance(s)/mixture(s): from page 101 to 108


The successful implementation of REACH relies to a substantial degree on the effective enforcement of that Regulation. Whereas the European Member States are responsible for setting up and maintaining their national systems for enforcement, the Forum for the Exchange of Information on Enforcement of the ECHA plays an important role in harmonising the approaches for enforcement taken in different countries. The European enforcement forum has already announced in its work program 2014-2018 that several activities have already taken place to improve the enforcement, for instance regarding the Training of REACH inspectors.