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State aid to shipbuilding

State aid to shipbuilding

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about State aid to shipbuilding

Topics

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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

State aid to shipbuilding (I)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 3094/95 of 22 December 1995 on aid to shipbuilding [See amending acts].

Summary

Regulation (EC) No 3094/95, which was the result of an agreement concluded in 1994 within the framework of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) regarding normal competitive conditions in the commercial shipbuilding and repair industry, cannot enter into force until the agreement has been ratified by all the parties. Given the reluctance by the United States to ratify, the Council initially adopted Regulation (EC) No 1540/98 in its place. This Regulation has now expired and has been replaced by the link on state aid to shipbuilding.

Definition of some of the terms used in the Regulation (“shipbuilding”, “ship repair”, etc.).

Enumeration of the various types of aid and the conditions which must be satisfied for them to be judged compatible with the common market:

  • social assistance (when such aid is intended to cover the cost of measures for the exclusive benefit of workers who lose retirement benefits or who are made redundant or are otherwise permanently deprived of their employment in the respective shipbuilding, conversion or repair enterprise, when such assistance is related to the discontinuance of shipyard activities, bankruptcy, or changes in activities other than shipbuilding, conversion or repair);
  • research and development aid (when such aid relates to fundamental research, basic industrial research, applied research or development, provided the limits set by the Regulation are observed);
  • indirect aid (when this is given in the form of state loans and guarantees, as development assistance to a developing country or for the building or conversion of ships, provided the conditions laid down in the Regulation are observed).

Derogations in favour of Spain, Portugal and Belgium, whereby reconstruction aid granted in the form of investment assistance and any other aid for social measures not covered by the Regulation and granted after 1 January 1996 may be authorised, provided the conditions laid down in the Regulation are observed.

Possibility of considering other aid to be compatible in the particular cases listed in the Regulation.

Monitoring procedure:

  • obligation on Member States to give the Commission advance notice of any aid scheme or amendment of an existing scheme, any decision to apply an aid scheme to an undertaking or any individual application of aid schemes;
  • obligation on Member States to provide the Commission with various reports on aid, on the basis of which the Commission draws up an annual overall report to serve as a basis for discussion with national experts.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 3094/95 31.12.1995 OJ L 332 of 30.12.1995
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2600/97 23.12.1997 L 351 of 23.12.1997

Related Acts

Seventh Commission report to the Council on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2003) 232 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The countries or regions with the largest market shares in this sector are Japan, South Korea, China and the European Union. The sector is currently reeling from a deep crisis caused by three factors: past over-ordering, the global economic slowdown – and particularly the US slowdown – and the repercussions of September 11.

Order intake worldwide fell by 12.3% from 2001 to 2002, following a decrease of 20.7% between 2000 and 2001. European shipyards have, however, been the worst affected by this slump, with orders generally down 50% on 2001 and by over 70% compared to 2000. The hardest hit vessels are container ships and cruise ships. Only oil product tankers and bulk carriers have seen increased ordering, due to the replacement of old tonnage following new European Union maritime safety regulations and strong domestic demand in the Far East.

The main shipbuilding regions have, however, been affected in different ways: Japanese yards have the advantage of strong domestic demand, especially for bulk carriers; South Korea and China are battling for tanker contracts; and the European Union is only really active in the ferries and small tankers segment, where replacement needs are building up, although it is possible that Korean shipbuilders might try to further penetrate this market segment.

Prices: the statistics show that some categories of vessel are particularly affected by a major drop in market prices. Large container ships have seen their sales prices fall as a result of excessive price-cutting by Korean yards. The trend has been such that production costs have not always been covered. This is all the more surprising as the current weakness of the US dollar against the euro, won and yen should have led to an across-the-board increase in US dollar prices. Studies have also been carried out to investigate the relationship between the normal price, which is the full cost of production plus a profit margin of 5%, and the actual contract price charged by certain Korean shipyards. Given that production costs have risen in recent years, the gap between contract prices and normal prices has widened further. The studies are based on an analysis of several Korean yards and have revealed that the difference between the normal price and the contract price ranges from between -1% and -39%. All these results indicate a clear trend: Korean shipyards are trying to grab every order that appears in the market no matter the cost, despite assertions made to the contrary by the management of the different Korean groups. This strategy could be damaging if Korean yards fail to take certain factors into consideration, such as inflation and debt servicing, and major financial difficulties could ensue in the short term.

Sixth Commission report to the Council on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2002) 622 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Following the breakdown of two rounds of talks conducted by the Commission (26-27 August 2002 in Seoul and 24-27 September 2002 in Brussels) the Commission had no choice but to initiate proceedings with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and to start bilateral consultations with the Republic of Korea. At the same time a temporary defensive mechanism was authorised for certain market segments and for a limited period only.

The crisis in world shipbuilding is deepening with very slow order intake in the major shipbuilding regions in the first six months of 2002. The main reasons are past over-supply, slowing economies around the world and the effects of 11 September. Only Japanese yards still manage to fill building slots. However, this is helped a lot by domestic demand, in particular for bulk carriers, as has been long-standing practice in this region.

World-wide ordering of new ships in the first half of 2002 was down by almost two thirds compared to average quarterly figures in 2000, which was admittedly the best year ever for shipbuilding. In the EU the situation is even worse, with ordering down by almost 80% compared to 2000. Prices for new ships have declined further and are now at the lowest level for more than a decade. Yards in South Korea have further lowered offer prices despite increases in all major cost factors, and a number of Korean yards may find it difficult to meet their financial obligations if order intake is not increased soon.

Fifth Commission report to the Council on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2002) 205 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The world shipbuilding market continues to face serious difficulties due to a substantial imbalance of supply and demand. Past expansion of shipyards, mainly in Korea, but now increasingly also in China, has led to price depression. Thanks to a historically high level of ordering in 2000, prices recovered to some extent, but the significant drop in orders in 2001 has led to a new reduction in prices. The year 2001 has been very problematic for the maritime industries worldwide: the recession in the United States and the terrorist attacks of 11 September have reduced the demand for sea trade and cruises respectively. The decline in ordering affected the container ship and cruise ship sectors most, leading to a drop in overall market shares for Korea and the EU, which are particularly strong in these segments.

The detailed cost investigations undertaken by the Commission show that certain Korean yards continue to price ships below cost while others are trying to improve their bottom line. Despite various rounds of talks with Korea, the Commission did not manage to convince the Korean authorities and yards to fully implement market principles and allow a shake-out of non-viable companies. An improvement in the market situation is therefore unlikely and the Commission has consequently proposed counter-measures to the Council, including preparing the ground for requesting a dispute settlement at the World Trade Organisation and the introduction of a temporary defensive mechanism for shipbuilding.

Fourth Commission report to the Council on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2001) 219 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The year 2000 has seen a significant expansion in orders for new ships. Nearly 56% more orders were placed as compared to 1999, primarily benefiting South Korean shipyards, which have seen their market share increase again. EU yards also benefited considerably from the higher demand for ships, although orders for cruise ships probably played a dominant role here. In 2000 South Korea has consolidated its dominant position on the world shipbuilding market, accounting for more than 35 % of all tonnage ordered worldwide. If cruise ship orders are included, the market share for the EU and Norway is around 18 % (in cgt). However, if they are excluded from the overall figures, the market share of EU yards for new orders in 2000 is below 10 %. In 2000 prices for new ships are reported to have recovered in certain market segments from the very low levels seen after the Asian crisis in 1997.

Third Commission report on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2000) 730 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission confirms the general trend highlighted in the second report of 18 May 2000, namely that, despite increased orders, ship prices have not on the whole recovered the ground lost since 1997. Prices continue to be depressed owing to the very low offer prices from yards in South Korea, which is now the biggest shipbuilding country in the world. Over the first eight months of 2000, its shipyards took more than 40% of all new orders. The Commission considers the stagnation in prices to be all the more alarming in that the European Union has drastically cut back state aid to shipbuilding. Despite the signing of the Agreed Minutes in June 2000 aimed at obtaining from South Korea firm commitments on non-intervention in the financing of shipbuilding, bilateral talks ended in failure. The Commission thus plans to:

  • continue its monitoring of the market situation;
  • examine the European industry’s complaint of October 2000 against Korean dumping, in order to deal with this problem under WTO rules;
  • remain open, at the same time, to any Korean proposals;
  • continue efforts to re-establish fair competition at international level;
  • encourage the International Monetary Fund to ensure that the restructuring of Korean shipyards is closely monitored;
  • continue to cooperate with the industry on competitiveness issues;
  • examine with the Council any possible action to address the problem.

Second Commission report on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (2000) 263 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The report takes stock of the world shipbuilding market. The market is in crisis, with supply outstripping demand. Vessel prices are falling in the face of unbeatable competition from Korean yards, which are prepared to sell at a loss in order to ensure market share and cash flow. To address the problem, the European Commission obtained an agreement from the Korean authorities to restrict State financial intervention in the shipbuilding industry. The Commission also gathered evidence pointing to unfair competition, and a complaint may be filed under the Trade Barriers Regulation.

First Commission report on the situation in world shipbuilding [COM (1999) 474 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The report describes overcapacity on the shipbuilding market, with a marked imbalance between supply and demand caused mainly by South Korea’s increased capacity. Vessel prices were between 15 and 30% down on 1998 levels, stimulating demand and increasing the Korean yards’ market share. There were reasons to believe that Korean yards were offering vessels at below-retail rates.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1177/2002 of 27 June 2002 concerning a temporary defensive mechanism to shipbuilding [Official Journal No L 172 of 2.7.2002].

The commitments contained in the Agreed Minutes signed by the European Commission and the Government of the Republic of Korea on 22 June 2000 with a view to ensuring an effective price surveillance mechanism have not been effectively implemented by the Korean side and therefore a satisfactory result has not been obtained.

Consequently, despite the ban imposed by Council Regulation (EC) No 1540/98, the 2002 Regulation introduces a temporary defensive mechanism applicable to certain segments of the market (namely container ships and product and chemical tankers) for a short and limited period authorising support of 6% of contract value before aid. The aim is to enable Community shipyards to overcome unfair Korean competition. This Regulation expires on 31 March 2004.

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


Another Normative about State aid to shipbuilding

Topics

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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

State aid to shipbuilding (II)

To remove the differences between the rules applicable to the shipbuilding industry and to those applicable to other industrial sectors.

2) Document or Iniciative

Framework on state aid to shipbuilding [Official Journal C 317 of 30.12.2003].

3) Summary

Background

Since the early 1970s, state aid to shipbuilding has been subject to a series of specific Community regimes. This framework, which replaces Council Regulation (EC) No 1540/98, is designed to remove the differences between the rules applicable to the shipbuilding industry and those applicable to other industrial sectors. However, it takes account of specific factors affecting the shipbuilding sector, namely:

  • the nature of the world shipbuilding market (overcapacity, depressed prices, etc.);
  • the nature of ships as very large capital goods in respect of credit facilities;
  • the difficulty of applying the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules on unfair trading practices to the shipbuilding sector;
  • the existence of agreements within the Organisation for Economic coordination and development (OECD) in the shipbuilding sector; this mainly concerns the 1994 Agreement on respecting normal competitive conditions in the shipbuilding and repair industry, which has not entered into force and which the OECD is in the process of replacing.

Definitions

For the purposes of this Framework, the following definitions shall apply:

  • shipbuilding: the building of self-propelled seagoing commercial vessels;
  • ship repair: the repair or reconditioning of self-propelled seagoing commercial vessels;
  • ship conversion: the conversion of self-propelled seagoing commercial vessels of not less than 1 000 gt, on condition that conversion operations entail radical alterations to the cargo plan, the shell, the propulsion system or the passenger accommodation;
  • self-propelled seagoing commercial vessels, including:

– vessels of not less than 100 gt used for the transportation of passengers and/or goods;
– vessels of not less than 100 gt for the performance of a specialised service (for example, dredgers and ice breakers);
– tugs of not less than 365 kW;
– fishing vessels of not less than 100 gt;
– unfinished shells of vessels.

Scope

Aid to shipbuilding includes aid to any shipyard, related entity, shipowner or third party which is granted, whether directly or indirectly, for the building, repair or conversion of ships.

The Framework provides for special measures in relation to investment aid for innovation, closure aid, export credits, development aid and regional aid.

Research, development and innovation aid

Aid granted to defray expenditure by shipbuilding, ship repair or ship conversion firms on R&D projects may be considered compatible with the common market if it complies with the rules laid down in the Community framework for state aid for research and development.

Aid granted for innovation in existing shipbuilding, ship repair or ship conversion yards may be deemed compatible with the common market up to a maximum aid intensity of 20% gross, provided that it contributes to the search for innovative products and processes.

Closure aid

Aid to defray the costs resulting from the total or partial closure of shipbuilding, ship repair or ship conversion yards may be considered compatible with the common market provided that the resulting capacity reduction is of a genuine and irreversible nature.

The costs eligible for aid are:

  • payments to workers made redundant or retired before the legal retirement age;
  • the costs of counselling services to workers made or to be made redundant or retired;
  • payments to workers for vocational retraining;
  • expenditure incurred for the redevelopment of the yard, its buildings, installations and infrastructure for use other than shipbuilding.

Companies receiving partial closure aid must not have benefited from rescue and restructuring aid in the past ten years. For further information, see the Community guidelines on state aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

Employment aid

Aid granted for the creation of employment, the recruitment of disadvantaged and disabled workers or to cover the additional costs of employing disadvantaged and disabled workers in shipbuilding, ship repair or ship conversion firms may be considered compatible if it complies with the substantive rules laid down in Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/2002.

Development aid and export credits

Aid to shipbuilding in the form of development aid or export credits may be considered compatible with the common market if it complies with the terms of the 1998 OECD Arrangement on Guidelines for Officially Supported Export Credits and with its Sector Understanding on Export Credits for Ships.

Regional aid

Regional aid to shipbuilding, ship repair or ship conversion may be considered compatible with the common market on condition that it fulfils the following conditions:

  • aid must be granted for investment in upgrading or modernising installations with a view to improving productivity and must not be linked to financial restructuring of the yards concerned;
  • in the regions referred to in Article 87(3)(a) of the EC Treaty and in compliance with the regional aid map, the intensity of the aid must not exceed 22.5%;
  • in the regions referred to in Article 87(3)(c) of the EC Treaty and in compliance with the regional aid map, the intensity of the aid must not exceed 12.5 % or the applicable regional aid ceiling, whichever is the lower.

Aid must cover eligible expenditure as defined in the Community guidelines on regional aid.

Member States are required to submit annual reports to the Commission on all existing aid schemes. This Framework will be applicable from 1 January 2004 until 31 December 2006 at the latest. It may be reviewed by the Commission during this period, in particular in the light of the Community’s international obligations.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

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

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Document or Iniciative

Council Joint Action 2007/501/CFSP of 16 July 2007 on cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism in the framework of the implementation of the European Union counter-terrorism strategy.

Summary

This Joint Action offers the support of the European Union (EU) to the Member States of the African Union (AU). Its objective is to improve the organisation of the capacities of the Member States of the AU in the fight against terrorism and to strengthen cooperation, in particular through the exchange of information.

The EU undertakes to provide financial support to the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) with a view to improving the efficiency of the counter-terrorism arrangements of the African countries.

African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism

Since its creation in 2004, the ACSRT has been responsible for evaluating the terrorist threat in Africa and for promoting intra-African cooperation against terrorism. It deals more specifically with carrying out training measures, conducting studies, setting up databases for gathering, exchanging and analysing information, as well as for terrorism-related surveillance and alerts.

Project

The project consists in carrying out audit missions on national counter-terrorism arrangements and providing advice on reorganisation in the AU Member States. To achieve this, an action plan, drawn up by the EU, will be presented at the next seminar in Addis Ababa.

This seminar will bring together two representatives from the 53 countries of the AU, Morocco, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the ACSRT and each EU Member State, as well as the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator.

At the close of the seminar, the African States will declare whether they wish to receive an audit mission or not. The audit teams will be made up of two specialists from the EU Member States and one member of the ACSRT and will be responsible for drawing up reports containing recommendations. If they are accepted by the audited countries, the latter will implement them, with monitoring by the ACSRT.

In parallel, the evaluations recording the possible improvements are forwarded to the ACSRT, which in turn sends them to the Council for communication to the Member States. On the basis of these evaluations, the ACSRT, with the agreement of the EU, can make recommendations to the audited countries.

Implementation

The Presidency, assisted by the Secretary-General of the Council/High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), is responsible for the implementation of this Joint Action.

The ACSRT is responsible for:

  • the technical implementation of the project;
  • the organisation of the Addis Ababa seminar;
  • contact with the States which have accepted the action plan;
  • proper management of the audit missions in operational and financial terms;
  • coordination of the project;
  • drawing up regular project evaluation reports.

The Council and the Commission ensure consistency between the implementation of this Joint Action and other external activities of the Community.

Terms and conditions

The project implementation budget amounts to EUR 665 000. The Commission is responsible for supervising the proper management of expenditure, supplying the information relating to the financial aspects, concluding a financing agreement with the ACSRT and informing the Council of any difficulties.

The Joint Action enters into force on the day of its adoption and expires 18 months after the conclusion of the financing agreement or on 16 July 2008, if no agreement has been concluded before that date.

Background

This Joint Action is part of the EU counter-terrorism strategy, the EU’s strategy for Africa, the Plan of Action on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism in Africa and the Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, signed in Algiers.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Joint Action 2007/501/CFSP 16.7.2007 OJ L 185 of 17.7.2007

Bathing water quality

Bathing water quality

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bathing water quality

Topics

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

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EEC.

SUMMARY

The European Union (EU) is committed to protecting environmental quality and human health. This Directive therefore strengthens the rules guaranteeing bathing water quality *. It supplements Directive 2000/60/EC on water protection and management.

The Directive does not apply to swimming pools or spa pools, or to artificially created confined waters, subject to treatment or used for therapeutic purposes.

Monitoring of bathing water

Each year, the Member States shall identify the bathing waters in their territory and define the length of the bathing season.

They shall establish monitoring at the location most used by bathers or where the risk of pollution is greatest. Monitoring shall take place by means of sampling:

  • four samples, including one before the start of the bathing season;
  • three samples only if the seasons does not exceed eight weeks or if the region is subject to special geographical constraints.

Member States shall communicate the results of their monitoring to the Commission with a description of the water quality management measures. Monitoring may be suspended exceptionally once the Commission has been informed.

Determining bathing water quality

Water quality is assessed on the basis of microbiological data defined according to the parameters described in Annex I. Member States shall then establish a classification of waters of poor, sufficient, good or excellent quality. This classification shall comply with the criteria set out in Annex II.

All bathing waters in the EU must be at least of sufficient quality by the end of the 2015 bathing season. Furthermore, Member States are to take the necessary measures to improve the number of bathing waters of good or excellent quality.

If quality is poor, Member States shall adopt the necessary measures to manage and eliminate pollution, and to protect and inform bathers.

Bathing water profile

The Directive provides for profiles to be established to identify possible pollution, for one or more than one contiguous bathing waters. In particular, they comprise an assessment of:

  • the physical, geographical and hydrological characteristics of the bathing water and of other surface waters in the catchment area;
  • pollution and sources thereof;
  • management measures.

These profiles must be established by 24 March 2011.

Exceptional measures

Member States shall adopt exceptional measures if unexpected situations deteriorate the quality of waters or represent a risk to bathers’ health.

Appropriate monitoring must also be implemented if there is a risk of proliferation of algae. The authorities responsible must therefore:

  • take management measures and provide information immediately if a proliferation of cyanobacteria (or “blue algae”) occurs;
  • assess the health risks if there is a proliferation of macro-algae and/or marine phytoplankton.

Transboundary waters

Member States shall exchange information and take joint action if a river basin * extends over several territories.

Information to the public

National authorities shall enable the public to obtain information and to participate in water quality management. Citizens may therefore make suggestions, remarks or complaints. They may also participate in the establishment, review and updating of lists of water quality.

Moreover, Member States shall ensure that adequate information is disseminated actively and is easily available during the bathing season. This concerns in particular:

  • the classification of water, prohibitions or advice against bathing;
  • a general description of the water in non-technical language;
  • a description of the nature and duration of pollution.

Context

This Directive shall repeal Directive 76/2006/EEC by 31 December 2014.

Key terms
  • Bathing water: any element of surface water where the national authorities of a Member State expect a large number of people to bathe or have not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing.
  • River basin: area from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.

References

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

Directive 2006/7/EC

24.3.2006

24.3.2008

OJ L 64 of 4.3.2006


Another Normative about Bathing water quality

Topics

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

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 76/160/EEC of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing water [See amending acts].

Summary

This Directive concerns the quality of bathing water in the Member States of the European Union (EU). It concerns those waters in which bathing is authorised by the national authorities and regularly practised by a significant number of bathers. This Directive does not apply to water intended for therapeutic purposes, or to water used in swimming pools.

It lays down the minimum quality criteria to be met by bathing water. They relate to:

  • the limit values of substances considered to be indicators of pollution (in the Annex);
  • the minimum sampling frequency and method of analysis or inspection of such water (in the Annex).

Member States may fix more stringent values than the criteria laid down in the Directive. In addition, where it does not give any values for certain substances, Member States are not obliged to fix any.

Water quality assessment

Sampling is carried out by Member States at different intervals for each polluting substance (in the Annex). Samples are taken at places where the daily average density of bathers is highest. Sampling begins two weeks before the start of the bathing season. The water testing must be adapted to the geographical and topographical conditions and to the presence of existing or potential polluting discharges.

Non-compliance

Where the waters do not conform to the parameters of the Directive, Member States may not authorise bathing in them before they have taken the necessary measures to improve the water quality. They have a period of ten years after notification of the Directive for the quality of the water to conform to the set limit values.

However, under certain conditions, bathing water is deemed to conform to the relevant parameters, even if a certain percentage of samples taken during the bathing season do not conform to the limit values. Derogations to the Directive are possible, provided that they meet the objective of protecting public health.

In addition, the consequences of floods, natural disasters or abnormal weather conditions are not taken into consideration when determining the water quality.

Monitoring Committee

A Committee on adaptation to technical progress enables the measures for improving water quality to be adapted. It consists of representatives from the Member States and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.

Context

This is repealed by Directive 2006/7/EC with effect from 31 December 2014. However, it still applies in Member States where transposition of the new Directive is not finished.

The review of bathing water legislation is designed to ensure consistency with the Sixth Environment Action Programme, the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Water Framework Directive. It is also intended to simplify procedures in the light of scientific developments and improve participatory processes for the actors concerned and the information given to the public.

References

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

Directive 76/160/EEC

10.12.1975

10.12.1977

OJ L 31, 5.2.1976

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

Directive 91/692/EEC

23.12.1991

1.1.1993

OJ L 377, 31.12.1991

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008

11.12.2008

OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 76/160/EEC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 21 December 2000: Developing a new bathing water policy [COM(2000) 860 final – Not published in Official Journal].
The Communication sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the management of bathing water quality, and proposes various approaches to drafting a new directive to take account of technical progress in the field.

Commission Decision 92/446/EEC of 27 July 1992 concerning questionnaires relating to Directives in the water sector [Official Journal L 247 of 27.8.1992].
This Decision draws up the outlines of questionnaires needed to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of all Directives in the water sector, including Directive 76/160/EEC.

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Topics

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

Environment > Water protection and management

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community (Codified version).

Summary

This Directive lays down rules for protection against, and prevention of, pollution resulting from the discharge of certain substances into the aquatic environment. It applies to inland surface water, territorial waters and internal coastal waters.

Two lists of dangerous substances have been compiled to combat pollution:

  • discharge of substances in list I must be eliminated; while
  • discharge of substances in list II must be reduced.

Pursuant to Annex IX of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC), quality objectives and emission limit values are established by the “daughter directives” of Directive 2006/11/EC. Moreover, emission limit values for pollutants must be based on the best available techniques in line with Article 10 of Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

All discharges of substances included in list I require prior authorisation by the competent authority in the Member State concerned. The authorisation is granted for a limited period and lays down emission standards which may be more stringent than the thresholds set by Community legislation, particularly to take account of the toxicity or persistence of the substance in the environment into which it is discharged. It is up to the Member States to ensure compliance with the emission standards.

For the substances on list II, the Member States adopt and implement programmes to preserve and improve water quality. All discharges are subject to prior authorisation by the competent authority in the Member State concerned that lays down the emission standards.

The Member States draw up an inventory of the discharges into the waters covered by this Directive and may take more severe measures than those laid down by Community legislation to reduce or eliminate pollution caused by dangerous substances.

The Directive lays down a procedure for revising and adding to the lists or transferring specific substances from list II to list I.

Before 22 December 2012, Member States may carry out surveillance and notification pursuant to Articles 5, 8 and 15 of the Water Framework Directive.

Background

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 76/464/EEC and its subsequent amendments. This codification leads to the clarification and rationalisation of legislation. It takes into account the adoption of the water framework Directive and the international conventions on the protection of water courses and the marine environment.

The Directive is repealed by the Water Framework Directive as from 22 December 2013.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2006/11/EC

24.4.2006

OJ L 64 of 4.4.2006

Related Acts

Environmental quality standards

Council Directive 82/176/EEC [Official Journal L 81 of 27.3.1982].

This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges by the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry].
See consolidated version .

Council Directive 83/513/EEC [Official Journal L 291 of 24.10.1983]
This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for cadmium discharges in the aquatic environment.
See consolidated version .

Council Directive 84/156/EEC [Official Journal L 74 of 17.3.1984]

This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges in sectors other than the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry.
See consolidated version .

Council Directive [Official Journal L 274 of 17.10.1984].
This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for discharges of hexachlorocyclohexane in the aquatic environment.

See consolidated version .

Council Directive 86/280/EEC [Official Journal L 181 of 4.7.1986]. This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for discharges of certain dangerous substances included in List I of the Annex to Directive 2006/11/EC.

See consolidated version .

Directive 2008/105/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water, amending and repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive [Official Journal L 348 of 24.12.2008].
This Directive establishes environmental quality standards (EQS) in the field of water. These quality standards aim to combat surface water pollution by 33 priority chemical substances (Annex II). This Directive provides in particular for:

  • an amendment of the list of priority substances and the corresponding EQS;
  • transparent criteria to designate so-called “mixing” zones, within which standards may be exceeded under certain conditions;
  • the preparation of an inventory of emissions, discharges and losses. This inventory will be used to prepare the Commission Report which will check progress achieved in reducing or ceasing emissions of pollutant substances by 2018.

The Directive supplements the legislative framework introduced by the Water Framework Directive. It allows decisions to be made at all levels of governance. Member States have until December 2009 to prepare plans for the management of hydrographical districts and programmes of measures relating thereto.

Improvement of information

Directive 91/692/EEC [Official Journal L 377 of 31.12.1991].

This Directive aims at rationalizing and improving on a sectoral basis the provisions on the transmission of information and the publication of reports concerning certain Community Directives on the protection of the environment.

Decision 92/446/EEC [Official Journal L 247 of 27.8.1992].

This Decision draws up the outlines of questionnaires needed to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of all Directives in the water sector, including Directives 76/464/EEC, 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC and 86/280/EEC.

Transfer Register

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 [Official Journal OJ L 33 of 4.2.2006].
The EU introduces a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register to improve access by the public to information and, in the long term, contribute to preventing and reducing pollution.

A European Economic Recovery Plan

A European Economic Recovery Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A European Economic Recovery Plan

Topics

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

Economic and monetary affairs > Stability and growth pact and economic policy coordination

A European Economic Recovery Plan

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Council of 26 November 2008 – ‘A European Economic Recovery Plan’ [COM(2008) 800 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Economic Recovery Plan is a response to the global economic crisis which affected the real economy in 2008. It sets out the broad lines of a coordinated European approach which involves:

  • swiftly stimulating demand;
  • helping the most vulnerable people affected by the economic downturn;
  • preparing Europe to be competitive with a view to future growth;
  • taking advantage of this period of upheaval in order to accelerate the establishment of a cleaner economy with more concern for the environment.

The European Commission proposes that Member States and the European Union agree on an immediate budgetary impetus amounting to EUR 200 billion.

The plan is intended to operate at both European and global level.

Solutions at European level

At financial market and macro-economic level

The instability in the financial markets triggered the crisis in the real economy. It is important that the banks should re-focus on their primary activities of providing liquidity and supporting investment in the real economy.

The European Investment Bank (EIB)will increase its yearly interventions in the European Union by some EUR 15 billion in the form of loans, equity, guarantees and risk-sharing financing, as well as investment from private sources.

Budgetary policy will have a role to play in stabilising economies and sustaining demand. This recovery will take place within the framework of the Stability and Growth Pact and the priorities of the Lisbon Strategy.

At the level of individuals

The Plan aims to help individuals who have lost their jobs and are suffering the social consequences of the crisis. In this perspective, it will reinforce the activation schemes, in particular for the low-skilled and vulnerable, in order to get them into training or even help them to re-train with a view to matching the supply and demand of jobs.

To this end, the Commission will use the European Social Fund and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in order to finance the costs of training and job placement for those who are made redundant.

In addition, Member States are advised to reduce their employers’ social charges on lower incomes to promote the employability of lower-skilled workers. Similarly, solutions such as service cheques for household and child care, or temporary hiring subsidies for vulnerable groups, are encouraged.

A reduction in the VAT on labour-intensive services is also envisaged.

At the level of businesses

Businesses must have access to financing on the same basis as the banks. Small and medium-sized enterprises and micro-enterprises are the most exposed and must therefore be the focus of urgent steps. It is envisaged that the European Small Business Act will be implemented to this end.

The Commission will put in place a simplification package to speed up its State aid decision-making.

At the level of the environment

It is becoming vital to develop a clean economy. In this perspective, the European Union must equip itself with new businesses and industries, as well as environmentally-friendly infrastructures.

The Commission plans in particular to invest in trans-European transport projects, while the EIB will increase the financing of investment to tackle climate change and to improve energy security and infrastructure.

The Plan also provides for action at the level of research and innovation in order to develop “green products”, particularly in the construction and automobile sectors.

Solutions at global level

The Plan aims to reinforce closer collaboration between the European Union and its international partners in economic and climate matters.

The European Union must also maintain its commitments to developing countries in the context of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), in particular by developing new instruments to help those countries deal with the direct consequences of the crisis whilst maintaining sustainable development.

Background

In the face of the crisis, the European Economic Recovery Plan is designed to create a basis for agreement between Member States to get Europe’s economy moving again. Although the Plan contains short-term action, it also falls within the Lisbon Strategy.

Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension

Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension

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 > Sport

Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2002/348/JHA of 25 April 2002 concerning security in connection with football matches with an international dimension [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Adopted on the initiative of the Kingdom of Belgium, this decision provides for a national football information centre to be set up and run by the police in each Member State. Member States must forward the details of their national centre to the General Secretariat of the Council. In addition, they must ensure that their national centre has the staff and technical equipment necessary to fulfil its duties effectively and rapidly.

The national football information centres are responsible for:

  • gathering, coordinating and exchanging strategic, operational and tactical information on football matches with an international dimension;
  • coordinating and organising cooperation between national police authorities;
  • risk assessment in respect of their own country’s clubs and national team;
  • generic/thematic disorder assessments of their national football situation.

The national football information centre of the Member State organising the football event cooperates with the police force of the country concerned. All exchanged reports are kept on record for consultation by other interested national information centres. The national centre that provided the information must be consulted before any data is released.

The handbook for international police cooperation and measures to prevent and control violence and disorder around football matches provides the forms for the exchange of information.

The exchange of personal data must take place in accordance with the Convention of the Council of Europe of 28 January 1981 for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

National football information centres communicate in their national language, with a translation in a working language common to the parties concerned, unless they have arranged otherwise.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2002/348/JHA

9.5.2002

OJ L 121 of 8.5.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/412/JHA

16.6.2007

OJ L 155 of 15.6.2007

Related Acts

Council Resolution of 4 December 2006 concerning an updated handbook with recommendations for international police cooperation and measures to prevent and control violence and disturbances in connection with football matches with an international dimension, in which at least one Member State is involved [Official Journal C 322 of 29.12.2006].

Council Resolution of 17 November 2003 on the use by Member States of bans on access to venues of football matches with an international dimension [Official Journal C 281 of 22.11.2003].

Rail transport statistics

Rail transport statistics

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rail transport statistics

Topics

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

Transport > Rail transport

Rail transport statistics

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on rail transport statistics [See amending acts].

Summary

The Commission requires statistics on freight transport and rail transport passengers in order to ensure the monitoring and development of the common transport policy and the preparation of measures in the field of transport safety.

The scope of this regulation covers all railway undertakings in the European Union (EU). Each EU country must report statistics which relate to rail transport on its national territory. EU countries may exclude from the scope of this regulation:

  • railway undertakings which operate entirely or mainly within industrial and similar installations;
  • railway undertakings which provide local tourist services.

The statistics to be collected are set out in Annexes A to H to this regulation. The main tables setting out the annual statistics on goods and passenger transport are shown in Annexes A to D, and the quarterly statistics are shown in Annex E. Annexes F and G show the regional statistics and statistics on traffic flows on the rail network and Annex H shows statistics on accidents.

For each type of data, the corresponding annex specifies:

  • the list of variables and the corresponding units of measurement;
  • the reference periods and frequency;
  • the list of tables with the breakdown for each table;
  • the deadlines for transmission of data;
  • the first reference period for which data are to be transmitted;
  • where necessary, additional comments.

EU countries must also provide a list of the railway undertakings for which statistics are provided, as specified in Annex I. Goods must be classified in accordance with Annex J and dangerous goods must additionally be classified in accordance with Annex K. The contents of the annexes may be adapted by the Commission.

Although the national authorities (national statistical institutes) are responsible for the coordination and quality control of the statistics transmitted to Eurostat, EU countries may designate any public or private organisation to participate in collecting the data. Different sources (surveys, administrative data, etc.) may be used in any combination to obtain the required statistics. The statistics are transmitted to Eurostat by the EU countries.

The regulation provides for the dissemination of all data specified in Annexes A to H, so long as the data is already available to the EU public or approval has been explicitly given in advance for such disclosure by the undertakings concerned. Information reported under Annex I may not be disseminated.

Eurostat will develop and publish methodological recommendations (taking account of the best practices in the rail sector) to assist EU countries in maintaining the quality of statistics in this domain. The quality of the statistical data will be evaluated by Eurostat.

After data have been collected over three years, the Commission will send a report to the European Parliament and to the Council on the quality and costs of the statistics, the benefits of their availability and the burden on undertakings.

The Commission will be assisted by the Statistical Programme Committee.

EU countries must provide results for the year 2002 in accordance with Directive 80/1177/EEC. Directive 80/1177/EEC is repealed with effect from 1 January 2003.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 91/2003

10.2.2003

OJ L 14 of 21.1.2003

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1192/2003

24.7.2003

OJ L 167 of 4.7.2003

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on experience acquired in the application of Regulation (EC) No 91/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 on rail transport statistics [COM(2007)832 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 332/2007 of 27 March 2007 on the technical arrangements for the transmission of railway transport statistics [Official Journal L 88 of 29.3.2007].

Administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax

Administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax

Topics

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

Taxation

Administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax (until 31.12.2011)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 of 7 October 2003 on administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 218/92 [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This regulation determines the conditions of cooperation between national authorities responsible for applying value added tax (VAT) legislation on:

  • supplies of goods and services;
  • intra-Community acquisition of goods;
  • importation of goods.

It also provides a structure for cooperation between these national authorities and the Commission.

More precisely, the regulation lays down rules and procedures to enable the competent authorities of European Union (EU) countries to cooperate and to exchange any information that may help them assess VAT correctly.

Definition of parties concerned and procedures

Each EU country designates a single central office to act as a point of contact for administrative cooperation. The competent authorities of EU countries may designate liaison departments and/or competent officials for direct exchanges of information. The central liaison offices are responsible for maintaining up-to-date lists of these departments or officials and making them available to the other EU countries concerned.

Liaison departments and competent officials are required to inform their central liaison office when they send or receive a request for assistance or a reply to a request for assistance. They must also notify their central liaison office and competent authority of any request for assistance received that requires action outside their territorial or operational area.

The obligation for EU countries to assist each other does not cover the provision of information or documents obtained by the authorities when acting with the authorisation or at the request of a judicial authority, unless provided for in their national law.

Exchange of information on request

This concerns requests for information and for administrative enquiries sent by the competent authority of one EU country (the requesting authority) to the competent authority of another EU country (the requested authority) to obtain information that may help with the correct assessment of VAT. The requested authority has the obligation to provide the information requested. To that end, it may make administrative enquiries and act for the requesting authority as if it were acting on its own behalf.

The requesting authority may make a reasoned request for an administrative enquiry. In such cases, the requested authority must justify any failure to carry out the enquiry.

The requesting authorities must use a standard form for all requests for information and administrative enquiries.

As regards the time limit for providing information, the requested authority must provide the information without delay and no later than three months following the date of receipt of the request. However, if the requested authority is already in possession of the information, the time limit is reduced to a maximum of one month. In certain cases, the requesting and requested authorities may agree on different time limits.

If the requested authority is unable to respond to the request by the deadline, it must immediately inform the requesting authority in writing of the reasons for its failure to do so and indicate a timeframe within which it will be able to respond.

The requesting and requested authorities may agree to allow officials of the first to be present in the administrative offices of the latter. The officials of the requesting authority may also participate in the administrative enquiries with a view to exchanging information, but never to exercise the powers of inspection conferred on the officials of the requested authority. They must at all times be in possession of a written authority, which states their identity and official capacity.

EU countries may also agree to conduct simultaneous controls in their respective territories on the tax situation of taxable persons, if this is more effective than controls carried out by only one EU country.

Exchange of information without prior request

The competent authority of an EU country must forward information by automatic or structured automatic exchange to the competent authority of the EU country concerned when:

  • tax is meant to be charged in the EU country of destination and the effectiveness of the control system depends on information from the EU country of origin;
  • an EU country believes that a breach of VAT legislation has or might have been committed in the other EU country;
  • there is a risk of tax loss in the other EU country.

The exact categories of information to exchange, the frequency of exchanges and the practical procedures for exchanging information are determined by the Commission, assisted by a standing committee on administrative cooperation. In addition, each EU country must determine whether it will take part in the exchange of a particular category of information and whether it will do so in an automatic or structured automatic way.

The competent authorities of EU countries may forward to each other any information of which they are aware by spontaneous exchange.

Storage and exchange of information relating to intra-Community transactions

Each EU country must maintain an electronic database in which it stores and processes information relating to VAT. It is the responsibility of each EU country to ensure that its database is complete, accurate and kept up to date.

The competent authority of an EU country can obtain directly from any other EU country, or have direct access to, data stored on:

  • VAT identification numbers issued by the EU country receiving the information;
  • the total value of all intra-Community supplies of goods and services to persons holding a VAT identification number by all operators identified for the purposes of VAT in the EU country providing the information.

If necessary for the control of intra-Community acquisition of goods and supply of services to prevent a breach of VAT legislation, the competent authority of an EU country must receive directly, or have direct electronic access to, the following information:

  • the VAT identification numbers of the persons who effected the intra-Community supplies of goods and services;
  • the total value of such supplies to persons holding a VAT identification number.

EU countries must provide access to the information without delay and no later than one month from the end of the period to which the information relates.

Conditions governing the exchange of information

The requested authority may refuse a request for assistance. In such cases, it must always inform the requesting authority of its reasons. Requests for assistance may be refused if the provision of information:

  • imposes a disproportionate administrative burden;
  • is contrary to the laws or administrative practices of the requested EU country;
  • leads to the disclosure of commercial, industrial or professional secrets;
  • is against public policy.

Information communicated on the basis of this regulation is covered by the obligation of official secrecy and is protected under the national law of the EU country that received it. Therefore, this information may only be used for clearly specified purposes, such as:

  • establishing the assessment base;
  • collection or administrative control of tax (for the purpose of establishing the assessment base);
  • assessment of other levies, duties and taxes covered by Article 2 of Council Directive 76/308/EEC; and
  • in connection with judicial proceedings that may involve penalties, initiated as a result of infringements of tax law (the documents may be invoked as evidence).

Context

This regulation belongs to a series of tax harmonisation measures taken to complete the internal market.

In the interests of facilitating contacts between local and/or national tax authorities to combat fraud more effectively, this regulation brings together into a single legal instrument and reinforces the provisions of the Directive on mutual assistance by competent authorities in the field of direct and indirect taxation and the Regulation on administrative cooperation in the field of indirect taxation.

On 7 October 2010, the Council adopted Regulation (EU) No 904/2010 which repeals the current Regulation on 1 January 2012. However, chapter V (with the exception of Article 27, paragraph 4) remains applicable until 31 December 2012. Certain provisions from the new Regulation entered into force on 1 November 2010, others will apply from 1 January 2012 and 1 January 2015.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003

1.1.2004

OJ L 264 of 15.10.2003

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 885/2004

1.5.2004

OJ L 168 of 1.5.2004

Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006

1.1.2007

OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 143/2008

20.2.2008

OJ L 44 of 20.2.2008

Regulation (EC) No 37/2009

1.1.2010

OJ L 14 of 20.1.2009

Regulation (EU) No 904/2010

1.11.2010

OJ L 268 of 12.10.2010

RELATED ACTS

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1174/2009 of 30 November 2009 laying down rules for the implementation of Articles 34a and 37 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 as regards refunds of value added tax under Council Directive 2008/9/EC [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 18 August 2009 on the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 concerning administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax [COM(2009) 428 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1925/2004 of 29 October 2004 laying down detailed rules for implementing certain provisions of Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 concerning administrative cooperation in the field of value-added tax [Official Journal L 331 of 5.11.2004].
This regulation establishes the categories of information to be exchanged without prior request, the frequency with which such exchanges must take place and other rules for implementing certain provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003.

The placing of plant protection products on the market

The placing of plant protection products on the market

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The placing of plant protection products on the market

Topics

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

Food safety > Plant health checks

The placing of plant protection products on the market (until June 2011)

The European Union has harmonised the conditions and procedures for authorising plant protection products so as to protect human health and the environment. It has also drawn up a list of authorised substances and a phased programme for evaluating substances already on the market.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 91/414/EEC of 15 July 1991 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market [See Amending Acts].

Summary

The Directive lays down uniform rules on the evaluation, authorisation, placing on the market and control within the European Union of plant protection products * and the active substances * they contain.

Only plant protection products whose active substances are listed in Annex I to the Directive and that do not pose a risk to human or animal health or the environment when the product is used under normal conditions are authorised.

The procedure for evaluating and authorising plant protection products must comply with the uniform principles laid down in Annex VI to the Directive. These include:

  • general principles: the evaluation of data in the light of current knowledge, taking account of the particular conditions prevailing in the zone in which the product is to be used, etc;
  • specific principles concerning, among other things, efficacy, the absence of unacceptable effects on plants, the impact on human and animal health and on non-target species, distribution in and impact on the environment, etc.

The Directive stipulates the requirements for the dossier to be submitted for the inclusion of an active substance in the list of authorised substances (Annex II) and the requirements for the dossier to be submitted for the authorisation of a plant protection product (Annex III). These requirements concern, among other things, the identification of the substance or product, the identity of the manufacturer and applicant for authorisation, tests and analyses carried out by official or officially-recognized testing facilities or organisations, etc. Information held by the applicant or manufacturer may be protected by a confidentiality clause where it constitutes an industrial or commercial secret.

Authorisation is granted by the Member State on whose territory the product is placed on the market for the first time. It is valid for ten years and may be renewed. It can be withdrawn if the requirements are no longer fulfilled and can be amended if the development of scientific and technical knowledge requires.

To ensure the free circulation of products, the Directive provides for mutual recognition of authorisations granted by the Member States, provided that the plant health, agricultural and environmental conditions are comparable in the regions concerned. It does, however, contain a protective clause permitting Member States temporarily to restrict or prohibit the circulation of a product on their territory if it poses a risk to human or animal health or to the environment.

Every quarter, the Member States inform the Commission and the other Member States of all plant protection products authorised or withdrawn. In addition, every year Member States draw up and send to the Commission and the other Member States a list of products authorised on their territory.

Arrangements for provisional authorisation allow Member States, pending the Community’s decision to include a new active substance in the positive list, to authorise the plant protection product concerned for a maximum of three years if the dossier submitted for inclusion of the active substance and the dossier for the authorisation of the plant protection product are in order and if it is established that the active substance and the product pose no risk.

As regards active substances currently on the market, the Directive provides for an evaluation programme for these substances over a period of 12 years from the entry into force of the Directive. This programme was extended until March 2009. Since the end of 2003, the European Food Safety Authority has been responsible for assessing risks, while the Commission is still responsible for taking decisions concerning risk management.

The Directive also harmonises the rules on the labelling and packaging of plant protection products and the information they must bear, among other things, the name and designation of the product, the name and address of the holder of the authorisation, the quantity of each active substance, the directions for use, the dose for each authorised use and particulars of possible phytotoxicity, etc.

Context

This Directive is repealed with effect from 14 June 2011 by Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 on the placing on the market of plant protection products.

Key terms used in the act
  • Plant protection products: these are products consisting of, or containing, active substances, safeners or synergists, intended for one of the following uses:
    • protecting plants or plant products against all harmful organisms or preventing the action of such organisms, except if they are mainly designed for reasons of hygiene rather than protection of vegetables or vegetable products;
    • influencing the life processes of plants, other than as a nutrient (e.g. plant growth regulators);
    • preserving plant products, in so far as such substances or products are not subject to Community provisions on preservatives;
    • destroying undesirable plants, or parts thereof, with the exception of algae;
    • checking or preventing undesired growth of plants, except algae.
  • Active substances: substances or micro-organisms, including viruses, having general or specific action against harmful organisms or on plants, parts of plants or plant products.

References

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

Directive 91/414//EEC

26.7.1991 (notification)

26.7.1993

OJ L 230 of 19.8.1991

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 of 16.5.2003

Regulation (EC) No 396/2005

5.4.2005

OJ L 70 of 16.3.2005

AMENDMENT OF ANNEXES

Annex I – Active substances authorised for use in plant protection products:

Directive 2000/80/EC (lambda-cyhalothrin) [Official Journal L 309 of 9.12.2000];
Directive 2001/21/EC (amitrole, diquat, pyridate and thiabendazole) [Official Journal L 69 of 10.3.2001];
Directive 2001/28/EC (fenhexamid) [Official Journal L 113 of 24.4.2001];
Directive 2001/47/EC (paecilomyces fumosoroseus) [Official Journal L 175 of 28.6.2001];
Directive 2001/49/EC (flupyrsulfuron-methyl) [Official Journal L 176 of 29.6.2001];
Directive 2001/87/EC (acibenzolar-s-methyl, cyclanilide, ferric phosphate, pymetrozine and pyraflufen-ethyl) [Official Journal L 276 of 19.10.2001];
Directive 2001/99/EC (glyphosate and thifensulfuron-methyl) [Official Journal L 304 of 21.11.2001];
Directive 2001/103/EC (2,4-dichlorophenoxy acetic acid) [Official Journal L 313 of 30.11.2001];
Directive 2002/18/EC (isoproturon) [Official Journal L 55 of 26.2.2002];
Directive 2002/37/EC (ethofumesate) [Official Journal L 117 of 4.5.2002];
Directive 2002/48/EC (iprovalicarb, prosulfuron and sulfosulfuron) [Official Journal L 148 of 6.6.2002];
Directive 2002/64/EC (cinidon-ethyl, cyhalofop butyl, famoxadone, florasulam, metalaxyl-M and picolinafen) [Official Journal L 189 of 18.7.2002];
Directive 2002/81/EC (flumioxazine) [Official Journal L 276 of 12.10.2002];
Directive 2003/5/EC (deltamethrin) [Official Journal L 8 of 14.1.2003];
Directive 2003/23/EC (imazamox, oxasulfuron, ethoxysulfuron, foramsulfuron, oxadiargyl and cyazofamid) [Official Journal L 81 of 28.3.2003];
Directive 2003/31/EC (2,4-DB, beta-cyfluthrin, cyfluthrin, iprodione, linuron, maleic hydrazide and pendimethalin) [Official Journal L 101 of 23.4.2003];
Directive 2003/39/EC (propineb and propyzamide) [Official Journal L 124 of 20.5.2003];
Directive 2003/68/EC (trifloxystrobin, carfentrazone ethyl, mesotrione, fenamidone and isoxaflutole) [Official Journal L 177 of 16.7.2003];
Directive 2003/70/EC (mecoprop, mecoprop-P and propiconazole) [Official Journal L 184 of 23.7.2003];
Directive 2003/79/EC (coniothyrium minitans) [Official Journal L 205 of 14.8.2003];
Directive 2003/81/EC (molinate, thiram and ziram) [Official Journal L 224 of 6.9.2003];
Directive 2003/84/EC (flurtamone, flufenacet, iodosulfuron, dimethenamid-p, picoxystrobin, fosthiazate and silthiofam) [Official Journal L 247 of 30.9.2003];
Directive 2003/112/EC (paraquat) [Official Journal L 321 of 6.12.2003];
Directive 2003/119/EC (mesosulfuron, propoxycarbazone and zoxamide) [Official Journal L 325 of 12.12.2003];
Directive 2004/20/EC (chlorpropham) [Official Journal L 70 of 9.3.2004];
Directive 2004/30/EC (benzoic acid, flazasulfuron and pyraclostrobin) [Official Journal L 77 of 13.3.2004];
Directive 2004/58/EC (alpha-cypermethrin, benalaxyl, bromoxynil, desmedipham, ioxynil and phenmedipham) [Official Journal L 120 of 24.4.2004];
Directive 2004/60/EC (quinoxyfen) [Official Journal L 120 of 24.4.2004];
Directive 2004/62/EC (mepanipyrim) [Official Journal L 125 of 28.4.2004];
Directive 2004/71/EC (Pseudomonas chlororaphis) [Official Journal L 127 of 29.4.2004];
Directive 2004/99/EC (acetamiprid and thiacloprid [Official Journal L 309 of 6.10.2004];
Directive 2005/2/EC (Ampelomyces quisqualis and Gliocladium catenulatum) [Official Journal L 20 of 22.1.2005];
Directive 2005/3/EC (imazosulfuron, laminarin, methoxyfenozide and s-metolachlor) [Official Journal L 20 of 22.1.2005];
Directive 2005/34/EC (etoxazole and tepraloxydim) [Official Journal L 125 of 18.5.2005];
Directive 2005/53/EC (chlorothalonil, chlorotoluron, cypermethrin, daminozide and thiophanate-methyl) [Official Journal L 241 of 17.9.2005];
Directive 2005/54/EC (tribenuron) [Official Journal L 244 of 20.9.2005];
Directive 2005/57/EC (MCPA and MCPB) [Official Journal L 246 of 22.9.2005];
Directive 2005/58/EC (bifenazate and milbemectin) [Official Journal L 246 of 22.9.2005];
Directive 2005/72/EC (chlorpyrifos, chlorpyrifos-methyl, mancozeb, maneb, and metiram) [Official Journal L 279 of 22.10.2005];
Directive 2006/5/EC (warfarin) [Official Journal L 12 of 18.1.2006];
Directive 2006/6/EC (tolylfluanid) [Official Journal L 12 of 18.1.2006];
Directive 2006/10/EC (forchlorfenuron and indoxacarb) [Official Journal L 25 of 28.1.2006];
Directive 2006/19/EC (1-methylcyclopropene) [Official Journal L 44 of 15.2.2006];
Directive 2006/39/EC (clodinafop, pirimicarb, rimsulfuron, tolclofos-methyl and triticonazole) [Official Journal L 104 of 13.4.2006];
Directive 2006/41/EC (clothianidin and pethoxamid) [Official Journal L 187 of 8.7.2006];
Directive 2006/45/EC (propoxycarbazone) [Official Journal L 130 of 18.5.2006];
Directive 2006/64/EC (clopyralid, cyprodinil, fosetyl and trinexapac) [Official Journal L 206 of 27.7.2006];
Directive 2006/74/EC (dichlorprop-P, metconazole, pyrimethanil and triclopyr) [Official Journal L 235 of 30.8.2006];
Directive 2006/75/EC (dimoxystrobin) [Official Journal L 248 of 12.9.2006];
Directive 2006/85/EC (fenamiphos and ethephon) [Official Journal L 293 of 24.10.2006];
Directive 2006/131/EC (methamidophos) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2006/132/EC (procymidone) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2006/133/EC(flusilazole) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2006/134/EC (fenarimol) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2006/135/EC (carbendazim) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2006/136/EC (dinocap) [Official Journal L 349 of 12.12.2006];
Directive 2007/5/EC (captan, folpet, formetanate and methiocarb) [Official Journal L 35 of 8.2.2007];
Directive 2007/6/EC (metrafenone, Bacillus subtilis , spinosad and thiamethoxam) [Official Journal L 43 of 15.2.2007];
Directive 2007/21/EC (azoxystrobin, imazalil, kresoxim-methyl, spiroxamin, azimsulfuron, prohexadion-calcium and fluroxypyr) [Official Journal L 97 of 12.4.2007];
Directive 2007/25/EC (dimethoate, dimethomorph, glufosinate, metribuzin, phosmet and propamocarb as active substances) [Official Journal L 106 of 24.4.2007];
Directive 2007/31/EC (fosthiazate) [Official Journal L 140 of 1.6.2007];
Directive 2007/50/EC (beflubutamid and Spodoptera exigua nuclear polyhedrosis virus) [Official Journal L 202 of 3.8.2007];
Directive 2007/52/EC (ethoprophos, pirimiphos-methyl and fipronil) [Official Journal L 214 of 17.8.2007];
Directive 2007/76/EC (fludioxonil, clomazone and prosulfocarb) [Official Journal L 337 of 21.12.2007];
Directive 2008/40/EC (amidosulfuron and nicosulfuron) [Official Journal L 87 of 29.3.2008];
Directive 2008/41/EC (chloridazon) [Official Journal L 89 of 1.4.2008];
Directive 2008/45/EC (metconazole) [Official Journal L 94 of 5.4.2008].
Directive 2008/66/EC (bifenox, diflufenican, fenoxaprop-P, fenpropidin and quinoclamine) [Official Journal L 171 of 1.1.2008].
Directive 2008/69/EC (clofentezine, dicamba, difenoconazole, diflubenzuron, imazaquin, lenacil, oxadiazon, picloram and pyriproxyfen) [Official Journal L 172 of 2.7.2008];
Directive 2008/70/EC (tritosulfuron) [Official Journal L 185 of 12.7.2008];
Directive 2008/91/EC (diuron) [Official Journal L 262 of 1.10.2008];
Directive 2008/107/EC (abamectin, epoxiconazole, fenpropimorph, fenpyroximate and tralkoxydim) [Official Journal L 316 of 26.11.2008];
Directive 2008/108/EC (flutolanil, benfluralin, fluazinam, fuberidazole and mepiquat) [Official Journal L 317 of 27.11.2008];
Directive 2008/113/EC (several micro-organisms) [Official Journal L 330 of 9.12.2008];
Directive 2008/116/EC (aclonifen, imidacloprid and metazachlor) [Official Journal L 337 of 16.12.2008];
Directive 2008/125/EC (aluminium phosphide, calcium phosphide, magnesium phosphide, cymoxanil, dodemorph, 2,5-dichlorobenzoic acid methylester, metamitron, sulcotrione, tebuconazole and triadimenol) [Official Journal L 344 of 20.12.2008];
Directive 2008/127/EC (several active substances) [Official Journal L 344 of 20.12.2008];
Directive 2009/11/EC (bensulfuron, sodium 5-nitroguaiacolate, sodium o-nitrophenolate, sodium p-nitrophenolate and tebufenpyrad) [Official Journal L 48 of 19.2.2009];
Directive 2009/25/EC (pyraclostrobin) [Official Journal L 91 of 3.4.2009];
Directive 2009/37/EC (chlormequat, copper compounds, propaquizafop, quizalofop-P, teflubenzuron and zeta-cypermethrin) [Official Journal L 104 of 24.4.2009];
Directive 2009/51/EC (nicosulfuron) [Official Journal L 127 of 26.5.2009];
Directive 2009/70/EC (difenacoum, didecyldimethylammonium chloride and sulphur) [Official Journal L 164 of 26.6.2009];
Directive 2009/77/EC (chlorsulfuron, cyromazine, dimethachlor, etofenprox, lufenuron, penconazole, tri-allate and triflusulfuron) [Official Journal L 172 of 2.7.2009];
Directive 2009/82/EC (tetraconazole) [Official Journal L 196 of 28.7.2009];
Directive 2009/115/EC (methomyl) [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009];
Directive 2009/116/EC (paraffin oils CAS No 64742-46-7, CAS No 72623-86-0 and CAS No 97862-82-3) [Official Journal L 237 of 9.9.2009];
Directive 2009/117/EC (paraffin oil CAS No 8042-47-5 [Official Journal L 237 of 9.9.2009];
Directive 2009/152/EC (carbendazim) [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009];
Directive 2009/153/EC (hydrolysed proteins) [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009];
Directive 2009/154/EC (cyflufenamid) [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009];
Directive 2009/155/EC (metazachlor) [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009];
Directive 2009/160/EU (2-phenylphenol) [Official Journal L 338 of 19.12.2009].

Annex II – Requirements for the dossier to be submitted for the inclusion of an active substance in Annex I:

Directive 93/71/EEC [Official Journal L 221 of 31.8.1993];
Directive 94/37/EC [Official Journal L 194 of 29.7.1994];
Directive 94/79/EC [Official Journal L 354 of 31.12.1994];
Directive 95/35/EC [Official Journal L 172 of 22.7.1995];
Directive 95/36/EC [Official Journal L 172 of 22.7.1995];
Directive 96/12/EC [Official Journal L 65 of 15.3.1996];
Directive 96/46/EC [Official Journal L 214 of 23.8.1996];
Directive 96/68/EC [Official Journal L 277 of 30.10.1996];
Directive 2001/36/EC [Official Journal L 164 of 20.6.2001].

Annex III – Requirements for the dossier to be submitted for the authorisation of a plant protection product:

Directive 93/71/EEC [Official Journal L 221 of 31.8.1993];
Directive 94/37/EC [Official Journal L 194 of 29.7.1994];
Directive 94/79/EC [Official Journal L 354 of 31.12.1994];
Directive 95/35/EC [Official Journal L 172 of 22.7.1995];
Directive 95/36/EC [Official Journal L 172 of 22.7.1995];
Directive 96/12/EC [Official Journal L 65 of 15.3.1996];
Directive 96/46/EC [Official Journal L 214 of 23.8.1996];
Directive 96/68/EC [Official Journal L 277 of 30.10.1996];
Directive 2001/36/EC [Official Journal L 164 of 20.6.2001].

Annex IV – Risk phrases:

Directive 2006/104/EC [Official Journal L 363 of 20.12.2006].

Annex V – Safety phrases:

Directive 2006/104/EC [Official Journal L 363 of 20.12.2006].

Annex VI – Uniform principles for the evaluation and authorisation of plant protection products:

Directive 97/57/EC [Official Journal L 265 of 27.9.1997];
Directive 2005/25/EC [Official Journal L 90 of 8.4.2005].

Related Acts

Programme for the evaluation of existing substances

Commission Regulation (EC) No 33/2008 of 17 January 2008 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Directive 91/414/EEC as regards a regular and an accelerated procedure for the assessment of active substances which were part of the programme of work referred to in Article 8(2) of that Directive but have not been included into its Annex I [Official Journal L 15 of 18.1.2008].
This Regulation completes the programme of work on the gradual examination of active substances on the market and lays down rules for the submission and evaluation of applications for inclusion in Annex I to Directive 91/414/EEC. Two procedures are established: a regular procedure involving verification by the Member State of dossiers on the active substance concerned, and an accelerated procedure which can be followed in the case of non-inclusion of the active substance.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2229/2004 of 3 December 2004 laying down further detailed rules for the implementation of the fourth stage of the programme of work referred to in Article 8(2) of Council Directive 91/414/EEC [Official Journal L 379 of 24.12.2004].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1112/2002 of 20 June 2002 laying down the detailed rules for the implementation of the fourth stage of the programme of work referred to in Article 8(2) of Council Directive 91/414/EEC [Official Journal L 168 of 27.6.2002].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 451/2000 of 28 February 2000 laying down the detailed rules for the implementation of the second and third stages of the work programme referred to in Article 8(2) of Council Directive 91/414/EEC [Official Journal L 55 of 29.2.2000].

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 3600/92 of 11 December 1992 laying down the detailed rules for the implementation of the first stage of the programme of work referred to in Article 8(2) of Council Directive 91/414/EEC concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market [Official Journal L 366 of 15.12.1992].

This Regulation lays down detailed rules governing the relationship between industry, the Member States and the Commission for the implementation of the first phase of the programme, covering an initial series of 90 active substances.