Tag Archives: European standard

The protection of pigs

The protection of pigs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The protection of pigs

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

The protection of pigs

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. The text provides a framework in particular for painful operations: castration, caudal amputation, the elimination of corner teeth, etc.

Scope

Minimum standards apply to all categories of pigs kept for rearing and fattening: piglets (from birth to weaning), weaned piglets (from weaning to 10 weeks old), fatteners (more than 10 weeks old), sows and gilts *, boars *, etc.

These animals are, apart from some exceptions (farrowing sows, boar), to be raised in groups. Farmers must implement measures aimed at fulfilling basic needs and preventing aggression within the group. In particular, pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of enrichment material in order to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities.

Sows and gilts

Pregnant sows and gilts must, if necessary, be treated against external and internal parasites. Tethering sows and gilts has been prohibited since 1 January 2006.

One week before farrowing, sows and gilts can be isolated. An unobstructed area must be available for natural or assisted farrowing. Boxes must be equipped with piglet protection systems.

Piglets (unweaned)

No piglets shall be weaned from the sow at less than 28 days of age unless the welfare or health of the dam or the piglet would otherwise be adversely affected.

Weaned piglets and rearing pigs

Measures shall be taken to ensure that the animals do not fight. Pigs are to be kept in groups and must not be mixed (except if necessary before weaning or during the week following weaning). Aggressive animals are to be kept away from the group (as are injured animals). Tranquilising medicaments are only to be used to facilitate mixing in exceptional conditions and after consultation with a veterinarian.

Painful operations on animals

A veterinarian or “carer”, trained in aspects relating to animal welfare is authorised to carry out the following:

  • reduction of piglets’ corner teeth,
  • docking of tails (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • castration of males (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • nose-ringing in outdoor husbandry systems.

Neither tail-docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred. Before carrying out these procedures, other measures shall be taken to prevent tail-biting and other vices, taking into account environment and stocking densities. For this reason inadequate environmental conditions or management systems must be changed.

Health

Sick or injured pigs are to be placed in individual enclosures.

Feed

The Directive also provides for standards concerning feeding in “sufficient quality” and “permanent” access to drinking water. All pigs must have access to food at the same time as other animals in the group. Animals must be fed at least once a day.

Accommodation

Standards concerning floor area are set according to the weight of the animal: between 0.15 m2 for pigs weighing less than 10 kg and 1 m2 per animal over 110 kg, 1.64 m2 per gilt, 2.25 m2 per sow, 6 m2 for a boar (10 m2 if the boar is used for natural service).

Some accommodation standards will only apply after 1 January 2013 (for buildings constructed before 2003 or after the date of accession to the EU).

Floors must be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the animals.

The lying area must be comfortable, clean and dry.

Environment

Continuous noise as loud as 85 dB is to be avoided. Light intensity is to be at least 40 lux for eight hours.

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections each year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to make on-the-spot checks in the farms with the assistance of national inspectors.

Specific provisions

Member States may apply stricter provisions on their own territory than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they shall inform the Commission of any such measures beforehand.

Context

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 91/630/EEC and its subsequent amendments.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gilt: a female pig after puberty and before farrowing.
  • Boar: a male pig after puberty, intended for breeding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/120/EC

10.3.2009

1.1.2008

OJ L 47 of 18.2.2009

Protection of laying hens

Protection of laying hens

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of laying hens

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of laying hens

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 1999/74/EC of 19 July 1999 laying down minimum standards for the protection of laying hens [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive establishes minimum standards for the protection of laying hens. It does not apply to establishments with fewer than 350 laying hens or establishments rearing breeding laying hens.

The rearing of laying hens must comply with the relevant provisions laid down by Directive 98/58/EC relating to the protection of farmed animals and with those laid down in the Annex to this Directive.

Alternative systems

From 1 January 2002, all newly built or rebuilt alternative systems of production and all such systems of production brought into use for the first time must comply with the following requirements:

  • all systems must be equipped with:
    1. either linear feeders (at least 10 cm per hen) or circular feeders (at least 4 cm per hen),
    2. either continuous drinking troughs (2.5 cm per hen) or circular drinking troughs (1 cm per hen),
    3. at least one nest for every seven hens,
    4. adequate perches (at least 15 cm per hen),
    5. and at least 250 cm2 of littered area per hen;
  • the floors of installations must support each of the forward-facing claws of each foot;
  • there are special provisions on systems of rearing allowing hens to move freely and/or permitting access to outside runs;
  • the stocking density must not exceed nine laying hens per m2 of usable area (however, where the usable area corresponds to the available ground surface, a stocking density of 12 hens per m2 is authorised until 31 December 2011 for those establishments applying this system on 3 August 1999).

Member States are to ensure that these requirements apply from 1 January 2007.

Rearing in unenriched cage systems

From 1 January 2003, all unenriched cages must comply with the following requirements:

  • at least 550 cm2 of cage area must be provided for each hen;
  • a feed trough (of a length of at least 10 cm multiplied by the number of hens), which may be used without restriction must be provided;
  • each cage must have an appropriate drinking system;
  • cages must be at least 40 cm high over 65 % of the cage area and not less than 35 cm at any point;
  • floors of cages must be constructed so as to support the claws of each foot. If the floor is on a slope, this must not exceed 14 % or 8 % except where the floor is made of a material other than wire mesh;
  • cages must be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.

With effect from 1 January 2003, no unenriched cages may be built or brought into service for the first time. This type of rearing system is prohibited with effect from 1 January 2012.

Rearing in enriched cages

From 1 January 2002, all enriched cages must comply at least with the following requirements:

  • each laying hen must have:
    1. at least 750 cm2 of cage,
    2. a nest,
    3. litter such that pecking and scratching are possible,
    4. appropriate perches of at least 15 cm;
  • a feed trough that may be used without restriction must be provided. Its length must be at least 12 cm multiplied by the number of hens in the cage;
  • each cage must have an appropriate drinking system;
  • there must be a minimum aisle width of 90 cm between tiers of cages and a space of at least 35 cm must be allowed between the floor of the building and the bottom tier of cages;
  • cages must be fitted with suitable claw-shortening devices.

Final provisions

The competent authority must register the establishments covered by the Directive and give them a distinguishing number that will ensure the traceability of eggs placed on the market for human consumption.

Member States must ensure that inspections are carried out under the responsibility of the competent authority to check that the provisions of the Directive are complied with. They must submit a report on the inspections to the Commission, which must then inform the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.

Veterinary experts from the Commission may, where necessary for the uniform application of the current Directive, carry out on-the-spot checks in cooperation with the competent authorities. The findings of those checks are discussed with the competent authorities, which then take any measures revealed to be necessary by the checks.

Not later than 1 January 2005, the Commission must submit to the Council a report, drawn up on the basis of an opinion from the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, on the different systems of rearing taking account of the requirements for the welfare of hens and the socio-economic implications of those systems. The report is to cover the negotiations within the World Trade Organisation and be accompanied by appropriate proposals.
The Council must act by a qualified majority on those proposals no later than 12 months after their submission.

Member States have until 1 January 2002 to bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions, including any penalties, necessary to comply with the Directive and must forthwith inform the Commission thereof. In addition, they may maintain or apply within their territories more stringent provisions than those envisaged by the Directive.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 1999/74/EC

3.8.1999

1.1.2002

OJ L 203, 3.8.2009

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 806/2003

5.6.2003

OJ L 122, 16.5.2003

Related Act(S)

Commission Directive 2002/4/EC of 30 January 2002 on the registration of establishments keeping laying hens, covered by Council Directive 1999/74/EC [Official Journal L 30 of 31 January 2002].

Member States must establish a system for registering every production site covered by Directive 1999/74/EC. The information required for registration includes the person responsible for the laying hens, the owner and the distinguishing number. Establishments must be registered before 31 May 3003. From 1 June 2003, establishments that are not registered may not continue or begin to operate.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 8 January 2007 on the various systems of rearing laying hens in particular those covered by Directive 1999/74/EC [COM(2007) 865 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Eco-label

Eco-label

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Eco-label

Topics

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

Other

Eco-label

The eco-label aims to promote products with a reduced environmental impact compared with other products in the same product group.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 on a revised Community eco-label award scheme.

Summary

The Community Eco-label award scheme is designed to:

  • promote products which have a reduced environmental impact compared with other products in the same product group;
  • provide consumers with accurate and scientifically based information and guidance on products.

The following are excluded from the Regulation’s scope:

  • foodstuffs;
  • drinks;
  • pharmaceutical products;
  • medical devices as defined by Directive 93/42/EEC;
  • substances or preparations classed as dangerous within the meaning of Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC;
  • products manufactured by processes likely to significantly harm human beings and/or the environment.

The eco-label may be awarded to products available in the Community which meet certain environmental requirements and specific label criteria.

The environmental requirements are defined with reference to the assessment matrix given in Annex I to the Regulation and are subject to the methodological requirements set out in Annex II. The label may be awarded to products which contribute significantly to improvements in relation to key environmental aspects (or interaction with the environment, in particular energy use and the use of natural resources during the life cycle of the product).

Awarding the label

Eco-label criteria must be established by product group and be based on:

  • the product’s prospects of market penetration;
  • the technical and economic feasibility of the necessary adaptations;
  • the potential for environmental improvement.
  • they must represent a significant volume of sales and trade in the internal market;
  • they must have a significant environmental impact;
  • they must present a significant potential for effecting environmental improvements through consumer choice;
  • a significant part of the sales volume must be sold for final consumption or use.
  • manufacturers, importers, service providers, traders or retailers apply to the competent body designated by the Member State in which the product has been manufactured or first marketed or imported from a non-member country;
  • the competent body assesses whether the product conforms to the criteria of the eco-label and decides whether to award the label;
  • the competent body concludes a standard contract with the applicant, covering the terms of use of the label.

The criteria are set, assessed and reviewed by the European Union Eco-Labelling Board (EUEB). They are published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

The products must fulfill the following conditions:

Applying for the award of a European eco-label:

Applications for the award of an eco-label are subject to payment of a fee. The use of the label is also subject to the payment of an annual fee by the user.

Any product to which the eco-label is awarded is recognisable by the ‘daisy’ logo, as described in Annex III to the Regulation.

The Commission and the Member States must promote the use of the eco-label by means of awareness-raising actions and information campaigns. They must ensure coordination between the Community scheme and existing national schemes.

Background

This Regulation repeals Council Regulation (EEC) No 880/92 in order to improve the functioning of the Community Eco-label scheme.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No. 1980/2000

24.09.2000

OJ L 237 of 21.09.2000

Related Acts

Commission Decision of 10 November 2000 establishing the application and annual fees of the Community Eco-label [Official Journal L 293 of 22.11.2000].
This Decision sets minimum and maximum fees, and the reductions granted in certain cases.
Consolidated version

Commission Decision of 10 November 2000 on a standard contract covering the terms of use of the Community Eco-label [Official Journal L 293 of 22.11.2000].
This measure stipulates that the contract between the competent body and the applicant must be in the form set out in the Annex to the Decision. It also repeals Decision 93/517/EC on a standard contract covering the terms of use of the Community eco-label.

Commission Decision of 10 November 2000 establishing the European Union Eco-labelling Board and its rules of procedure [Official Journal L 293 of 22.11.2000].

Commission Decision of 10 November 2000 establishing the rules of procedure of the Consultation Forum of the revised Community Eco-label Scheme [Official Journal L 293 of 22.11.2000].

Decisions awarding the Eco-label

Commissoin Decision (Hard coverings).

Commission Decision (Bed mattresses).

Commission Decision (Tourist accommodation service).

Commission Decision (Tissue paper, kitchen paper and other absorbant products for domestic use).

Commission Decision (Textile products).

Commission Decision (Campsite service).

Commission Decision (Footwear).

Commission Decision (Indoor paints and varnishes).

Commission Decision (Outdoor paints and varnishes).

Commission Decision (Televisions).

Commission Decision(Dishwasher).
Prolongation: Decision 2007/457/EC

Consolidated version
Commission Decision (copying and graphic paper)
Prolongation: Decision 2007/457/EC

Codified version
Decision 2002/747/EC (light bulbs)
Prolongation: Decision 2008/63/EC

Consolidated version
Decision (detergents for dishwashers)
Prolongation: Decision 2008/889/EC

Consolidated version
Decision 2003/200/EC (laundry detergents)
Prolongation: Decision 2008/63/EC

Consolidated version
Decision (washing machines)
Prolongation: Decision 2000/45/EC

Decision (refrigerators)
Prolongation: Decision 2007/207/EC

Decision 2005/341/EC(personal computers)
Prolongation: Decision 2008/962/EC

Codified version
Decision (hand dishwashing detergents)

Prolongation: Decision 2008/889/EC

Codified version
Decision (portable computers)
Prolongation:Decision 2008/962/EC

Codified version
Decision (all-purpose cleaners and cleaners for sanitary facilities)

Prolongation: Decision 2008/889/CE

Codified version
Decision (lubricants)

Prolongation: Decision 2008/889/EC

Codified version
Decision (soil improvers)

Decision 2007/64/EC (growing media)

Decision 2007/506/EC (soaps, shampoos and hair conditioners)

Decision 2007/742/EC (electrically driven, gas driven or gas absorption heat pumps).

End-of-life vehicles

End-of-life vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about End-of-life vehicles

Topics

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

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Interactions between the automobile industry and specific policies

End-of-life vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 September 2000 on end-of-life vehicles [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive applies to vehicles and end-of-life vehicles, including their components and materials. It specifically covers:

  • motor vehicles with at least four wheels for transporting passengers and with a maximum of nine seats (category M1);
  • motor vehicles with at least four wheels for transporting goods which weigh no more than 3.5 tonnes (category N1); and
  • three wheel motor vehicles.

Limit waste production

This Directive aims to decrease the quantity of waste arising from vehicles. It, therefore, encourages vehicle manufacturers and importers of vehicles into the European Union to:

  • limit the use of hazardous substances in their new vehicles;
  • design and produce vehicles which facilitate re-use and recycling;
  • develop the integration of recycled materials.

Since 1 July 2003, the use of mercury, hexavalent chromium, cadmium and lead in the components of vehicles placed on the market has been prohibited. However, these substances may be used for certain applications if the use of these substances is unavoidable (see Annex II to the Directive 2000/53/EEC).

Organise waste collection

Member States shall establish collection systems for waste arising from vehicles. Furthermore, they shall ensure end-of-life vehicles are transferred to authorised treatment facilities.

The owner or holder of the end-of-life vehicle shall receive a certificate of destruction when the vehicle is transferred to an authorised treatment facility. This certificate is issued by the facility. It enables the owner or holder to deregister the vehicle with the public authorities. The costs or part of the costs incurred in transferring a vehicle to a treatment facility shall be met by the vehicle manufacturers.

Organise waste treatment

Member States shall organise the storage and treatment of end-of-life vehicles in accordance with the requirements of the Framework Directive on Waste and those of Annex I to the Directive. Authorised treatment facilities shall strip end-of-life vehicles before treatment and recover all environmentally hazardous components.

Prioritise the re-use and recovery of waste

Priority must be given to the re-use and recovery (recycling, regeneration, etc.) of vehicle components. The aim of this Directive is to increase the rate of re-use and recovery.

The rate of re-use and recovery (in average weight per vehicle and year) should reach:

  • 85 % no later than 1 January 2006;
  • 95 % no later than 1 January 2015.

The rate of re-use and recycling (in average weight per vehicle per year) should reach:

  • 80 % no later than 1 January 2006;
  • 85 % no later than 1 January 2015.

For vehicles produced before 1980, the targets are lower.

Facilitate dismantling through information on components and materials

Member States must ensure that producers use material and component coding standards. These standards allow identification of the various materials and components. They, therefore, facilitate dismantling.

The Commission is responsible for establishing European standards. In so doing, the Commission shall take account of the work going on in relevant international forums.

Vehicle manufacturers are required to produce information on dismantling for each type of new vehicle placed on the market. This information must be produced within six months of the vehicle being placed on the market.

Evaluate progress made through implementation reports

Economic operators (producers, distributors, dismantlers, etc.) must publish information on:

  • the design of the vehicles and their components (capacity for recovery and recycling);
  • the treatment of end-of-life vehicles;
  • the development and improvement of methods for re-using, recycling and recovering end-of-life vehicles and their components;
  • the progress made in the field of recovery and recycling.

Member States shall submit a report to the Commission every three years based on this information. Each report shall be in the form of a questionnaire drawn up by the Commission. These questionnaires shall enable the Commission to observe any possible changes in the structure of motor vehicle dealing and of the collection, dismantling, shredding, recovery and recycling industries. Within the nine months following receipt of the reports from Member States, the Commission shall publish a report on the implementation of this Directive.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2000/53/EC

21.10.2000

21.4.2002

OJ L 269 of 21.10.2000

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2002/525/EC

1.1.2003

OJ L 170 of 29.6.2002

Decision 2005/438/EC

10.6.2005

OJ L 152 of 15.6.2005

Decision 2005/673/EC

1.7.2005

OJ L 254 of 30.9.2005

Directive 2008/33/EC

21.3.2008

OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008

Directive 2008/112/EC

12.1.2009

OJ L 345 of 23.12.2008

The successive amendments corrections to Directive 2000/53/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 20 November 2009 on the implementation of Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles for the period 2005-2008 [COM(2009) 635 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
It has come out of the twenty-five reports received by the Commission that certain provisions of the Directive have not been completely transposed or they have been done so incorrectly. A large number of Member States did not achieve their targets for re-use/recycling/recovery in 2006. For example, only nineteen Member States met the target of re-using/recycling 80 % and thirteen met the target of re-use/recovery set at 85 %.

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation of directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles for the period 2002-2005 [COM(2007) 618 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Directive on end-of-life vehicles has largely been well transposed in the majority of Member States, particularly with regard to the ban on using certain harmful substances in vehicles and vehicle components and the requirement to take-back end-of-life vehicles free of charge. A large number of Member States have set lower re-use, recovery and recycling targets for vehicles produced before 1980. However, despite significant progress in terms of transposing the Directive, implementation of the legislation cannot be considered fully satisfactory. The Commission concludes that Member States must increase measures to enforce the legislation in this area.


Directive 2005/64/EC

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to their reusability, recyclability and recoverability and amending Council Directive 70/156/EEC (Official Journal L 310, 25.11.2005).
This Directive lays down minimum thresholds for the re-use, recycling and recovery of the component parts and materials of new vehicles with the aim of facilitating the re-use, recycling and recovery of parts with a view to fulfilling the planned 2015 objectives for recycling and recovering end-of-life vehicles. It provides for a preliminary assessment of manufacturers before Member States grant EC type-approval or national type-approval. From 15 December 2008, vehicles which do not comply with the requirements of this Directive may not be granted EC type-approval or national type-approval. From 15 July 2010, moreover, the marketing of new vehicles which do not comply with the requirements of this Directive will be prohibited.

Decision 2005/293/EC [Official Journal L 94 of 13.4.2005].
Commission Decision of 1 April 2005 laying down detailed rules on the monitoring of the re-use/recovery and re-use/recycling targets set out in Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles.

Decision 2003/138/EC [Official Journal L 53 of 28.2.2003].
Commission Decision of 27 February 2003 establishing component and material coding standards for vehicles pursuant to Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles.

Decision 2002/151/EC [Official Journal L 50 of 21.2.2002].
Commission Decision of 19 February 2002 on minimum requirements for the certificate of destruction issued in accordance with Article 5(3) of Directive 2000/53/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on end-of-life vehicles.

Road safety: Driving licences

Road safety: Driving licences

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Road safety: Driving licences

Topics

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

Transport > Road transport

Road safety: Driving licences

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/126/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on driving licences.

Summary

This Directive recasts Directive 91/439/EEC – which it repeals – and incorporates into it the amendments previously introduced by Directives 94/72/EC, 96/47/EC, 97/26/EC, 2000/56/EC and 2003/59/EC.

The Directive also introduces substantive changes with the aim of:

  • reducing the scope for fraud: the Directive replaces the paper driving licence with a model in the form of a plastic card. Existing paper licences do not need to be exchanged, but will no longer be issued once the new legislation applies. European Union (EU) countries which so wish may equip the new licence with a microchip incorporating the information printed on the card;
  • ensuring the free movement of citizens: driving licence holders will retain their acquired rights, but regular renewal of the document will limit the scope for fraud by allowing the protection features of all licences, and the holder’s photograph, to be updated. All licences will have a given period of validity and will be unconditionally valid in all EU countries.
    All new category A (motorcycles) and category B (cars) licences issued after the Directive enters into force will in principle be valid for 10 years (EU countries may opt for an administrative validity of up to 15 years). All new category C (lorries) and category D (buses/coaches) licences are valid for 5 years;
  • helping to improve road safety: the Directive introduces a new category of licence for mopeds and harmonises the frequency of medical checks for professional drivers. It also introduces minimum requirements for the initial qualification and the training of driving examiners.

The Directive also takes over the substance of the existing legislation: EU countries’ national driving licences must be based on the EU model. Licences issued by EU countries must be mutually recognised. Page 1 of the licence must contain the distinguishing sign of each country.

The driving licence may authorise the holder to drive vehicles in the following categories:

  • category A – motorcycles weighing less than 750 kg;
  • category B – vehicles weighing less than 3 500 kg or caravans weighing less than 4 250 kg;
  • category B+E – combinations consisting of a category B vehicle and trailer;
  • category C – vehicles weighing more than 3 500 kg;
  • category C+E – combinations consisting of a category C vehicle and trailer;
  • category D – vehicles having more than 8 seats;
  • category D+E – combinations consisting of a category D vehicle and trailer.

Specific driving licences can be obtained for certain categories depending on the maximum cubic capacity and the maximum power in kW (kilowatts).

Driving licences must state the conditions subject to which the driver is authorised to drive. If, because of a physical disability, driving is authorised only for certain types of vehicle or for adapted vehicles, then this should be reflected through a specific code in the driving licence.

The issuing of driving licences is also subject to the following conditions: licences for categories C and D may be issued only to drivers already entitled to drive vehicles in category B, and licences for categories B+E, C+E and D+E may be issued only to drivers already entitled to drive vehicles in categories B, C and D respectively.

The minimum age for the issuing of driving licences is as follows: 16 years for categories A1 (light motorcycles) and B1 (motor-powered tricycles and quadricycles), 18 years for categories A, B, B+E, C and C+E and 21 years for categories D and D+E. EU countries may, however, raise or lower the minimum age, within given limits, for certain categories.

EU countries must ensure that applicants for driving licences possess the knowledge and skills and exhibit the behaviour required for driving a motor vehicle. In general, the tests introduced to this effect must consist of:

  • a theory test;
  • a test of skills and behaviour.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2006/126/EC

19.1.2007

19.1.2011

OJ L 403 of 30.12.2006

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2006/126/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 383/2012 of 4 May 2012 laying down technical requirements with regard to driving licences which include a storage medium (microchip).

The Regulation establishes the technical rules regarding driving licences which include a microchip. All data stored on the microchip must comply with the provisions of Annex I to this Regulation. The Regulation also covers procedure for EU type-approval certificates, which are issued to the manufacturer or its representative when all relevant provisions of this Regulation are met.

Integration of environmental aspects into European standardisation

Integration of environmental aspects into European standardisation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Integration of environmental aspects into European standardisation

Topics

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

Environment > General provisions

Integration of environmental aspects into European standardisation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 25 February 2004 – Integration of Environmental Aspects into European Standardisation [COM(2004) 130 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

European standardisation makes it possible to apply harmonised technical standards among the Member States of the European Union (EU). It thus facilitates trade in the single market.

Standardisation plays a part in the formulation of Community policies and the dissemination of technical knowledge. By integrating environmental aspects, standards can thus contribute to sustainable development and the associated Community policies.

Developments in European standardisation

European standards are voluntary documents compiled by the European or international standards organisations. This work is based on a proactive process and on a consensus among all stakeholders.

The process of compiling standards is conducted under the new approach to technical harmonisation and standardisation.

Standardisation covers an increasing number of sectors. It is now considered to be a useful tool for environmental protection, in that it:

  • has an influence on the way products and services impact on the environment, particularly in the context of the Integrated Product Policy;
  • implements standardised test methods and methods of measurement in order to facilitate the enforcement of Community environmental legislation. This is the case with horizontal standards used to simplify the measurement of levels of pollutants in sludge, as well as in soil or biowaste;
  • promotes the use of environmental technologies and supports initiatives which have environmental benefits. Standardisation can, for example, help in the marketing of technologies such as micro-cogeneration which makes it possible to simultaneously develop heat and electricity in a building;
  • draws up environmental management standards which aim to improve the environmental performance of businesses, such as the ISO 14000 series of international standards.

Europe’s ability to create environmental standards can lead to the development of international standards.

Environmental standards

The environmental quality of the standards produced in the EU can be improved. Particular attention is also focused on the quality of the standards drawn up in the acceding countries. The main aim is to:

  • improve the environmental training of the experts who compile or revise European standards and allow all stakeholders access to environmental information. The dissemination of technical know-how should be encouraged at European and national level;
  • set priorities regarding the topics to be dealt with, taking into account issues of public interest related to EU environmental policy. The Commission can use the European standardisation mandate to flag these priorities;
  • promote the active participation of all parties concerned by standardisation. The European standardisation bodies such as CEN EHD and CENELEC work on the basis of national delegations. The Member States should thus support participation by civil society and the scientific community in the process of drawing up standards. The Commission is pursuing the same objective by linking up with the ECOS consortium of environmental organisations;
  • make systematic use of tools which help integrate environmental aspects into standardisation. Regular meetings will be held to exchange experience and assess the progress made.

Incentives

The Commission wishes to encourage systematic use of the most effective integration tools. The European standardisation bodies have developed specific tools such as:

  • working groups dedicated to the environment;
  • technical advisory boards;
  • environmental databases;
  • sectoral guides and checklists written by experts for experts.

Stakeholders in the standardisation process become involved voluntarily. In order to ensure the proliferation of environmental standards, it is also necessary to enhance their market relevance.

Background

When the Sixth Community Environment Action Programme was adopted in 2002, the Commission proposed that environmental protection be taken into consideration in standardisation activities.

This communication was drawn up following an Internet consultation. Representatives from business and industry, NGOs, public authorities and standardisation organisations had the opportunity to voice their opinions on the best way of taking action for the environment.

Related Acts

Council conclusions of 1 March 2002 on standardisation [Official Journal C 66 of 15.03.2002].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on actions taken following the resolutions on European standardisation adopted by the Council and the European Parliament in 1999 [COM(2001) 527 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Ecolabel

Ecolabel

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Ecolabel

Topics

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

Enterprise > Interaction between enterprise policy and other policies

Ecolabel

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the EU Ecolabel.

Summary

The EU Ecolabel may be awarded to products and services which have a lower environmental impact than other products in the same group *. The label criteria were devised using scientific data on the whole of a product’s life cycle, from product development to disposal.

The label may be awarded to all goods or services distributed, consumed or used on the Community market whether in return for payment or free of charge. It does not apply to medicinal products for human or veterinary use, or to medical devices.

The system was introduced by Regulation (EEC) No 880/92 and amended by Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000. This Regulation (EEC) No 66/2010 aims to improve the rules on the award, use and operation of the label.

Award criteria

The label shall be awarded in consideration of European environmental and ethical objectives. In particular:

  • the impact of goods and services on climate change, nature and biodiversity, energy and resource consumption, generation of waste, pollution, emissions and the release of hazardous substances into the environment;
  • the substitution of hazardous substances by safer substances;
  • durability and reusability of products;
  • ultimate impact on the environment, including on consumer health and safety;
  • compliance with social and ethical standards, such as international labour standards;
  • taking into account criteria established by other labels at national and regional levels;
  • reducing animal testing.

The label cannot be awarded to products containing substances classified by Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 as toxic, hazardous to the environment, carcinogenic or mutagenic, or substances subject to the regulatory framework for the management of chemicals.

Competent bodies

Member States shall designate one or more bodies responsible for the labelling process at national level. Their operations shall be transparent and their activities shall be open to the involvement of all interested parties.

They are specifically responsible for regularly checking that products comply with the label criteria. Their remit also includes receiving complaints, informing the public, monitoring false advertising and prohibiting products.

The procedure for award and use of the label

In order to be awarded the label, economic operators shall submit an application to:

  • one or more Member State(s), which will send it to the competent national body;
  • a third State, which will send it to the Member State where the product is marketed.

If the product complies with the label criteria, the competent body shall conclude a contract with the operator, establishing the terms of use and withdrawal of the label. The operator may then place the label on the product. The use of the label is subject to payment of a fee when the application is made, and an annual fee.

The Commission has created a catalogue of products which have been awarded the label.

The European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB)

The Commission shall establish a committee representing the national competent bodies. The Commission shall consult the EUEB when developing or revising the award criteria and requirements of the label.

Context

Regulation (EC) No 1980/2000 is repealed. However, it shall continue to apply to contracts concluded before the current Regulation entered into force, until the date of expiry specified in the contracts.

Key terms of the Act
  • Product group: a set of products that have a similar purpose, use or properties, and are similar in terms of consumer perception.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 66/2010

20.2.2010

OJ L 27, 30.1.2010

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2010/709/EU of 22 November 2010 establishing the European Union Ecolabelling Board (notified under document C(2010) 7961) Text with EEA relevance

This Directive establishes the European Union Ecolabelling Board (EUEB). Its members are appointed by the Commission. It is composed of representatives from the European Union Member States and the European Economic Area, as well as from national and European competent organisations.

Uniform format for visas

Uniform format for visas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Uniform format for visas

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Uniform format for visas

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1683/95 of 29 May 1995 laying down a uniform format for visas [See amending acts].

Summary

A uniform format for visas

This Regulation lays down a uniform format for visas for all the Member States.

For the purposes of the Regulation, a “visa” means an authorisation given or a decision taken by a Member State, which is required for entry into its territory with a view to:

  • an intended stay in that Member State or in several Member States of no more than three months in all;
  • transit through the territory or airport transit zone of that Member State or several Member States.

The information contained in the uniform format visa must conform to:

  • the technical specifications set out in the Annex to the Regulation that lay down universally recognisable security features clearly visible to the naked eye;
  • the supplementary technical specifications, which aim to prevent counterfeiting and falsification of the visa and provide methods to fill in the visa.

If the supplementary technical specifications are to be kept secret, then they may only be communicated to:

  • the bodies responsible for printing the visas;
  • persons duly authorised by the Commission or a Member State.

Additional measures to ensure a high level of security were adopted by the Commission on 7 February 1996 and 27 December 2000.

Each Member State is to designate only one body as responsible for printing visas. It must communicate the name of this body to the Commission and the other Member States.

As provided by Directive 95/46/EC on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, an individual to whom a visa has been issued may, where appropriate, request corrections be made with regard to their personal details entered onto the visa.

The Commission is assisted in its work on the uniform visa format by a Committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by a Commission representative.

Member States may use the uniform visa format for purposes other than those mentioned above, as long as no confusion ensues with this uniform visa.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1683/95

3.8.1995

OJ L 164 of 14.7.1995

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 334/2002

15.3.2002

OJ L 53 of 23.2.2002

Regulation (EC) No 856/2008

22.9.2008

OJ L 235 of 2.9.2008

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 333/2002 of 18 February 2002 on a uniform format for forms for affixing the visa issued by Member States to persons holding travel documents which are not recognised by the Member State drawing up the form [Official Journal L 53 of 23.2.2002].
This Regulation confines itself to a description of the uniform format in the interests of greater safety. A format for this form is annexed to the proposal. Technical specifications are established to ensure a certain level of security against counterfeiting, falsification and theft. They are secret, not published and made available only to the bodies designated by the Member States as responsible for the printing of the forms.
The uniform format for the form must be in use in the Member States no later than two years after the adoption of the above specifications.
The introduction of a new format does not affect the validity of authorisations already granted, unless the Member State concerned decides otherwise. With regard to the protection of personal data, Directive 95/46/EC has been complied with.

European standards for 2020

European standards for 2020

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European standards for 2020

Topics

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

Enterprise > Interaction between enterprise policy and other policies

European standards for 2020

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee of 1 June 2011 – A strategic vision for European standards: Moving forward to enhance and accelerate the sustainable growth of the European economy by 2020 (Text with EEA relevance) [COM(2011) 311 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication presents a strategy aimed at establishing a European standardisation system.

European standards serving industrial and innovation policy

The introduction of European standards in industry has many benefits, such as the reduction of accessory costs, the capacity to anticipate technical requirements, and reducing the cost of transactions. Regarding innovation, European standards would enable current knowledge to be codified and disseminated in several technological areas.

In order to support industrial and innovation policy, the European Commission plans in particular to:

  • accelerate the drafting of standards and subsequently adopt such standards for innovative products and services in the areas of eco-design, smart grids and energy efficiency;
  • draw up performance criteria for European Standards Organisations (ESOs);
  • improve awareness and education about standardisation.

European standards serving society

European standards have an important role to play with regard to consumer protection and access for elderly and disabled people.

Green growth is also an area that could benefit from European standards insofar as they would contribute to fostering a transition towards a low-carbon economy.

In order that European standards be of service to society, the Commission proposes to:

  • revise the Directive on general product safety;
  • apply European standards to environment policy, equal access, security, and civil protection.

European standards serving an inclusive drafting process

According to the Commission, ESOs and national standardisation organisations (NSOs) have a role to play in an inclusive drafting process. For this reason, it has invited ESOs and NSOs to put in place parameters for participation criteria, and a system of peer review the goal of which is to monitor participation in the standardisation process by the various stakeholders.

Member States are encouraged to promote the participation of national organisations representing SMEs and national stakeholders from civil society in the standards drafting process.

European standards serving the single market

The free movement of goods is effectively framed by the European standardisation system, in particular through the “new approach”. However, European standards should be applied to services in the same way.

For this reason the Commission intends to include standards for services in the scope of the future Regulation on standardisation. These standards for services must be based on the market, consensus, and public interest.

European standards serving Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs)

ICTs represent 5 % of European GDP, which corresponds to EUR 660 billion. It is therefore important to guarantee interoperability between devices, applications, data repositories, services and networks through standards, as recommended by the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The Commission intends to create and chair a multi-stakeholder platform the main aim of which will be to advise it on the implementation of standardisation policies in the field of ICTs. ESOs are tasked with improving the integration of ICT standards drafted by other ICT standardisation organisations in the European standardisation system.

European standards serving the competitiveness of the EU on the global market

European NSOs are all members of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechical Commission (IEC). Their participation enables European firms on the global market to be more competitive through access to foreign markets and international trade partnerships.

The EU wishes to promote the use of international standards by fostering their use by neighbouring countries and other world regions. In order to do this, it wishes to provide technical assistance, and encourage participation in the drafting of international standards. Furthermore, ESOs and NSOs are invited to make proposals for international standards in fields in which Europe has a leading role.

Key terms of the Act
  • Standards: voluntary documents that define technical or quality requirements with which current or future products, production processes, services or methods may comply. Standards result from voluntary cooperation between industry, public authorities and other interested parties collaborating within a system founded on openness, transparency and consensus.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Product energy consumption: Information and labelling

Topics

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

Energy > Energy efficiency

Product energy consumption: Information and labelling (from July 2011)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/30/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 May 2010 on the indication by labelling and standard product information of the consumption of energy and other resources by energy-related products (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Directive establishes a framework for labelling and consumer information regarding energy consumption for energy-related products *.

Which products are concerned?

The Directive shall apply to products which are likely to have a direct or indirect impact on the consumption of energy and on other potential resources during use. It does not apply to:

  • second-hand products;
  • any means of transport for persons or goods;
  • product rating plates.

What sort of information must be provided?

Suppliers shall place on the market products that have a label containing information on the product’s consumption of electric energy or other forms of energy.

Suppliers must also make available technical documentation including:

  • a general description of the product;
  • the results of design calculations carried out;
  • test reports;
  • the references allowing identification of similar models.

The technical documentation must be available for a period of five years.

Suppliers shall provide dealers with labels and product information free of charge.

Dealers must affix labels in such a way that they are visible and legible.

What are the conditions for distance selling?

In some situations, the final consumer does not see the product – in particular when purchasing by mail order, by catalogue or through the Internet. However, the consumer must have access to product information through delegated acts which specify the way in which the label or the fiche is displayed or provided to the end-user.

What is the function of delegated acts?

A delegated act shall indicate in particular:

  • a description of the product;
  • measurement standards and methods;
  • details of the technical documentation;
  • the design and content of the label. The classification of the product on the label shall be indicated using the letters A to G. The most efficient class shall be represented by A+++. A scale with a maximum of seven colours shall also be used, and dark green shall always represent the maximum level of efficiency;
  • the location where the label shall be fixed to the product;
  • the duration of label classification.

If a product is covered by a delegated act, contracting authorities which conclude public works, supply or service contracts as referred to in Directive 2004/18/EC shall procure products which comply with high performance levels, expressed as ‘energy classes’. These criteria are as follows:

  • products which allow significant energy savings to be made;
  • equivalent products on the market shall have a wide disparity in performance levels;
  • the Commission shall take into account relevant EU legislation and self-regulation.

A delegated act shall take into account environmental parameters.

The European Commission has the power to adopt delegated acts for a period of five years from 19 June 2010. The period shall be renewed automatically unless the European Parliament or the Council revoke this right. These two institutions also have the power to object to a delegated act.

Transitional provisions

Member States shall apply the provisions of the Directive from 20 July 2011. This Directive repeals Directive 92/75/EEC from 21 July 2011.

Key terms of the Act
  • Energy-related product: any good having an impact on energy consumption during use, which is placed on the market and/or put into service in the Union, including parts intended to be incorporated into energy-related products covered by this Directive which are placed on the market and/or put into service as individual parts for end-users and of which the environmental performance can be assessed independently.

Reference

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2010/30/EU

19.6.2010

20.6.2011

OJ L 153 of 18.6.2010