Tag Archives: Third country

Official feed and food controls

Official feed and food controls

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Official feed and food controls


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

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Official feed and food controls

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules. [See Amending Acts].


This Regulation is designed to fill in the loopholes in the existing legislation concerning the official control of food and feed thanks to a harmonised Community approach to the design and implementation of national control systems.

The purpose of this Regulation is:

  • to prevent or eliminate risks which may arise, either directly or via the environment, for human beings and animals, or reduce these risks to an acceptable level;
  • to guarantee fair practices as regards trade in food and feed and the protection of consumers’ interests, including labelling of food and feed and any other form of information intended for consumers.

Official controls are defined as “any form of control performed by the competent authority or by the Community for the verification of compliance with feed and food law, as well as animal health and animal welfare rules”.

This Regulation does not apply to official controls for the verification of compliance with the rules on common market organisations agricultural products.


The basic principles related to responsibilities of the Member States’ authorities are already laid down in the Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, which lays down the general principles of food law. The present regulation describes in more detail how these principles must be interpreted and implemented.

The official controls carried out by the Member States must enable them to verify and ensure compliance with national and Community rules on feed and food. To this end, official controls must in principle be carried out at any stage of production, processing and distribution of feed and food. These controls are defined as a function of the identified risks, the experience and knowledge gained from previous controls, the reliability of the controls already carried out by the business operators concerned, and a suspicion of possible non-compliance.

Competent authorities

The Member States designate the competent authorities responsible for performing the official controls. These authorities must satisfy the operational criteria ensuring their effectiveness and their impartiality. They must also have the necessary equipment and suitably qualified staff (areas specified in Annex II) and have contingency pans. Internal or external audits may be carried out to ensure that the competent authorities are achieving the objectives of the Regulation.

When some of the controls are delegated to regional or local authorities, it is necessary to ensure effective cooperation between the central authority and these authorities.

The competent authority may delegate certain control tasks to non-governmental bodies provided these bodies meet the strictly defined conditions set out in this Regulation. Hence a procedure is therefore provided to define the tasks that can (or cannot) be delegated to such bodies. The adoption of coercive measures may not be delegated. The competent authority may proceed to audit or inspect the bodies to which the tasks have been delegated.

Transparency and confidentiality

The competent authorities must ensure that relevant information they hold is made available to the public, notably when there are reasonable grounds to suspect that food or feed may present a risk for human or animal health.

The staff of the competent authorities are required not to disclose information acquired when carrying out their control duties which by its nature is covered by professional secrecy.

Sampling and analysis

The methods of sampling and analysis used within the context of official controls must be fully validated in accordance with Community legislation or with internationally accepted protocols. These analysis methods must take into account the criteria set out in Annex III and must be implemented by laboratories approved to this end in compliance with the standards laid down by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).

Intervention plans

Contingency plans must be prepared which set out the measures to be implemented in the event of an emergency where feed or food have been found to pose a serious risk to humans or animals either directly or through the environment. These contingency plans specify the administrative authorities to be engaged together with their powers and responsibilities.

Controls on products from Non-EU Member Countries

This regulation supplements the provisions set out in Directive 97/78/EC concerning controls applicable to feed and food of animal origin. For example, it introduces the following principles for feed and food of non-animal origin:

  • regular official controls by the Member States of feed and food of non-animal origin imported into the European Union (EU). These controls can take place at any point of the distribution of the goods: before release for free circulation or afterwards, e.g. at the importer’s premises, during processing or at the point of retail sale. There shall in any way be a close co-operation between the customs services and the competent authority;
  • at Community level, a list of at-risk feed and food must be established and updated. Such feed and food must be presented at specially designated and equipped inspection posts for the carrying out of the necessary checks. These controls must be carried out at the point of entry in the EU before the goods are released for free circulation.
  • the possibility of carrying out official controls on feed and food originating in Non-EU Member Countries which enter into free zones and free warehouses or is placed in transit, customs warehousing, inward processing, processing under customs control or temporary admission.

The abovementioned controls include at least a documentary control, an identity control and, where relevant, a physical control.

In the case that non-compliance with the legislation is ascertained, the products may be seized or confiscated, and shall be destroyed, submitted to a special treatment, or re-dispatched outside the Community; the operator responsible for the consignment in question shall be liable for the costs incurred.

Specific pre-export checks performed by a Non-EU Member Country may be approved provided they satisfy the requirements of the Community or requirements which are at least equivalent. If such an approval is granted, the frequency of the controls carried out by the Member States may be adapted.

Financing of official controls

Member States must ensure that adequate financial resources are made available for official controls.

Inspection fees are imposed on feed and food business operators, common principles must be observed for setting the level of such fees and the methods and data used for the calculation of the fees must be published or otherwise made available to the public.

When official controls reveal non-compliance with feed and food law, the extra costs that result from more intensive controls must be borne by the feed and food business operator concerned.


This proposal provides for a procedure making it possible to specify the cases and conditions in which official certification must be granted.

Reference laboratories

A number of Community Reference Laboratories (CRLs) have been established (Annex VII) under Community legislation in force. They may be entitled to EU financial support and are responsible for:

  • providing national reference laboratories with details of analytical methods;
  • organising comparative testing, coordinating within their area of competence the practical and scientific activities necessary for developing new analytical methods;
  • conducting training courses;
  • providing scientific and technical assistance to the Commission.

For each CRL, Member States must ensure that one or more national reference laboratories are designated. These function as the point of communication between the CRL and all the official laboratories in the Member States.


Assistance and cooperation

When the official controls require action by more than one Member State, the competent authorities must afford each other administrative assistance. This assistance may involve active cooperation, including participation in on-the-spot controls carried out by experts from one Member State in another Member State.

Each Member State must designate a single liaison body whose role is to assist and coordinate the communication, transmission and reception of requests for assistance. Where it receives a reasoned request (existence of a serious risk), the liaison body contacts the authorities concerned and ensures that the requesting authority is provided with all necessary information and documents enabling the latter to verify compliance with the law.

When the competent authority of a Member State receives information from a Non-EU Member Country, that authority must pass that information on to the competent authorities of the Member State which might be interested in it.

Administrative assistance applies to the exchange of all information, except that which cannot be released because of it being the subject of legal proceedings or because it may adversely affect the commercial interests of natural or legal persons.

National Control Plans

The Member States must prepare an integrated multi-annual national control plan. This plan, whose implementation must begin by 1 January 2007 at the latest, sets out the national control system and activities in a global and comprehensive way. The plan will have to be developed along the lines that are contained in guidelines to be established by the Commission in consultation with the Member States.

One year after starting the implementation of the national control plans, and subsequently every year, the Member States must submit to the Commission a report indicating an update of their initial control plan. The Commission must establish a general report on the overall operation of the official control systems on the basis of the national reports and the results of the audits which it has carried out. It passes this report on to the European Parliament and the Council and publishes it.

Community controls in the Member States

Until now, Community controls in the Member States were organised in function of the mandates the Commission has in the different sectoral Directives.. The creation of a single legal basis with this Regulation and the establishment of control plans will allow the EU control services to perform a general audit of the Member States’ control systems globally. If needed, these inspections and national audits performed by the Commission’s Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) can be supplemented by more specific audits and inspections for a particular sector or problem. For each control carried out, the Commission establishes a report on its findings and, where appropriate, this report contains recommendations which must be followed up by the Member States.

This Regulation also provides that Commission experts may carry out controls in Non-EU Member Countries and require that these countries have control plans comparable with those of the Member States in respect of the products they export to the European Union. These plans must be technically and economically feasible taking account of specific situation of the Non-EU Member Country as well as the nature of the products exported to the Community.

Non-EU Member Country controls in Member States

Non-EU Member Countries which wish to export goods to the EU must provide the Commission with information on the organisation and general management of their health surveillance systems. If this information is not satisfactory, provisional measures may be taken by the Commission after consulting the country concerned.

The Commission must take account of the lists drawn up pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption. For other types of products the Commission may eventually draw up comparable lists or adopt other measures (certificates, special import conditions, etc.).

Training of control officials

There must be a Community framework for training control staff in the Member States in order to ensure a uniform level of the decisions taken by such staff Hence the Commission may organise training courses relating to legislation, control measures and techniques, the manufacture, processing and marketing of food and feed.

Non-EU Member Country controls in the Member States

The authorities of Non-EU Member Countries may organise controls in the Member States, accompanied where appropriate by representatives of the FVO, who can assist Member States by providing information and data that are available at Community level and that may be useful in the context of the Non-EU Member Country control carried out.

National enforcement measures

Where non-compliance is ascertained during official controls, the competent authority concerned must take appropriate measures taking into account the nature of the non-compliance and that operator’s past record with regard to non-compliance. This may involve administrative measures (withdrawal from the market or destruction of a product, closure of a business or suspension of an establishment’s approved status, etc.) or penalties. These penalties must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.

Community enforcement measures

This regulation adds a new dimension to the safeguard measures provided for in Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, hence allowing the Commission to take measures when there is proof that a Member State’s control system is inadequate. These may include the suspension of the placing on the market of certain feed or foodstuffs or the laying down of special conditions for certain feed or foodstuffs. These measures are taken if Community controls have shown non-compliance with Community legislation and the Member State concerned has failed to correct the situation upon request and within the time limit set by the Commission.


In January 2000 the Commission presented a complete overhaul of the legislation concerning food hygiene and veterinary issues. The overhaul contained four proposals, on the following subjects:

  • food hygiene;
  • the rules related to hygiene for food of animal origin;
  • official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption;
  • animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption ;
  • official controls of food and feed, which are the subject of this information sheet.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 882/2004


OJ L 165 of 30.04.2004

Regulation (EC) No 1162/2009 [Official Journal L 314 of 1.12.2009].
Regulation (EC) No 1162/2009 grants additional time to laboratories located in slaughterhouses carrying out official testing for Trichinella to obtain full accreditation. The granting of the exception is subject to compliance with certain conditions. In particular, the laboratories in question must demonstrate that they have taken steps in view of their accreditation and offer satisfactory guarantees regarding the quality of the analyses they carry out.

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1029/2008


OJ L 278 of 21.10.2008

Regulation (EC) No



OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2009/821/EC of 28 September 2009 drawing up a list of approved border inspection posts, laying down certain rules on the inspections carried out by Commission veterinary experts and laying down the veterinary units in Traces [Official Journal L 296 of 12.11.2009].
See consolidated version

Commission Regulation (EC) No 669/2009 of 24 July 2009 implementing Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the increased level of official controls on imports of certain feed and food of non-animal origin and amending Decision 2006/504/EC [Official Journal L 194 of 25.7.2009].
See consolidated version

Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis

Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis


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

Development > Sectoral development policies

Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 8 April 2009 – Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis [COM(2009) 160 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Developing countries are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the international financial crisis. Development policies have improved their economic situation, but their resilience capacity remains limited.

Their monetary and budgetary policies are particularly constrained by inflation peaks, exchange rate volatility, deteriorating external balances, rising food prices and increasing energy costs. The European Union (EU) has chosen to support the countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of the crisis as a priority. These countries may be identified by combining several criteria corresponding to the main channels by which the crisis has been spread to developing countries, in particular:

  • dependence on export revenues and the degree of integration into world trade;
  • dependence on international financial flows and transfers;
  • capacity to react in response to the crisis.

Funding aid

The EU provides the largest portion of Official Development Aid (ODA), almost EUR 50 billion or 59 % of ODA overall. Its contribution is increasing, but Member States should nevertheless commit to add a further EUR 20 billion of aid in order to meet their objectives set for 2010 (0.56 % of Gross Domestic Income).

This increase in ODA is essential for participating in economic recovery and meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Aid must be supplemented by the use and mobilisation of other development resources and instruments. This is the case for export credits, investment guarantees, technology transfer and innovative development funding mechanisms (e.g. voluntary solidarity levies, such as the airline tax applied by some Member States).

The Commission recommends that Member States adopt counter-cyclical development policies consisting of:

  • adapting 2009 and 2010 strategies and programmes, and re-directing EIB loans to key sectors in order to eliminate the crisis and boost economic activity (infrastructures, energy, activities related to climate change, green growth and the financial sector);
  • accelerating payment and making advances on aid commitments and budgetary support for all countries, in particular for those in a situation of emergency;
  • giving macro-economic assistance, for ENP countries, accession and pre-accession countries, in cooperation with the IMF.

Aid effectiveness

The fragmentation of agencies and bilateral or multilateral donors, and the lack of stability and predictability of funding have a high cost. It would be possible to make gains in effectiveness each year, which could translate into billions of euros allocated to supporting reforms, projects and action. The EU has adopted a European programme for aid effectiveness and a Code of Conduct on the Division of Labour. In 2008, it committed to the Accra Agenda for Action and plays an essential role in rationalising international development aid architecture.

The Commission proposes to accelerate the implementation of these programmes, as well as the application of the Commission Recommendations aimed at ensuring maximum impact for EU aid.

Recovery measures

In order to combat the social effects of the crisis and to contribute to the MDGs, particular support must be given to social protection systems and labour markets. Thus in 2009 and 2010, almost EUR 500 million will be committed under the European Development Fund (EDF), in order to protect public spending in essential sectors. This funding is to be implemented through:

  • the FLEX system which allows export losses to be compensated for according to the years preceding the crisis;
  • the additional and temporary “vulnerability FLEX” system, established expressly to respond more quickly and in a targeted way to the crisis in the most vulnerable countries.

Growth and employment are also promoted by the funding of infrastructures (EU-Africa Trust Fund), through support for agriculture and the creation of links between places of production and sale, by means of measures to foster private trade and the increase of credit facilities (in particular, the EIB’s investment facility, the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), and the ENP investment facility for Eastern Europe).

The support provided by the EU in the context of the crisis also includes measures adopted to meet the food crisis (particularly the Food Facility with a budget of EUR 1 billion) which persists in many countries.

Recovery strategies take into account objectives for sustainable development and tackling climate change, including in the Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Sustainable economic development necessitates the strengthening of economic and financial governance, including tax governance. Fighting corruption and the introduction of a healthy macro-economic and regulatory environment should be the key elements in political dialogue between the EU and its partner countries.

The EU should also work towards a better balance of the global governance system (particularly within the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank), in order to make these authorities more complementary and to ensure greater representation for developing countries.

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013


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

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013) and Regional Indicative Programme (2007-2013) for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership .


The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the regional cooperation on the basis of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for the period 2007-2013. In this context, it aims to achieve the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP), which seeks to add a further dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Processus) to strengthen its impact beyond bilateral relations.

The political, economic, social and environment situation of the Mediterranean region poses a certain number of challenges for the region. Regional cooperation offers a response to the challenges of common, and in particular cross-border, interest for the countries of the region. The RSP in this way complements the country strategy papers (CSP) drawn up for Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

EU response strategy

The European Union (EU) seeks to maintain and step up the reform process in the Mediterranean partner countries. It also seeks to promote dialogue, strengthening the domestic political institutions by means of the collaboration offered by various instruments.

In this capacity, the RIP identifies the priority areas which represent value-added through the comparative advantage they may bring to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The justice, security and migration cooperation is of regional interest, with activities comprising:

  • confidence-building measures for a first component aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of civil protection and a second component on partnership for peace. In more concrete terms, the RIP proposes, for example, support for crisis management and the implementation of a Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism;
  • a “justice, police and migration” component to consolidate the results obtained during previous programmes and to enhance cooperation on managing migration flows between countries of origin, transit and destination. More specifically, this component encourages contacts, training and assistance among law enforcement officers;
  • a “policy analysis” component, with the objective of developing the Euro-Mediterranean network of foreign policy institutes and the Economic Research Institute.

Sustainable economic development is a priority for the achievement of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010. This priority consists of:

  • promotion of reforms and investments to attract investors;
  • cooperation in respect of infrastructure networks in the transport and energy sectors;
  • the completion of an area of free trade and South-South regional economic integration by ensuring the environmental sustainability of the region;
  • an environmental programme covering marine pollution, among other issues.

Social development and cultural exchanges focus on people-to-people exchanges and raising awareness of the Partnership through the media. Their main components are:

  • gender equality and civil society, with a view to encouraging active citizenship, strengthening equality between men and women and encouraging recognition of the role of women;
  • information and communication to promote the Partnership and the ENP and improve cooperation between the EU and the various media in the region;
  • Euromed Youth to encourage dialogue between young people on opposite sides of the Mediterranean, the integration of young people and active citizenship;
  • dialogue between cultures and cultural heritage.

The Partnership with the neighbouring countries in this way allows progress towards a significant degree of integration with the EU, enhanced trading relations and intensified cooperation in matters of security. Nevertheless, the acceptance and will of the partner countries are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Partnership.

Terms and conditions

The indicative budget for the period 2007-2010 amounts to EUR 343.3 million.

The RIP for the period 2007-2013 presents the programmes for each priority. To this end, it defines performance indicators to measure the impact and the expected outcomes, such as:

  • rebuilding of confidence within each society and between societies by strengthening civil society and transnational links;
  • consolidation of the Euromed networks and police and judicial cooperation;
  • support for the social integration of migrant workers and their families;
  • increase in the number of investment projects and new job creation thanks to a regional investment promotion programme;
  • more integrated energy markets, secure energy supplies and developed interconnections and renewable energy sources;
  • greater public awareness of the need for environmental protection.


In accordance with its foreign policy objectives, the EU promotes prosperity, solidarity, security and sustainable development in the world, as well as democracy and human rights. The ENP, initiated in 2003, pursues these objectives by promoting good neighbourhood relations. To achieve this, the ENPI, the financial instrument of the ENP for 2007-2013, supports the partner countries of the ENP by integrating the regional and cross-border dimension. It also pursues the objectives identified by the MEDA programme 2002-2006, drawing on the experience gained from it.

Related Act

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on strengthening the European neighbourhood policy [COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals

Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals


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

Internal market > Living and working in the internal market

Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/52/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 providing for minimum standards on sanctions and measures against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals.


The directive requires Member States to prohibit the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals. It lays down common minimum standards on sanctions against employers who infringe the prohibition. Member States may decide not to apply the directive to illegally staying non-EU nationals whose removal has been suspended and who have been granted permission to work under national law.

Employers’ obligations

Employers are obliged to:

  • require non-EU nationals to produce a residence permit or another authorisation to stay before taking up employment;
  • keep copies of the permit or authorisation for the duration of the employment, in case of inspection by the national authorities;
  • notify the authorities within the period established by the Member State when they employ a non-EU national.

In cases where the employer is an individual who engages a non-EU national for private purposes, Member States may provide for a simplified procedure of notification. Member States may decide not to require notification when the non-EU national has been granted long-term residence status.


Member States must ensure that infringements are subject to effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions, including:

  • financial sanctions in relation to each illegally employed non-EU national;
  • payment of the costs for returning the illegally employed non-EU nationals.

The financial sanctions may be reduced for individuals employing illegally staying non-EU nationals for private purposes, provided that the working conditions were not exploitative.

Member States must ensure that employers are liable to make back payments, such as outstanding remuneration, including the cost of sending it to the employee’s country of origin, and social security contributions. To calculate the back payments, the employment relationship is presumed to have lasted for at least three months unless proved otherwise.

Member States must put in place the necessary mechanisms whereby illegally employed non-EU nationals may claim any outstanding remuneration from their employers. The non-EU nationals must be informed of their rights before their return is enforced.

Member States must ensure that employers are also, if appropriate, subject to other measures, such as:

  • exclusion from entitlement to some or all public benefits, including EU funding for up to five years;
  • exclusion from participation in a public contract for up to five years;
  • recovery of benefits granted up to 12 months prior the detection of the illegal employment;
  • temporary or permanent closure of the establishment.

Member States must also ensure that where an employer is a subcontractor, the contractor of which the employer is the direct subcontractor will be held liable in addition to or in place of the employer. However, contractors that have undertaken due diligence obligations defined by national law will not be liable. Member States may also provide for more stringent liability rules in relation to subcontracting.

An intentional infringement constitutes a criminal offence when the employer:

  • persists in his/her non-compliance;
  • employs a significant number of illegally staying non-EU nationals;
  • employs such persons in particularly exploitative working conditions;
  • employs victims of trafficking in human beings;
  • illegally employs minors.

Inciting, aiding and abetting this conduct must also constitute a punishable criminal offence.

Criminal sanctions may be accompanied by other measures, including publication of the judicial decision. Legal persons can also be held liable.

Complaints and inspections

Member States must ensure that illegally employed non-EU nationals can lodge complaints against their employers either directly or through designated third parties. Those working in particularly exploitative conditions may be issued residence permits for the duration of their proceedings on a case-by-case basis, under arrangements comparable to those provided for by Directive 2004/81/EC on the residence permit issued to third-country nationals who are victims of trafficking in human beings and who cooperate with the competent authorities.

Member States are required to carry out effective and adequate inspections based on regular risk assessments to control the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals.


The Commission suggested these measures in its communication of 19 July 2006 on policy priorities in the fight against illegal immigration. The European Council (15-16 December 2006) endorsed this suggestion, inviting the Commission to present proposals.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2009/52/EC



OJ L 168 of 30.6.2009

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation


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)

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 24 June 2009 – “Partnership between the European Union and Africa – Connecting Africa and Europe: working towards strengthening transport cooperation” [COM(2009) 301 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication promotes reflection upon how cooperation and the exchange of experiences can be improved to encourage the African Union (AU) to establish a safer and more effective transport system, including the extension of trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) towards Africa. The communication is therefore linked to the Euro-African partnership for infrastructure adopted in 2007. Within this partnership regional and national transport, water, energy, and telecommunications networks are interconnected throughout Africa.

The proposed measures are to be applied through existing instruments and cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Africa, in particular the Cotonou agreement, the European Development Fund, and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The need for an EU-African transport cooperation

As the principle means of providing physical access to employment, health care and education, transport is essential to development and to the well-being of both rural and urban communities. The costs of transport in Africa are some of the highest globally and are particularly high in landlocked African countries; due in part to weak infrastructures, excessive administrative procedures, lack of appropriate governance and ineffective safety regulations.

An effective transport network is particularly important for landlocked countries. African transport networks must be developed when necessary for trade flow passing from ports towards these landlocked countries. By facilitating and improving transport flows between the EU and Africa, transport costs can be lowered whilst the sustainability and reliability of the transports services is improved. To achieve a genuine Euro-African transport network, there needs to be a coordinated approach with regards to the planning and implementation of infrastructure as well as an enhanced cooperation in the two principle modes of transport: air and maritime transport.

Aviation sector

The measures proposed by the Commission are designed to increase efficiency and long-term growth within the field of African air transport.

The AU encourages structured dialogue both between African organisations and between regional economic communities. This dialogue would develop the following areas:

  • air safety;
  • security;
  • modernisation of economic regulations;
  • environmental limits.

Maritime sector

Cooperation between the EU and the AU is needed to improve efficiency of African ports. The Commission proposes three ways for this to happen:

  • simplify regulatory aspects of customs and documentary procedures;
  • develop port infrastructure;
  • apply international standards (the international ship and port facilities security code – ISPS) to ensure port security.

In regard to environmental aspects, the Commission also suggest establishing efficient port installations to easier process waste from vessels in compliance with international conventions.

Development of a safer and more effective transport system

Issues of security and safety affect all modes of transport in both Europe and Africa.

Within maritime transport, it is important that countries in north and north-west Africa commit to combat the use by criminal organisations of overloaded small boats to transport illegal immigrants. This practice puts at risk the lives of thousands of people. Another issue is that of piracy, which currently represents an obstacle to the development of trade due to the lack of security in ports and along coastlines. The Commission therefore proposes that the EU:

  • assists in the administrative implementation of maritime regulations;
  • strengthens cooperation within its integrated maritime policy with Africa to encourage a heightened maritime surveillance;
  • promotes a more effective exchange of information with the relevant national authorities.

The Commission suggests that the opening up to air traffic from Africa should be accompanied by the reorganisation of air space and the network of air routes to ensure greater economic and environmental efficiency and safety.

Road is the principle mode of transport in Africa, in particular with regard to access to rural areas. The Commission therefore proposes guidelines in the field of road safety to be developed within national and regional administration:

  • create appropriate mechanism to promote the exchange of best practice;
  • encourage the allocation of European funds meant for the road network to specific measures designed to improve road safety;
  • promote the inclusion of road safety aspects in social impact studies for road investment.

The EU supports European cities in establishing integrated strategies for urban transport by means of the CIVITAS programme, within which cities are able to exchange ideas and good practice. The Commission proposes that this programme be extended to include African cities so that they can also benefit from these ideas and experiences.

Joint EU resettlement programme

Joint EU resettlement programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint EU resettlement programme


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

Joint EU resettlement programme

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 2 September 2009 on the establishment of a joint EU resettlement programme [COM(2009) 447 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication concerns the resettlement of refugees from outside the European Union (EU) to one of the Member States. Resettlement is one of the durable solutions offered to refugees, whose needs for protection have already been established. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) usually acts as an intermediary in the resettlement process. The communication also addresses solidarity in migration management and EU protection to refugees worldwide.

Currently several Member States participate in resettlement on an annual or on an ad hoc basis. The European Refugee Fund (ERF) provides significant financial support to resettlement-related activities.

Nevertheless, the number of refugees resettled in the EU remains rather low and most Member States lack resettlement programmes. Furthermore, the Member States that are resettlement countries mostly set their priorities at the national level, instead of coordinating resettlement and the related external policy instruments at the EU level. In addition, the current ERF is not adaptable enough to respond to new and changing needs concerning resettlement. Consequently, joint EU action should aim at:

  • involving more Member States and enhancing their cooperation;
  • providing refugees a secure access to protection;
  • expressing solidarity towards third countries;
  • making better use of resettlement at the EU level;
  • integrating resettlement into EU external policies;
  • providing a financial incentive for Member States to resettle based on jointly defined key priorities.

A joint EU resettlement programme should be established to fully integrate resettlement in the external dimension of the EU’s asylum policy and improve its strategic use. The Communication provides the following guiding principles:

  • participation in resettlement should be voluntary for Member States;
  • EU resettlement activities should be extended;
  • the programme should be incremental and adaptable to changing circumstances;
  • all stakeholders should be able to participate (international and local NGOs, local authorities, etc.).

The main components of the programme will be the setting of common annual priorities on the basis of a consultative process and financial assistance by the ERF to Member States that “pledge” to resettle refugees according to these priorities. This will allow the financial assistance to be used more effectively. The existing resettlement expert group that meets on an ad hoc basis will be transformed into a permanent body in which all Member States and stakeholders will participate. It will carry out preparatory work for identifying the common annual priorities for the EU, exchange information on Member States’ quantitative targets and assess the specific resettlement needs. The UNHCR will be closely involved in the preparatory work by providing an assessment of worldwide resettlement needs. The common annual priorities will subsequently be established by a Commission decision using the comitology procedure. They will focus on specific geographic regions, nationalities or categories of refugees, and provide for more flexibility to respond to new or urgent needs. Consequently, financial assistance under the ERF will be available to Member States resettling refugees on the basis of the common priorities.

The programme will provide for enhanced practical cooperation and improve the effectiveness of EU external asylum policies. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO), which will be established in 2010 to strengthen Member State practical cooperation on asylum, will play an active role in coordinating resettlement activities. The Commission will also continue to support practical cooperation projects relating to resettlement through the ERF. As part of the programme, cooperation with the UNHCR will also be intensified to identify common priorities, maximise the strategic use of resettlement, and develop and carry out practical cooperation activities. Resettlement should form an integral part of EU external asylum policies and be well coordinated with external policies as a whole. In particular, it should be consistent with the EU Global Approach to Migration. The aim is also to integrate resettlement into the future Regional Protection Programmes (RPPs).

With the support of the EASO, the Commission will annually report on resettlement progress in the EU. In addition, a mid-term evaluation will be carried out in 2012 with all relevant stakeholders. In 2014, the joint programme will be evaluated with a view to developing it further.


Resettlement has been identified as an integral element in the establishment of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS), as reiterated in the European pact on immigration and asylum. In its policy plan on asylum, the Commission called for the further development of resettlement as an instrument to protect refugees.

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing


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

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment

Combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

To counteract this very lucrative phenomenon, this Regulation provides for the limitation of access to the European Union (EU) market to only certified fishery products that comply with the rules. Other provisions are to reinforce the surveillance of activities at sea, to identify IUU operators, to enhance the implementation of fisheries legislation and to improve the application of sanctions in the event of infringements.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 of 29 September 2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1936/2001 and (EC) No 601/2004 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 1093/94 and (EC) No 1447/1999.


This Regulation establishes a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in Community and international waters. The effectiveness of this system depends on the measures adopted by Member States in line with Community legislation.

Fishing vessels engaged in IUU fishing

A fishing vessel shall be presumed to be engaged in IUU fishing if it:

  • does not hold a valid fishing licence;
  • does not provide or record catch data;
  • fishes in a closed area;
  • fishes unauthorised species;
  • uses prohibited or non-compliant fishing gear;
  • falsifies or conceals its identity;
  • falsifies or conceals evidence relating to an investigation;
  • obstructs the work of inspectors;
  • takes on board, tranships or lands undersized fish;
  • participates in activities with vessels included in the IUU vessel list;
  • carries out fishing activities in an area covered by a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO) without complying with the conservation and management measures of that organisation and is flagged to a State not party to that organisation, or not cooperating with that organisation;
  • is a stateless vessel.

Designated ports

Only port facilities designated by Member States of the European Union (EU) are open to vessels from third countries. Transhipments between vessels from third countries and EU vessels are prohibited at sea and shall only take place in designated ports.

Port inspections

The State in whose territory the port is located is responsible for monitoring fishery products imported into the EU. This is in order to attest that the said products are legal and that the vessel complies with the regulations, i.e. it holds the required licences and permits, and complies with fishing quotas.

Catch certificates

The catch certificate guarantees that products imported into the EU do not originate from IUU fishing. These certificates are issued by the flag State. They accompany fishery products throughout the supply chain to facilitate checks.

IUU vessel list and list of non-cooperating third countries

The Commission has established two blacklists. The first includes vessels engaged in IUU fishing and the second the list of States that are lenient towards them. In both cases, the procedures for the establishing of the lists provide for safeguards and appeal arrangements to guarantee the fair treatment of the vessels and States concerned.


Member States shall apply effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions against natural or legal persons engaged in IUU activities. A maximum sanction of at least five times the value of the fishery products obtained is provided for with regard to the committing of the said infringement. In the event of a repeated infringement within a five-year period, the Member States shall impose a maximum sanction of at least eight times the value of the fishery products obtained by committing the serious infringement.

Mutual assistance

Combating IUU fishing implies a strengthening of cooperation between the administrative authorities of Member States as well as with the administrative authorities of third countries and the Commission.

The Commission has created the IUU fishing information system to assist administrative authorities in preventing this type of activity, facilitating investigations and prosecuting offenders.


This Regulation represents (with the Communication which accompanies it) one of the first steps towards an integrated maritime policy. It is part of the Community Action Plan against IUU fishing adopted in 2002 and in line with action carried out at international level (FAO, RFMO) intended to prevent, discourage and eradicate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.


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

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008


OJ L 286 of 29.10.2008


Annex 1 – List of products excluded from the list of fishery products
Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 [Official Journal L 280 of 27.10.2009];
Regulation (EU) No 86/2010 [Official Journal L 26 of 30.1.2010];
Regulation (EU) No 202/2011 [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Related Acts

Implementing arrangements

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1010/2009 of 22 October 2009 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008 establishing a Community system to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing [Official Journal L 280 of 27.10.2009].

Authorisation for fishing

Council Regulation (EC) No 1006/2008 of 29 September 2008 concerning authorisations for fishing activities of Community fishing vessels outside Community waters and the access of third country vessels to Community waters, amending Regulations (EEC) No 2847/93, (EC) No 1627/94 and repealing Regulations (EC) No 3317/94 [Official Journal L 286 of 29.10.2008].

Vessels engaged in combating IUU fishing

Commission Regulation (EU) No 468/2010 of 28 May 2010 establishing the EU list of vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing [Official Journal L 131 of 29.5.2010].

Competent authorities for catch certificates

List of Member States and their competent authorities concerning Articles 15(2), 17(8) and 21(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008[Official Journal C 320 of 24.12.2009].

Designated ports

List of ports in EU Member States where landings and transhipment operations of fishery products are allowed and port services are accessible for third-country fishing vessels, in accordance with Article 5(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1005/2008[Official Journal C 320 of 24.12.2009].

Action plan on unaccompanied minors

Action plan on unaccompanied minors

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan on unaccompanied minors


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

Human rights > Human rights in non-EU countries

Action plan on unaccompanied minors (2010-14)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 May 2010 – Action Plan on Unaccompanied Minors (2010 – 2014) [COM(2010) 213 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


A significant number of unaccompanied minors arrive in the European Union (EU) each year. The term “unaccompanied minors” refers to non-EU country nationals or stateless persons who are below the age of eighteen and who arrive in an EU country unaccompanied by a responsible adult or who are left unaccompanied after having entered an EU country.

Although EU legislative and financial instruments on asylum, immigration and trafficking in human beings address, either directly or indirectly, the situation of unaccompanied minors, greater coherence and better cooperation is needed within the EU as well as with countries of origin and transit. In order for the EU and its countries to respond more effectively, a common approach needs to be established that respects the rights of the child provided by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and that is based on solidarity between the relevant countries and cooperation with civil society and international organisations.

This action plan identifies several problems and presents a number of solutions relating to the situation of unaccompanied minors. It acknowledges the lack of data on these minors and sets out three main strands for action: prevention, protection and durable solutions.

Data on unaccompanied minors

Comprehensive, reliable and comparable data is paramount to properly assessing and finding appropriate solutions to the situation of unaccompanied minors. Currently, the regulation on statistics on migration requires EU countries to only provide data on unaccompanied minors applying for international protection. This limitation needs to be overcome to obtain harmonised and complete statistics on all unaccompanied minors.

The information and data exchanges between EU countries should be improved with the help of existing agencies and networks, such as the European Migration Network and the European Asylum Support Office. Cooperation with countries of origin and transit should also be improved. To this end, the gathering of information on migration routes and criminal networks is essential. The systematic inclusion of this information in the migration profiles of the countries concerned should also be promoted. Both Frontex and Europol are already active in their respective fields; however, their roles with regard to data collection and analysis should be further reinforced.

Main strands of action

To effectively deal with the issue of unaccompanied minors, the first action must consist of preventing the unsafe migration and trafficking of children. In this context, consideration must be given to the different reasons the minors leave their country/region of origin and come to the EU. Therefore, central to the preventive work is collaboration with countries of origin and transit as well as with civil society and international organisations. Prevention involves four principal areas:

  • addressing the issue of migration of unaccompanied minors in other policy fields, such as development cooperation, poverty reduction, education, health and human rights;
  • promoting awareness-raising activities and training relating to early identification and protection of victims targeted at those who are or will be in contact with children in the countries of origin and transit;
  • promoting awareness-raising activities on the risks relating to irregular migration targeted at children and their families;
  • supporting the development of comprehensive child protection systems and birth registration systems.

EU and national external cooperation instruments should be used to support activities in these areas. At the same time, it is essential that protection programmes close to countries of origin continue to be financed.

Upon detection at the border or on the territory of the EU, an unaccompanied minor must be placed under appropriate protection. While provisions on reinforced protection are included in the relevant EU migration instruments, they are context-specific and do not provide the same standards of reception and assistance. The appointment of a representative for an unaccompanied minor should be guaranteed. It is also paramount to separate minors from adults to prevent (re)victimisation. In addition, minors should be provided with appropriate accommodation; detention should only be used in exceptional cases.

Early profiling of the type of minor, building trust and the use of measures provided by EU legislation are important for:

  • identifying the minor, assessing his/her age and tracing his/her family;
  • preventing the minor’s disappearance form care;
  • identifying/prosecuting the traffickers/smugglers.

In order to find durable solutions, each case should be assessed individually, keeping in mind the best interests of the child. An unaccompanied minor may either be:

  • returned and reintegrated in his/her country of origin, with priority given to voluntary return, in full respect of the safeguards provided by the “Return Directive”;
  • granted an international protection or other legal status and integrated in the host country;
  • resettled to an EU country.

A global approach to PNR data transfers

A global approach to PNR data transfers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A global approach to PNR data transfers


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

Justice freedom and security > Police and customs cooperation

A global approach to PNR data transfers

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 21 September 2010 on the global approach to transfers of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to third countries [COM(2010) 492 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) has adopted new measures against the threats of terrorism and organised crime, which are presented in the Commission’s communication on information management in the area of freedom, security and justice. These measures include the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data * for law enforcement purposes. PNR data is used increasingly, which also raises concerns regarding personal data protection. Due to these challenges, the Commission has reconsidered its global approach to PNR data transfers to non-EU countries. Consequently, this communication sets out general criteria for future bilateral PNR agreements, with a view to contributing towards the fight against terrorism and transnational serious crime, while guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights and ensuring coherence between the various PNR agreements.

Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

PNR data are principally used as a criminal intelligence tool with a view to:

  • assessing passenger risks and identifying “unknown” persons;
  • providing law enforcement authorities with data prior to the arrival or departure of a flight in order to allow for more time for any follow-up actions;
  • identifying the persons to whom specific addresses and credit cards linked to criminal offences belong;
  • identifying associates of suspects.

PNR data are used in investigations and prosecutions. They are also used to prevent crimes and to arrest persons when a crime has been committed, as well as to create travel and behaviour assessments to facilitate crime prevention.

However, under EU data protection laws, carriers may not transmit PNR data to non-EU countries, unless these countries provide an adequate level of protection for personal data. For this reason, the EU signed international PNR agreements with the United States, Canada and Australia. However, these agreements were negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as a result of which their provisions on rules for carriers and data protection are not coherent. As the number of such agreements is likely to increase in the near future, there is a need to set out general standards, content and criteria for them.

Global approach on PNR

Through the global approach on PNR, greater coherence should be achieved between non-EU countries’ data protection guarantees and between air carriers’ data transmission modalities.

A large number of persons and their personal data are affected by the collection and transfer of PNR data to non-EU countries. Since these countries’ data protection regimes may differ from that of the EU, it is essential that they ensure adequate legal protection for the transferred PNR data. Consequently, non-EU countries should apply the following basic principles for the protection of personal data:

  • the use of the data should be limited to the purpose of the transfer;
  • only the minimum necessary data should be exchanged;
  • sensitive data should only be used under exceptional circumstances;
  • appropriate measures must be taken to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of the data;
  • the authorities using PNR data should be accountable to and supervised by an independent public authority;
  • individuals should be notified of the processing of their personal data;
  • individuals should be given access to their PNR data and the possibility to request for rectification or deletion of that data;
  • the right to administrative and judicial redress should be provided for anyone whose privacy has been infringed;
  • the automated processing of personal data should not be used as the sole basis for any decisions that have negative effects on an individual;
  • the data retention period should be limited to the purpose of the transfer;
  • the onward transfers of data to other government authorities or to other non-EU countries should be restricted.

The rules governing the transmission of data to non-EU countries by carriers should be streamlined to increase legal certainty and minimise the financial burden on these carriers. At least the following modalities of transmission should be standardised:

  • method of transmission, which should be based on the “push” system;
  • frequency of transmission, which should be limited;
  • collection of additional data, which should not be obligatory.

Furthermore, PNR agreements with non-EU countries should be concluded for fixed periods of time and be reviewable. Mechanisms should be put in place for monitoring their implementation, as well as for resolving any disputes regarding their interpretation and application. It is also essential to ensure reciprocity between EU and non-EU countries, in particular as regards the transfers of analytical information stemming from PNR data.

Finally, in the long term, if more countries start using PNR data, the EU should examine the possibility of setting out standards at the international level for transmitting and using such data, and consequently of replacing its bilateral PNR agreements with a multilateral one.

Key terms used in the act
  • PNR data: unverified information provided by passengers and collected by carriers for enabling reservations and carrying out the check-in process. It is a record of each passenger’s travel requirements held in carriers’ reservation and departure control systems. It contains several different types of information, for example travel dates and itinerary, ticket information, contact details, travel agent, payment information, seat number and baggage information.

Export of cultural goods

Export of cultural goods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Export of cultural goods


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


Export of cultural goods

In order to ensure that exports of cultural goods are subject to uniform checks, this Regulation makes the presentation of an export licence compulsory for their export outside the customs territory of the Community.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 of 9 December 1992 on the export of cultural goods [See amending acts].


The Regulation ensures uniform checks on exports of certain categories of cultural goods, listed in the Annex.

Export licence

An export licence must be presented for the export of cultural goods covered by the Regulation. Licences are valid throughout the Community.

The licence is issued by the competent authorities of the Member States at the request of the exporter.

The licence must be presented together with the export declaration during the completion of customs formalities at the competent customs office.

Member States may refuse to accept an export licence when the cultural goods in question are covered by legislation protecting national treasures of artistic, historical or archaeological value in the Member State concerned.

Administrative cooperation

The administrative authorities of the Member States provide mutual assistance and cooperate with the Commission in implementing the Regulation.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 1.4.1993 OJ L 395 of 31.12.1992
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 2469/96 27.12.1996 OJ L 335 of 24.12.1996
Regulation (EC) No 974/2001 8.6.2001 OJ L 137 of 19.5.2001
Regulation (EC) No 806/2003 5.6.2003 OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003

Related Acts

Implementing measures

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 752/93 of 30 March 1993 laying down implementing provisions for Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 on the export of cultural goods [Official Journal L 77 of 31.3.1993].
The Regulation lays down the principle of prior export licensing of certain categories of cultural goods defined in the Annex to the Regulation. It defines the form provided for the purpose, how it is used and the period of validity of the export licence. This Regulation has been amended by the following Regulations:

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1526/98 of 16 July 1998 amending Commission Regulation (EEC) No 752/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 on the export of cultural goods [Official Journal L 201 of 17.7.1998].
To eliminate unnecessary administrative work, this Regulation introduces the concept of open licences for the temporary export of cultural goods for use and/or for exhibition in non-member countries.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 656/2004 of 7 April 2004 amending Regulation (EEC) No 752/93 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 on the export of cultural goods [Official Journal L 104 of 8.4.2004; Corrigendum Official Journal L 203 of 8.6.2004].
This Regulation establishes a new model form for standard export licences. The former document was not in line with the United Nations Layout for Trade Documents.
The Regulation also provides for the possibility of issuing licences electronically in those Member States that so wish.
In addition, to facilitate checks on exports of cultural goods, the Regulation lays down that customs offices of exit from the Community customs territory must return sheet 3 of the standard export licence form directly to the authority responsible for issuing export licences for cultural goods.

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee on the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 on the export of cultural goods and Council Directive 93/7/EEC on the return of cultural objects unlawfully removed from the territory of a Member State [COM(2000) 325 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Report states that the measures listed have made Member States and international traders aware of the need to improve protection for cultural goods at European level. However, it recognises that the measures have had a limited influence on the fight against the illegal trade in cultural goods.

Competent authorities

List of authorities competent to issue export licences for cultural goods, published in accordance with Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 [Official Journal C 145 of 17.5.2001].
This list of customs offices competent to complete export formalities for cultural goods is published in accordance with Article 5(2) of this Regulation.

Administrative cooperation

Council Regulation (EC) No 515/97 of 13 March 1997 on mutual assistance between the administrative authorities of the Member States and cooperation between the latter and the Commission to ensure the correct application of the law on customs and agricultural matters [Official Journal L 82 of 22.3.1997].

Another Normative about Export of cultural goods


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

Internal market > Single Market for Goods > Single market for goods: external dimension

Export of cultural goods

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 of 18 December 2008 on the export of cultural goods.


The regulation provides rules for the export of cultural goods with a view to their protection. It ensures that uniform controls are carried out on these exports at the external borders of the European Union (EU). The categories of cultural objects to which the regulation applies are listed in Annex I.

Export licence

An export licence must be presented when a cultural good is exported outside the customs territory of the EU. The exporter must request such a licence, which is issued by the competent EU country authority. It is valid throughout the Union. An EU country may refuse an export licence if the goods are protected by legislation on national treasures of artistic, historical or archaeological value. Under certain circumstances, an EU country may permit exports of certain cultural goods without a licence.

The export licence must be presented together with the export declaration at the competent customs office when the customs export formalities are being completed. EU countries may limit the number of customs offices competent for the formalities relating to cultural goods.


With a view to implementing this regulation, national administrative authorities are to provide each other with mutual assistance as well as cooperate with the Commission. Furthermore, cooperation must be established between EU countries’ customs and competent authorities.

EU countries must establish effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for infringements of the regulation.


Since its adoption, Regulation (EEC) No 3911/92 of 9 December 1992 on the export of cultural goods has been amended on several occasions. For reasons of rationality and clarity, it is repealed in order to be replaced by the current regulation.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 116/2009


OJ L 39 of 10.2.2009

Related Acts

List of authorities empowered to issue export licences for cultural goods, published in accordance with Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 [Official Journal C 164 of 16.7.2009].

List of customs offices empowered to handle formalities for the exportation of cultural goods, published in accordance with Article 5(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 116/2009 [Official Journal C 134 of 13.6.2009].