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Elimination of double taxation

Elimination of double taxation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Elimination of double taxation

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Taxation

Elimination of double taxation (arbitration)

Document or Iniciative

Convention 90/436/EEC on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of transfers of profits between associated undertakings.

Summary

There is at present no formal obligation on Member States to eliminate double taxation (bilateral conventions merely require the parties to make every effort to do so).

When double taxation arises, the firm affected presents its case to the tax authorities concerned; if those authorities cannot solve the problem satisfactorily, they endeavour to reach mutual agreement with the authorities of the Member State where the associated firm is taxed.

If no agreement can be reached, the authorities present the case to an advisory commission, which suggests a way of solving the problem.

Although the tax authorities may subsequently adopt, by mutual agreement, a solution different from that suggested by the advisory commission, they are bound to adopt the commission’s advice if they cannot reach agreement.

The commission consists of a chairman, two representatives from each of the tax authorities concerned, and an even number of independent members.

On 21 December 1995 the Council adopted a Convention on the accession of the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland and the Kingdom of Sweden to the Convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises. The Convention allows Austria, Finland and Sweden to accede to the Convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises following their accession to the European Union. This Convention will come into force, between the States which have ratified it, on the first day of the third month following the deposit of the last instrument of ratification by the Republic of Austria, the Republic of Finland or the Kingdom of Sweden and by one State which has ratified the Convention on the elimination of double taxation in connection with the adjustment of profits of associated enterprises. It enters into force for each Contracting State which subsequently ratifies it on the first day of the third month following the deposit of its instrument of ratification.

On 25 May 1995 the Council adopted a Protocol amending Convention 90/436/EEC extending it for further periods of five years at a time. The Protocol enters into force on the first day of the third month following the deposit of the instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval by the last Contracting State complying with this formality. It entered into force on 1 January 2000.

As not all Member States have ratified the Protocol extending the Arbitration Convention, the Convention ceased to have effect in 2000. Consequently, enterprises can currently only avail of the dispute settlement provisions of double taxation conventions which do not impose any binding obligation to eliminate double taxation, unlike the Arbitration Convention.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Convention 90/436/EEC 1.1.1995 OJ L 225 of 20.8.1990

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the work of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum in the field of dispute avoidance and resolution procedures and on Guidelines for Advance Pricing Agreements within the EU [COM(2007) 71 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Resolution of the Council and of the representatives of the governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, of 27 June 2006 on a code of conduct on transfer pricing documentation for associated enterprises in the European Union [Official Journal C 176 of 28.7.2006].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the work of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Forum on transfer pricing documentation for associated enterprises in the EU [COM(2005)543 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee on the work of the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Form in the field of business taxation from October 2002 to December 2003 and on a proposal for a Code of Conduct for the effective implementation of the Arbitration Convention (90/436/EEC) [COM(2004) 297 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission proposes that a Code of Conduct be adopted to ensure more effective and more uniform implementation of the 1990 Arbitration Convention by Member States to eliminate double taxation of enterprises carrying out intergroup operations. The Code of Conduct proposed is the result of work by the EU Joint Transfer Pricing Form. The Commission also intends to adopt procedural rules (concerning the starting points for the periods for dealing with complaints, the procedural rules of the advisory commission to be drawn up by the Member States if no agreement can be reached on the elimination of double taxation within two years and the suspension of tax collection pending dispute settlement) and recommends that the Member States apply these rules to the dispute settlement provisions of their bilateral double taxation agreements.

Electronic skills for the 21st century: fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs

Electronic skills for the 21st century: fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electronic skills for the 21st century: fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Electronic skills for the 21st century: fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 7 September 2007 entitled “E-skills for the 21st century: fostering competitiveness, growth and jobs” [COM(2007) 496 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) represent a major challenge in terms of productivity, growth and jobs. The EU and its Member States must quickly adopt rapidly-developing ICT in order to bridge the e-skills gap and be in a position to create a real knowledge-based economy.

The Commission’s observations are as follows:

  • e-skills are not really recognised as a major political challenge;
  • there is no comprehensive e-skills strategy in the EU, where regulations still differ from one country to another;
  • the image problem and decline in supply of highly-skilled ICT practitioners, which creates a labour deficit in this field, must be remedied;
  • an even larger gap is opening up between supply and demand of specific e-skills, while digital illiteracy persists.

Therefore, the Commission is insisting on the need to establish a long-term e-skills agenda. Implementation of these measures is the responsibility of the Member States, but they must bring real added value at European level.

The Commission proposes giving its support to initiatives by defining the key components of the agenda and presenting action lines at the European level.

The key components of the agenda are as follows:

  • creating long-term cooperation between the various stakeholders (public authorities, private sector, universities, associations, etc.);
  • investing in human resources;
  • promotion of sciences, maths, e-skills and ICTs and encouraging careers in this field, particularly for young people and girls;
  • improving digital literacy with the emphasis on categories of the population like the unemployed, elderly people and also those with low education levels in order to encourage employability and e-inclusion;
  • enabling lifelong acquisition of e-skills in particular through updating knowledge and developing e-learning.

Action lines at the European level

The Commission proposes five action lines, the activities of which must begin in 2007 for complete implementation by 2010. They will be implemented through European programmes, such as the Lifelong Learning Programme, the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7), the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), and Structural Funds available for the promotion of Employment and Regional Cohesion.

These action lines involve:

  • promoting long-term cooperation and monitoring progress: the Commission will promote regular dialogue between all stakeholders (Member States, industry, associations, etc.). The Commission will also publish an annual report on e-skills acquisition;
  • developing supporting actions and tools. This involves in particular: supporting the development of a European e-Competence Framework, further promoting the Europass initiative, producing a European handbook on multi-stakeholder partnerships, setting up fast-track schemes for third-country ICT practitioners to the EU, encouraging women to choose ICT careers (IT girls shadowing exercise) and promoting e-training in the field of agriculture and in rural areas;
  • raising awareness, in particular by encouraging exchange of information and good practices between Member States and by promoting awareness and information campaigns at European and national level;
  • fostering employability and social inclusion: as part of the initiative on e-inclusion, the Commission intends to promote initiatives and partnerships between providers of training and trainees, and to investigate how public and private funding can support multi-stakeholder initiatives;
  • promoting better and greater use of e-learning: the Commission will release a report in 2008 with recommendations for targeted e-learning initiatives. It will also promote the development of e-learning courses and exchange mechanisms of training resources for the workforce by 2009. Finally, it will support the networking of training and research centres to create better understanding of future e-skills needs.

Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Electronic interchange of data between administrations: IDA programme

The IDA (Interchange of Data between Administrations) programme aims to promote the development and operation of trans-European telematic networks for data interchange between Member State administrations and/or the Community institutions.

Following on from the first IDA programme, the second phase of the programme (IDA II) was launched in 1999, with the adoption of the two present decisions. The programme has been redirected towards the market and interoperability, with a view to increasing the efficiency of the delivery of on-line eGoverment services to European businesses and citizens.
The IDABC will take over from IDA II when it expires on 31 December 2004.

Acts

Decision 1719/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 on a series of guidelines, including the identification of projects of common interest, for trans-European networks for the electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA);

and

Decision 1720/1999/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 1999 adopting a series of actions and measures in order to ensure interoperability of and access to trans-European networks for the electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA) [See amending acts].

Summary

The first phase of the programme (IDA I), which started in 1995 (Decision 95/468/EC), contributed to the establishment of large telematic networks in the areas of employment, health, agriculture, statistics and competition.

Areas of intervention

The IDA II programme supports the implementation of projects of common interest relating in particular to the development and creation of telematic networks in the area of Community policies such as Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), consumer protection, health and transport.

Objectives

The objectives pursued by the Community with the IDA programme are:

  • to achieve a high degree of interoperability between the telematic networks in the Member States and between the Community and the Member States;
  • to make such networks converge towards a common telematic interface between the Community and the Member States;
  • to achieve benefits for Member State administrations and the Community resulting in particular from the streamlining of operations, a reduction in maintenance, speeding up the implementation of new networks and the provision of safe and reliable data interchange;
  • to extend the benefits of these networks to EU businesses and citizens;
  • to promote the spread of best practice and encourage the development of innovative telematic solutions in administrations.

Eligibility criteria

Projects must be in the area of Community policies and activities.

Priority is given to projects improving the economic viability of public administrations, European institutions, the Member States and regions which, by setting up or developing a sectoral network:

  • help to overcome the obstacles to the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital;
  • contribute to the successful implementation of EMU;
  • promote institutional cooperation between the Community institutions and between those institutions and the national and regional administrations;
  • help to safeguard the financial interests of the Community and Member States and combat fraud;
  • contribute to preparing for EU enlargement;
  • promote the competitiveness of Community industry and, more particularly, small and medium-sized businesses;
  • benefit EU citizens.

Beneficiaries

The principal beneficiaries are the national or regional administrations of the Member States and the Community institutions.

Community financial contribution

The costs of carrying out IDA projects are borne by the Community in proportion to the likely benefits for it. The estimated budget for the period 1999-2004 is about EUR 24 million per annum.

General implementation framework

IDA projects are broken down into four phases as follows:

  • a preparatory phase leading to a preliminary report on the objectives, scope and purpose of the project (in particular the anticipated costs and benefits);
  • a feasibility phase leading to the drawing up of a global implementation plan;
  • a finalisation and validation phase which may include small-scale testing, evaluation and control of the solution proposed for the networks concerned;
  • an implementation phase consisting of starting up the networks concerned.

Accession countries

Following amendments made to the Decisions forming its legal basis, the IDA programme is now open to the accession countries. On 24 April 2003 Slovenia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia and Cyprus signed memoranda of understanding with the European Commission formalising their participation in the IDA programme. By signing the memoranda of understanding, these countries can take part in the programme on the same conditions as the members of the European Economic Area. They will also contribute to the annual IDA budget. The other accession countries and the three candidate countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey) are set to follow in the course of 2003.

Link to the eEurope Action Plan

In January 2002 the IDA programme also became the instrument for implementing the e-government chapter of the eEurope 2005 action plan. The IDA programme supports the development of services geared to safe and efficient electronic data interchange between the various levels of administration. These are essential for providing modern on-line public services, as provided for in the eEurope 2005 Action Plan.

Under the IDA programme, the Commission has set up and funded for the last two years a secure network communications infrastructure for data interchange (TESTA – Trans-European Services for Telematics between Administrations) between practically all the administrations of the Member States – and soon of the accession countries as well – and the European institutions. With the development of e-government projects, the TESTA network will be able to support pan-European services for citizens and businesses. IDA also funds the TESS (Telematics in Social Security) programme.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1719/1999/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/1997/0340] 03.08.1999 OJ L 203 of 03.08.1999
Decision 1720/1999/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/1997/0341] 03.08.1999 OJ L 203 of 03.08.1999
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2046/2002/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2001/210] 20.11.2002 OJ L 316 of 20.11.2002
Decision 2045/2002/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2001/0211] 20.11.2002 OJ L 316 of 20.11.2002

Related Acts

Report [COM(2003) 100 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Commission Report of 7 March 2003 to the European Parliament and the Council – IDA II Mid-Term Evaluation.
This mid-term evaluation report contains a number of recommendations as follows:

  • there should be greater emphasis on a cost-benefit analysis of projects;
  • a description of an infrastructure should be drawn up to serve as a platform for the development of projects of common interest and other sectoral networks;
  • the assistance from the IDA team to the various sectoral administrations participating in the programme should be further strengthened;
  • the size and complexity of procedures for implementing projects should be reduced. Streamlining procedures would enable administrative overheads to be reduced and data collection to be improved;
  • there should be a continuously maintained register (matrix) of the horizontal action and measure outputs and the projects that use them, incorporating contact details for the IDA and sectoral project managers.

Decision 2004/387/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the interoperable delivery of pan-European eGovernment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens (IDABC) [Official Journal L 144 of 30 April 2004].
The new IDABC (Interoperable Delivery of pan-European eGovernment Services) programme has the objective of delivering pan-European on-line eGoverment services to public administrations, businesses and citizens.
This programme is a follow-on to the IDA II programme which ended on 31 December, 2004. The IDABC programme was therefore be launched on 1 January 2005 for a period lasting until 2009.

IDABC is a broader eGovernment programme that will cover the objectives of the present IDA programme. It will, however, go further in also establishing pan-European eGovernment services for businesses and citizens. The new programme will be made up of two strands:
– projects of common interest in support of sectoral policies;
– horizontal measures in support of interoperability.

Furthermore, the scope of the IDABC Programme is broader in as far as it encompasses networks as well as services and extends the benefits of the interaction between administrations to businesses and citizens. Finally, increased funding should be available to ensure efficient, effective and secure interchange of information, taking full account of the linguistic diversity of the Community. More specifically, the Commission proposes that the IDABC programme be endowed with a budget of just over 148 million euros, of which 59 millions for the period up to 31 December 2006.

Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances

Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Other

Electromagnetic compatibility of electrical and electronic appliances

1) Objective

To ensure the free movement of all electrical and electronic appliances on the Community market through full harmonisation of the protection requirements with which they must comply.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 89/336/EEC of 3 May 1989 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility [Official Journal L 139 of 23.05.1989].

Amended by:

Council Directive 91/263/EEC of 29 April 1991 [Official Journal L 128 of 23.05.1991];
Council Directive 92/31/EEC of 28 April 1992 [Official Journal L 126 of 12.05.1992];
Council Directive 93/68/EEC of 22 July 1993 [Official Journal L 220 of 30.08.1993].

3) Summary

The Directives apply to all electrical and electronic appliances together with equipment and installations containing electrical and/or electronic components likely to create electromagnetic disturbance or whose functioning is liable to be affected by such disturbance.

They define the objectives or “essential requirements” of protection to be complied with in the manufacture of the above-mentioned equipment and before marketing.

Harmonised European standards are drawn up by the European standardisation bodies on the basis of the essential requirements. These standards, which are not mandatory, are published in the Official Journal of the European Union and transposed in their entirety into national standards.

Any apparatus manufactured in accordance with harmonised standards is presumed to meet the essential requirements.

The procedures for assessing the conformity of appliances with the essential requirements are based on the modular approach set out in Council Decision 93/465/EEC, concerning conformity assessment procedures and the affixing of the CE conformity marking. Assessment of the conformity of materials is the responsibility of:

  • bodies designated by the Member States in accordance with common assessment criteria and notified to the Commission and the other Member States, or
  • the manufacturers themselves.

Directive 93/68/EEC requires that before being placed on the market appliances must bear the EC conformity marking, which:

  • indicates conformity with the above-mentioned Directives;
  • takes the form of the distinctive “EC” letters;
  • is affixed by the manufacturer or his representative established in the Community.

Where appliances are also covered by other Directives providing for the EC marking, the presence of the marking on the appliances indicates that they meet the requirements of these Directives.

Other marks may also be affixed to appliances, provided there is no risk of confusion with the conformity marking.

A safeguard clause sets up a Community procedure and requires any Member State which has introduced a measure to:

  • withdraw from the market;
  • ban the placing on the market;
  • restrict the free movement of an appliance which is accompanied by one of the means of attestation provided for in the Directives and which bears the EC marking,

to immediately notify that measure to the Commission.

Directive 91/263/EEC

This Directive deletes the provisions of Directive 89/336/EEC (Article 10(4)) in so far as they refer to the definition of telecommunications terminal equipment and to the conformity assessment procedures to be applied for such equipment.

Directive 92/31/EEC

This Directive introduces a transitional period. Member States will, for the period up to 31 December 1995, authorise the placing on the market and/or the putting into service of apparatus referred to in Directive 89/336/EEC conforming to the national regulations in force in their territory on 30 June 1992.

Directive 93/68/EEC

A transitional period from 1 January 1995 to 1 January 1997 has been granted during which time the manufacturer has the option of:

  • placing on the market a product which meets the requirements of the Directives and bears the EC marking, whereby the free movement of the product is ensured even if a more restrictive national regulation is still in force; or
  • placing on the market a product which does not meet the requirements of the Directives and does not bear the EC marking. The product must in this case meet the requirements of a law in force on 31 December 1996.

Sanctions may be adopted by the Member States should they find that the EC marking has been affixed unduly.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 89/336/EEC 16.05.1989 01.07.1991
Directive 91/263/EEC 06.05.1991 06.11.1992
Directive 92/31/EEC 25.05.1992 28.10.1992
Directive 93/68/EEC 02.08.1993 01.07.1994

4) Implementing Measures

Commission communications publishing the lists of titles and references of European standards meeting the essential requirements set out in Directive 89/336/EEC:

Official Journal C 98 of 23.04.2004.

This list replaces the previous lists published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

List of titles and references of harmonised standards

Notified bodies

The NANDO-IS database will enable you to find the European notified bodies as well as third country bodies which are responsible for carrying out the conformity assessment procedures referred to in the New Approach directives.

5) Follow-Up Work

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to electromagnetic compatibility [COM(2002) 759 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This proposal for a Directive aims to repeal Directive 89/336/EEC and replace it with a new text with the objective of:

  • clarifying the scope by means of clearer definitions (including exemptions);
  • establishing a more appropriate regulatory regime for fixed installations;
  • setting out more detailed essential requirements;
  • clarifying the role of harmonised standards;
  • simplifying the conformity assessment procedure and placing it under the sole responsibility of the manufacturer;
  • cutting “red tape”;
  • improving market surveillance through better traceability of the manufacturer.

Codecision procedure

 

Eligibility of expenditure of operations part-financed by the Structural Funds

Eligibility of expenditure of operations part-financed by the Structural Funds

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Eligibility of expenditure of operations part-financed by the Structural Funds

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Regional policy > Management of regional policy

Eligibility of expenditure of operations part-financed by the Structural Funds

The Regulation establishes common rules at Community level on eligible expenditure for certain types of operations part-financed by the Structural Funds. The objective is to guarantee the uniform and fair implementation of the Structural Funds across the Community in 2000-06.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1685/2000 of 28 July 2000 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999 as regards eligibility of expenditure of operations co-financed by the Structural Funds [Official Journal L 193 of 29.07.2000] [See amending acts].

Summary

Where eligibility of expenditure is concerned, the general Regulation on the Structural Funds stipulates that the relevant national rules are to apply to eligible expenditure unless the Commission deems it necessary to adopt common rules.

The Regulations establishing the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) specify the types of operation that they may help to part-finance.

Expenditure is eligible when it is incurred between the date when eligibility commences (the date on which the Commission receives the grant application) and the final date of eligibility (fixed in the Commission Decision granting a contribution from the Funds).

These common rules on eligible expenditure apply to the following forms of assistance from the Funds: operational programmes (OPs), single programming documents (SPDs), Community Initiative programmes (CIPs), technical assistance and innovative actions. They do not affect which Fund can part-finance an operation. Moreover, Member States are always free to adopt stricter national provisions.

ELIGIBILITY RULES

Rule No 1 – Expenditure actually incurred

As a general rule, the final beneficiaries are the bodies or public or private firms directly responsible for commissioning the operation concerned. In the case of State aid schemes and aid granted by bodies designated by the Member States, the final beneficiaries are the bodies which grant the aid to the individual recipients.

Payments by final beneficiaries (advance payments, intermediate payments and payments of the balance) are cash payments accompanied by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent probative value. This provision is without prejudice to clauses in contracts signed under public procurement procedures and complies with the special rules applying to investment in the forestry sector. In some specific cases, other costs and contributions may be included in the payments by final beneficiaries:

Depreciation:
The cost of depreciation of real estate or equipment counts as eligible expenditure provided that national or Community grants have not contributed towards their purchase, and provided the cost complies with accounting standards and relates to the part-financing period of the operation concerned.

Contributions in kind:
Contributions in kind count as eligible expenditure if they involve the provision of land or real estate, equipment or materials, research or professional activity, or unpaid voluntary work.
Such contributions must be valued by an independent expert or organisation. The value of unpaid voluntary work is assessed on the basis of the amount of time spent and the normal hourly and daily rate for the work carried out.

Overheads:
Overheads count as eligible expenditure provided that they are based on real costs and allocated pro rata to the operation, according to a duly justified fair and equitable method.

Payments into venture capital, loan and guarantee funds are treated as expenditure actually paid out.

Expenditure relating to subcontracts is not eligible where the contracts concerned result in an increase in the cost of implementing the project with no corresponding added value, or are with intermediaries or consultants paid a percentage of the total cost of the project.

Rule No 2 – Accounting treatment of revenue

Revenue may be derived from sales, rentals, services, enrolment fees or other equivalent receipts. It reduces the amount of the contribution from the Structural Funds. No later than at the closure of the assistance, revenue must be deducted from the eligible expenditure of the part-financed operation, either in full or in part depending on whether it was generated entirely or only in part by that operation.

Rule No 3 – Financial and other charges and legal expenses

Except in the case of global grants, interest on debts (other than expenditure on interest subsidies to reduce the cost of borrowing for businesses in the context of a State aid scheme), charges for financial transactions, exchange costs and other purely financial costs are not eligible for part-financing by the Structural Funds. Nor are fines, financial penalties and expenditure on disputes.

Conversely, the Structural Funds may part-finance the bank charges for opening and administering an account and the costs of legal advice, lawyers’ fees, technical or financial expertise, accounting and audit. The same rules apply to trans-national financial transactions under the Peace II programme and the Interreg III, Leader+, Equal and Urban II Community Initiatives after deduction of the interest received on advance payments.

Rule No 4 – Purchase of second-hand material

The purchase of second-hand equipment is eligible provided the seller of the equipment provides a declaration stating its origin and confirming that at no point during the previous seven years has it been purchased with the aid of national or Community grants. The price of the equipment may not exceed its market value or the cost of similar new equipment. The equipment must have the technical characteristics necessary for the operation.

Rule No 5 – Purchase of land

The purchase of land which has not been built on is eligible for part-financing by the Structural Funds provided the transaction does not represent more than 10% of the total eligible expenditure of the operation. There must be a direct link between the purchase and the objectives of the operation. A qualified independent expert or an official body must confirm that the price of the land does not exceed the market value.

For environmental conservation operations, the managing authority authorises the purchase of land and its use for a period specified in the light of the operation’s objectives. Under no circumstances may such land be used for agricultural purposes. The purchase must be made by or on behalf of a public institution or a body governed by public law.

Rule No 6 – Purchase of real estate

Real estate means buildings that have already been built and the land on which they are built. The purchase of real estate is eligible if there is a direct link between the purchase and the objectives of the operation. The building may not have received a national or Community grant within the previous ten years. A qualified independent expert or an official body must confirm that the price of the land does not exceed the market value.

Rule No 7 – VAT and other taxes and charges

In general, VAT counts as eligible expenditure only if it is genuinely and definitively borne by the final beneficiary (or by the individual recipient in the context of a State aid scheme) and if Directive 77/388/EEC has been complied with. Whether the final beneficiary or the individual recipient is a public or private body does not affect whether the VAT is eligible.

Other taxes, levies and charges (in particular direct taxes and social security contributions on wages and salaries) arising from part-financing by the Structural Funds are not eligible unless they have been genuinely and definitively borne by the final beneficiary (or by the individual recipient in the context of a State aid scheme).

Rule No 8 – Venture capital and loan funds

Venture capital funds, venture capital holding funds and loan funds are investment tools set up specifically to provide equity or other forms of risk capital, including loans, to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). They are set up as independent legal entities governed by agreements between the shareholders, or as separate blocks of finance within an existing financial institution.

These funds are eligible for part-financing by the Structural Funds, whose participation may be accompanied by co-investments or guarantees from other Community financing instruments. Under no circumstances can the Commission become a partner or shareholder.

The part-financers or sponsors of funds must submit a prudent business plan specifying, among other things, the targeted market, the appropriations, the terms and conditions of financing, the operational budget of the fund, the part-financing partners, the fund’s by-laws, the independence of the management and the provisions for winding up the fund. The managing authority must evaluate such business plans carefully.

Funds may invest only in the establishment, early stages (seed capital) or expansion of SMEs, and only in activities which are judged to be economically viable. They may not invest in firms in difficulty. Moreover, the contribution of such funds is subject to the ceilings laid down in the general Regulation on the Structural Funds.

When the operation is closed, the eligible expenditure of the fund (the final beneficiary) is the capital that has been invested in or loaned out to SMEs, including the management costs incurred. Management costs may not exceed 5% of the paid-up capital on a yearly average.

The Commission recommends (but does not insist on) the following standards of good practice:

  • the financial contribution of the private sector should be substantial, and above 30%;
  • in principle, funds should not hold a majority stake in firms;
  • funds should cover a wide enough target population to ensure that their operations are economically viable;
  • the credibility and professionalism of the fund’s management team must be impeccable.

Rule No 9 – Guarantee funds

Guarantee funds are financing instruments that guarantee venture capital, loan funds and other risk financing schemes against losses arising from their investments in SMEs. Such funds may be mutual funds subscribed by SMEs, commercially-run funds with private-sector partners, or wholly publicly-financed funds. Participation by the Structural Funds’ should be accompanied by part-guarantees provided by other Community financing instruments.

Like venture-capital and loan funds, guarantee funds are set up as independent legal entities and the Commission may not become a partner or shareholder. The part-financers or sponsors of these funds must submit a prudent business plan. Any part of the Structural Funds’ contribution left over after the guarantees have been honoured must be reused for SME development activities in the same eligible area.

When the operation is closed, the eligible expenditure of the fund (the final beneficiary) is the amount of the paid-up capital of the fund necessary, on the basis of an independent audit, to cover the guarantees provided, including the incurred management costs, which may not exceed 2% of the paid-up capital on a yearly average.

Rule No 10 – Leasing

Expenditure incurred in the context of leasing operations is eligible for part-financing by the Structural Funds on the following terms:

Aid granted to the lessor:

The lessor is the direct recipient of the Community part-financing, which is used to reduce all the leasing rentals made by the lessee for the duration of the leasing period for the assets covered by the leasing contract.
The expenditure eligible for part-financing is the purchase of the asset by the lessor, the amount of must be lower than the market value of the rented asset. Other costs connected with the leasing contract (tax, lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads, insurance charges, etc.) are not eligible expenditure.

Aid granted to the lessee:

The lessee is the direct recipient of the Community part-financing. Rent paid to the lessor is eligible for part-financing by the Member States. However, other costs connected with the leasing contract, (tax, lessor’s margin, interest refinancing costs, overheads, insurance charges, etc.) are not eligible.

Sale and lease back:

Leasing rental paid by a lessee under a sale and lease-back scheme may count as eligible expenditure.

Rule No 11 – Costs incurred in managing and implementing the Structural Funds

As a general rule, the costs incurred in the management, implementation, monitoring and inspection of the Structural Funds are not eligible for part-financing. However, on certain conditions, exceptions can be made for expenditure:

  • relating to the preparation, selection, appraisal and monitoring of assistance and of operations, except for expenditure on the acquisition and installation of computerised systems for management, monitoring and evaluation;
  • on meetings of monitoring committees and sub-committees relating to the implementation of assistance, including the costs of experts and third-country participants;
  • relating to audits and on-the-spot checks.

Expenditure on salaries, including social security contributions, is eligible only for civil servants or other staff seconded to carry out the tasks referred to above and eligible for Community assistance.

In the context of general assistance from the Structural Funds (Objective 1 , Objective 2 , Objective 3), Community part-financing of expenditure on implementation, monitoring and inspection depends on the total amount of assistance and is subject to the following ceilings: (a) 2.5% where the total contribution is less than or equal to 100 million, (b) 2% where the total contribution is between 100 million and 500 million, (c) 1% where the total contribution is between 500 million and 1 billion, and (d) 0.5% where the total contribution is more than 1 billion. For the Community Initiatives, the special programme Peace II and innovative actions, the ceiling is 5% of the total contribution.

Technical assistance measures (studies, seminars, information measures, evaluation and the acquisition and installation of computerised systems for management, monitoring and evaluation) are not subject to ceilings.

Rule No 12 – Eligibility of operations depending on the location

As a general rule, operations part-financed by the Structural Funds should be located in the eligible region. Exceptions can be made in cases where a region concerned by a measure will benefit wholly or partly from an operation located outside that region. In such cases, the operation must be located in a NUTS III area immediately adjacent to the eligible region. The maximum eligible expenditure is then calculated pro rata to the expected benefits (at least 50%), but may not exceed 10% of total expenditure on the measure or 5% of the total expenditure on assistance.

In the case of operations financed by the FIFG or relating to the most remote regions, eligibility for part-financing is subject to the Commission’s approval. The evaluation will take account in particular of the proximity of the operation to the region, the expected benefit to the region and the amount of the expenditure in proportion to the total expenditure under the measure.

Regulation (EC) No 1685/2000 is retroactive and applies from 5 August 2000.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1685/2000 05.08.2000 OJ L 193 of 29.07.2000
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1685/2000 05.08.2000 OJ L 193 of 29.07.2000

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1681/94 of 11 July 1994 concerning irregularities and the recovery of sums wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the structural policies and the organization of an information system in this field [Official Journal L 178 of 12.07.1994].

This regulation was amended by Regulation (EC) No 2035/2005 [Official Journal L 328 of 15.12.2005], whose provisions apply from 1 January 2006 onwards.

ELearning – Designing tomorrow's education

eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education

1) Objective

To mobilise Europe’s educational and training communities and its economic, social and cultural players with a view to achieving the objectives set at the Lisbon European Council and allowing Europe to catch up and to accelerate the introduction of the knowledge-based society.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 24 May 2000,eLearning – Designing tomorrow’s education [COM(2000) 318 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

Background
The eLearning initiative is part of the European Community’s overall eEurope strategy, which was designed to help Europe achieve the objective set by Heads of State at the Lisbon European Council on 23 and 24 March 2000: “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-driven economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion”. The overall strategy is based largely on the eEurope communication “An information society for all”, the conclusions of the Lisbon Council and the eEurope action plan. Within this strategy a major role is given to the educational and cultural communities, and the aim of the eLearning initiative is to create a framework to allow them to fill this key role.

In future, a society’s economic and social performance will be determined largely by the extent to which its citizens can exploit the potential of these new technologies. Attaining this Lisbon objective will depend on the committed involvement of all players in education and training. The eLearning initiative tackles the challenges in these areas and aims to adapt European education and training systems to the needs of the knowledge-based society.

The initiative does not seek to initiate a new process but to bring together the various components of education and training – the eEurope measures, the Luxembourg process and research activities – in order to mobilise the education and training sector.

In parallel, the Lisbon European Council asked the Education Council to undertake a general reflection on the concrete future objectives of education systems, focusing on common priorities, and to present a more comprehensive report to the European Council in the spring of 2001.

Europe must act quickly if it is to eliminate weaknesses and catch up on the United States in the use of the new technologies, an area in which Europe is far behind. As a result, the objectives and measures of the initiative are specific and the time-frame is short.

Objectives
The initiative has three groups of objectives, each consisting of many detailed goals which target Europe’s main weaknesses in this area:

  • Objectives for infrastructures:

– provide all schools in the Union with an Internet connection by the end of 2001;

– encourage the creation by the end of 2001 of a trans-European high-speed network for scientific communications linking research institutes, universities, scientific libraries and, in due course, schools;

– ensure that by the end of 2002 all pupils have a fast Internet connection and multimedia resources in the classroom.

  • Objectives for increasing people’s level of knowledge:

– substantially increase per capita investment in human resources every year;

– provide all citizens with the skills needed to live and work in the new information society;

– enable the population as a whole to become digitally literate.

  • Objectives for adapting education and training systems to the knowledgebased society:

– train a sufficient number of teachers in the use of the Internet and multimedia resources by the end of 2002;

– ensure that schools and training centres become local learning centres which are multi-purpose and accessible to all, using the most appropriate methods tailored to the broad diversity of the target groups;

– adopt a European framework to define the new basic skills to which lifelong learning must provide access: information technologies, foreign languages and technical knowledge, for example the introduction of a European diploma for basic information technology skills;

– define, by the end of the year 2000, ways of encouraging mobility among students, teachers, trainers and researchers through optimum use of Community programmes, the removal of obstacles and greater transparency in the recognition of qualifications and periods of study and training;

– prevent exclusion from the knowledge-based society by defining priority actions for certain target groups (minorities, the elderly, people with disabilities, the under-qualified) and women, and by providing a sound basic education;

– provide all pupils with broad digital literacy by the end of 2003.

Actions

In order to achieve these ambitious objectives, the initiative is based on four main lines of action:

  • Equipment
    This line of action tackles one of Europe’s major shortcomings in this field and one of the main obstacles to the development of an inclusive knowledge-based society: the shortfall in hardware and software.
    The aim of this action is to improve access to digital networks by ensuring that forums of learning, training and knowledge are better-equipped.
    One of the objectives is to achieve a ratio by 2004 of 5 to 15 users per computer in schools, which is a considerable challenge given the current disparities in Europe which range from a ratio of one computer per 400 pupils to one computer per 25 pupils.
  • Training at all levels

    The second line of action underlines the importance of lifelong learning for teachers and for other professionals.
    Furthermore, as a result of the impact of new technologies on the organisation and contents of education and training programmes and on the learning environment and teaching practices, methods will need to be adapted and innovative educational models introduced.
    A definition will therefore be proposed for the basic skills which lifelong learning must provide and for skills specific to the new occupational profiles.
  • The development of goodquality multimedia services and contents

    The successful use of new technologies in this field depends on the availability of relevant and good-quality services and contents. Consequently, the third line of action tackles this problem by trying to strengthen the European educational multimedia industry and its links with education systems, and, by the end of 2002, to strengthen vocational guidance services so as to allow all citizens access to information and training in the field of new technologies and enable them to plan or adjust their career pathways.
  • The development and networking of learning centres

    The fourth line of action tackles the third objective by aiming to transform teaching and training centres into learning centres which are multi-purpose, accessible to all and adapted to suit the needs of the knowledge-based society. For example, virtual forums and campuses will be set up, linking universities, schools, training centres, etc. This will promote the development of distance teaching and training and the exchange of best practice and experience.

Implementation by the Member States
The scale and nature of these challenges and actions require a strong political commitment from the Member States. Attaining these objectives within a short time-frame also requires rapid implementation and often additional effort.
It is planned that the Commission, in conjunction with the Council’s Education Committee, will prepare a framework for attaining these goals so that progress and the effectiveness of actions taken can be analysed; this will be done using, inter alia, a benchmarking system based on indicators defined within the Luxembourg progress. Member States are required to contribute to the exchange of relevant information.
As a further measure, observation mechanisms will be developed with targets corresponding to the four lines of action in the eLearning initiative to allow comparison between EU and non-EU countries.
The eLearning initiative will play a part in the revision of the employment guidelines which the Commission will propose in autumn 2000. A specific guideline on eLearning will be proposed.
The initiative will also be part of the European Social Agenda.

The role of the Commission
The initiative will be implemented by means of the open method of coordination, allowing dissemination of best practice and greater convergence with regard to the goals set. The role of the Commission is to support Member States in implementing the initiative and to coordinate and consolidate their efforts at European level.
The Commission is required to present a working paper in October 2000 which will describe all the actions planned at Community level to support the eLearning initiative, and to submit progress reports on eLearning to the Education Council.
In conjunction with the Member States, the Commission will focus Community instruments and programmes on the attainment of shared goals, with contributions from:

  • the Structural Funds;
  • Community programmes in education, culture and training (Socrates, Leonardo);
  • research programmes (IST, TSER);
  • international cooperation programmes;
  • the Community’s financial bodies.

In this field, particular attention will be given to:

  • the recognition of qualifications;
  • language learning;
  • education in communication and the media;
  • promoting mobility among teachers, students, trainers and researchers, also within the European Research Area;
  • the development of virtual mobility.

The Commission will undertake specific actions at Community level which will fuel reflection and action at both national and Community level, including:

  • consolidating the cooperation developed within the EUN network (The European Schoolnet). EUN brings together twenty education ministries in both the EU and Central and Eastern European countries to set up a virtual and multilingual European campus and to develop a European network for innovation and exchange of information in the field of information technology;
  • creating European gateways to bring together coherent educational communities;
  • setting up a general framework for discussion on innovation in progress, including the creation of a high-level group on “Designing tomorrow’s education and training”;
  • developing observation mechanisms;
  • setting up a training network for trainers;
  • setting up an eLearning Internet site;
  • promoting employability by developing qualifications and skills associated with new technologies.

Attainment of these ambitious objectives will enable the citizens of Europe to take an active part in the construction of the most dynamic and cohesive society in the world.

4) Implementing Measures

from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 27 January 2000 entitled “Designing tomorrow’s education – Promoting innovation with new technologies” [COM(2000) 23 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

5) Follow-Up Work

Electronic commerce

Electronic commerce

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electronic commerce

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Internal market > Single market for services > Financial services: banking

Electronic commerce

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 7 February 2001 to the Council and the European Parliament on e-commerce and financial services [COM(2001) 66 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Introduction

The e-commerce Directive is a horizontal framework directive that applies to all information society services (“on-line” services) and therefore also to financial services provided on-line. Financial services provided off-line will be subject to a different legal regime. The communication explains that the e-commerce Directive complements sector-specific financial services legislation (information requirements for customers in the field of consumer credit, insurance and distance marketing). For example, the “internal market clause” applies to financial services by enabling providers to supply services throughout the Union on the basis of the legislation prevailing in the Member State in which they are established (i.e. country of origin). The e-commerce Directive also complements the electronic signatures Directive in that it obliges Member States to ensure that their legal system allows contracts to be concluded by electronic means. Financial service providers are unable to comply with fifteen different sets of rules and regulations if they really wish to offer cross-border on-line services. It is also necessary to reassure consumers who are still reluctant to use this type of service. In order to attain this objective, cooperation between the Member States must also be strengthened.

Derogations

The “internal market clause” of the e-commerce Directive does not apply to the taking up and carrying out of insurance business, the advertising of UCITS and the issue of electronic money by institutions which do not benefit from a European passport. There is also a derogation for contractual obligations in consumer contracts. The Directive also preserves the freedom of the parties to choose the law applicable to their contract.

Future

The Directive should be transposed by 17 January 2002. This will require further harmonisation of conduct-of-business rules for investment services and pre-contractual information requirements covered by the proposed Directive on the distance marketing of financial services.

Policy areas

The communication defines three policy areas:

  • Ensuring coherence in the legislative framework for financial services by, for example, harmonising core marketing and information rules and by regulating sectoral issues (banking, insurance, investment, etc.) and product-specific issues (mortgage credit, consumer credit, investment services, UCITS, life and non-life insurance, insurance intermediation, etc.): The Commission will also undertake a review of national rules relating to retail financial service contracts to ensure closer convergence and will inform the Member States on the conditions in which the case-by-case derogation provided for in Article 3(4) may be applied, enabling the Member States to apply on certain conditions, their national provisions to services coming from other Member States, with a view to defending public order or protecting consumers.
  • Building consumer confidence in redress and Internet payment systems: For cross-border redress, the Commission supports the establishment of private Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and has launched FINNET (FINancial Services complaints Network) for financial services. For secure Internet payment systems, the Commission intends to develop the
    e-Europe
    initiative aimed at improving security by new identification and authentication techniques and to encourage the establishment of a legislative framework providing reassurance that a refund will be made if problems occur (non-authorised transaction, non-delivery or fraud).
  • Enhanced supervisory cooperation between Member States based on the principle of supervision by the authority of the country of establishment of the financial service provider: In the field of money laundering, digital signatures and the other identification and authentication techniques will partly reduce the risks associated with on-line and cross-border transfers. It will also be necessary to examine new risk profiles in financial services such as credit, market, interest-rate and insurance risks, which are being examined as part of a current review of prudential requirements (own funds) and solvency margins (insurance).

Related Acts

Commission Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank of 14 May 2003 on the application to financial services of Article 3(4) to (6) of the Electronic Commerce Directive [COM(2003) 259 – Not published in the Official Journal]

This communication is designed to ensure that the mechanisms set out in Article 3(4) to (6) of the Electronic Commerce Directive and allowing Member States to apply on a case-by-case basis general-interest restrictions on an information society service provided in another Member State are correctly and strictly applied. It provides assistance to Member States wishing to avail themselves of those mechanisms although it is not an interpretative document. The analysis it contains is based on the Court of Justice’s case law. It does not attempt systematically to cover all the aspects of the Article in question, addressing only those where the Commission has noted that there is a need for some explanation and assistance.

Electronic payment: code of conduct

Electronic payment: code of conduct

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Electronic payment: code of conduct

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Information society > Interaction of the information society with certain policies

Electronic payment: code of conduct

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 87/598/EEC of 8 December 1987, concerning a European code of conduct relating to electronic payments [Official Journal L 365 of 24.12.1987].

Summary

Recommendation that all interested parties concerned should comply with the provisions of the “European code of conduct” relating to electronic payments. This has been drafted by the European Commission and will promote:

  • security and convenience for consumers;
  • greater security and efficiency for traders and issuers.

Definitions of “electronic payment”, “issuer” (bank), “trader”, “consumer” and “interoperability”.

General principles relating to the contract between issuers (banks) and traders or consumers, e.g. it shall set out in detail the general and specific conditions of the agreement; the contract shall be drawn up in the official language(s) of the Member State in which it is concluded.

Commission recommendation that interoperability be full and complete before 31 December 1992. This will enable traders and consumers to join the networks or contract with the issuers of their choice, and ensure that every electronic payment terminal is able to process all cards.

Respect of privacy of information given by consumer. Right of fair access to the system for traders, irrespective of their size.

Obligations concerning relations between issuers and traders:

  • including a ban on any exclusive trading clause which requires the trader to operate only one system, and
  • an obligation on card-holders to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the payment card.

Related Acts

The Commission adopted two new recommendations in this field in 1988 and 1997. The first concerned relations between card-holders and card-issuers while the second concerned electronic payment.

Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage

Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

Elimination of controls and formalities applicable to baggage

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3925/91 of 19 December 1991 concerning the abolition of controls and formalities applicable to the cabin and checked baggage of persons taking an intra-Community flight and the baggage of persons making an intra-Community sea-crossing [See amending acts].

Summary

In order to establish an area without internal frontiers in which there is free movement of goods, this Regulation prohibits the carrying-out of controls and formalities in respect of:

  • the cabin and checked baggage of persons taking an intra-Community flight;
  • the baggage of persons making an intra-Community sea-crossing.

Flights aboard an aircraft

Any control and any formality in respect of the hand and checked baggage of persons taking a flight aboard an aircraft:

  • shall be carried out at the last airport when the flight began at a non-Community airport and continues between two Community airports;
  • shall be carried out at the airport of departure when the flight, following a stopover at a Community airport, has to continue to a non-Community airport.

Private or business aircraft are to be controlled at the first airport of arrival which must be an international Community airport where the flights in question began at a non-Community airport and continue between two Community airports. The baggage in question is to be controlled at the last international Community airport when the flights in question began at a Community airport and continue, after a stop, to a non-Community airport.

Sea crossings

Any control and any formality in respect of the baggage of persons using a shipping service is to be carried out in the port where the baggage in question is loaded or unloaded when the service is carried out by the same vessel, comprises successive legs and terminates or calls at a non-Community port.

The baggage of persons using pleasure craft is to be controlled in any Community port.

Cabin and checked baggage

Checked baggage that comes from a non-Community airport and is transferred at a Community airport to another aircraft proceeding on an intra-Community flight is to be controlled at the airport of destination of the intra-Community flight.

Baggage loaded on to an aircraft proceeding on an intra-Community flight for transfer at another Community airport to an aircraft whose destination is a non-Community airport is to be controlled at the airport of departure of the intra-Community flight.

Baggage that arrives at a non-Community airport and is transferred, at a Community airport, to an aircraft making an intra-Community flight is to be controlled at the airport of arrival of the aircraft.

Baggage on board an aircraft which makes an intra-Community flight in order to be transferred, at another Community airport, to an aircraft leaving for a non-Community airport is to be controlled at the airport of departure of the aircraft.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 3925/91 03.01.1992 OJ L 374 of 31.12.1991
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 20.11.2003 OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code [Official Journal L 253 of 11.10.1993].
This Regulation lays down implementing provisions for the Community Customs Code. The Regulation lays down special measures applying to cabin and hold luggage for passenger traffic. These measures are designed to prevent Regulation (EEC) No 3925/91 from being a potential source of fraud and, especially, to avoid goods being transferred before being checked. The Regulation also lays down arrangements by which the competent authorities can identify baggage for which controls and formalities have been eliminated.

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3912/92 of 17 December 1992 on controls carried out within the Community in the field of road and inland waterway transport in respect of means of transport registered or put into circulation in a third country [Official Journal L 395 of 31.12.1992].
Council Regulation (EEC) No 4060/89 of 21 December 1989 on the elimination of controls performed at the frontiers of Member States in the field of road and inland waterway transport [Official Journal L 390 of 30.12.1989].

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on the elimination of controls performed at the frontiers of Member States in the field of road and inland waterway transport (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This regulation eliminates frontier * controls * on road vehicles and inland waterway vessels travelling between European Union (EU) countries. Checks, inspections, verifications or formalities must no longer be performed as border controls within the EU, but simply as part of the normal control procedures applied in a non-discriminatory manner throughout the territory of an EU country.

The controls concerned are referred to in Annex I of this regulation. The Commission may propose amendments to this annex to take account of relevant technological developments. The annex refers to both EU and national legislation which provide for controls and inspections, including:

  • checks on the maximum authorised weights and dimensions of road vehicles;
  • checks on documentation showing roadworthiness of motor vehicles and their trailers;
  • inspections to verify that technical requirements for inland waterway vessels are fulfilled;
  • inspections of passenger lists on bus and coach services;
  • driving licence checks;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for dangerous goods;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for perishable foodstuffs.
Key terms used in the act
  • Frontier: either an internal frontier within the EU or an external frontier, where carriage between EU countries involves crossing a non-EU country.
  • Control: any check, inspection, verification or formality performed at the frontiers of EU countries by the national authorities which signifies a stop or a restriction on the free movement of the vehicles or vessels concerned.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008

4.12.2008

OJ L 304 of 14.11.2008