Tag Archives: Trade restriction

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Substances affecting the ozone layer

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Substances affecting the ozone layer

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 on substances that deplete the ozone layer.

Summary

This Regulation replaces Regulation (EC) No 2037/2000. It brings the Community rules into line with technical developments and changes made to the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. It therefore enables the European Union (EU) to continue its worldwide action to protect the ozone layer and guarantee its recovery.

Scope

This Regulation covers:

  • controlled substances such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), etc. (see Annex I);
  • new substances (see Annex II);
  • products and equipment containing or relying on such substances.

Prohibitions

The production, placing on the market and use of controlled substances or products and equipment containing these substances shall be prohibited, with the exception of certain uses as feedstock * or process agents *, or laboratory and analytical uses.

The placing on the market and use of fire protection systems and fire extinguishers containing controlled substances, particularly halons, shall be prohibited.

Derogations

Controlled substances may be produced, placed on the market and used as feedstock or as process agents. These substances may also be used for laboratory or analytical uses. The quantity annually authorised shall be restricted by a system of quotas. Producers and importers must have a licence which is granted for a limited period by the competent authority of the Member State concerned.

Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) shall be phased out. No HCFCs may be produced after 31 December 2019.

The use of methyl bromide has been prohibited since 18 March 2010, except in an emergency, to prevent the spread of pests or disease. However, this derogation applies only for a period not exceeding 120 days and a quantity not exceeding 20 tonnes.

Halons may be placed on the market and used for critical uses (see Annex VI).

Any producer or importer authorised to use or place controlled substances on the market may transfer those rights to other producers or importers of such substances within the Community. Any transfer shall be notified in advance to the Commission.

A producer may also be authorised to exceed established levels of production, on condition that the maximum level of national production is not exceeded.

Trade

Imports and exports of controlled substances and of products and equipment containing such substances shall be prohibited.

Nevertheless, derogations exist for certain uses of controlled substances or for their destruction according to appropriate methods.

Imports and exports shall be subject to the issue of a licence. Such licences shall be issued by the Commission using an electronic licensing system.

Control of substances

Undertakings must put in place systems for the recovery of controlled substances contained in:

  • refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment;
  • equipment containing solvents;
  • fire protection systems and fire extinguishers.

Once recovered, these substances must be recycled, reclaimed or destroyed in an environmentally acceptable manner in order to prevent their release into the atmosphere.

Undertakings must also take measures to avoid any risk of leakage or release of controlled substances. Any undertaking which operates equipment containing such substances must carry out regular checks for leakage. If leakage is detected, the undertaking must repair it as soon as possible and in any case within 14 days after detection.

Context

The ozone layer protects organisms living on Earth from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the 1980s, scientists observed a thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer due to emissions of man-made chemical substances. This depletion of the ozone layer is causing an increase in UV radiation which is dangerous for man, in whom it causes skin cancers in particular, and for ecosystems. The international community took rapid action by first of all adopting the Vienna Convention in 1985 and then the Montreal Protocol in 1987.

The Montreal Protocol requires signatories to phase out ozone-depleting substances according to a pre-established schedule. Twenty years after its adoption, the Montreal Protocol represents a model multilateral environmental agreement.

Key terms of the Act
  • Feedstock: any controlled substance or new substance that undergoes chemical transformation in a process in which it is entirely converted from its original composition and whose emissions are insignificant.
  • Process agents: controlled substances used as chemical process agents in the applications listed in Annex III.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009

1.1.2010

30.6.2011

OJ L 286 of 31.10.2009

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  has a purely documentary value”.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2010/209/EU of 26 March 2010 on the allocation of import quotas for controlled substances for the period 1 January to 31 December 2010 under Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 89 of 9.4.2010].

International investments: towards a comprehensive European policy

International investments: towards a comprehensive European policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about International investments: towards a comprehensive European policy

Topics

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

External trade

International investments: towards a comprehensive European policy

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 – Towards a comprehensive European international investment policy [COM(2010) 343 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission presents a strategy to prepare a new European policy for international investment.

Since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Union (EU) has exclusive competence to introduce the progressive liberalisation of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) transactions *. A new European policy should thus enable the treatment of foreign investors in the EU to be improved, and access for European investors to third-country markets to be facilitated.

The foundations of a common policy

European investors in third countries should be able to benefit from a favourable and stable environment, particularly in countries where the legal, political or economic conditions are insufficient to guarantee the certainty of investments. Thus, at the present time, EU countries conclude Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) with third countries, in order to obtain guarantees on the treatment of their investors. However, this situation creates unequal conditions of competition between European investors.

In the future, the EU should obtain guarantees through trade negotiations. Its trade partners should commit to protecting and facilitating the flow of all forms of European investment. The EU may also conclude stand-alone investment agreements with certain countries (in particular with China or Russia), in order to increase the degree of cooperation in one specific trade sector or for all types of investments.

Foreign investors in the EU should in turn benefit from a level playing field and uniform and optimum conditions.

Finally, a common policy should enable investors’ needs to be better addressed at every stage (planning, admission to a country, etc.). EU countries should also be able to adopt measures to promote investment, at national, regional and local levels, in particular through tax incentives or technical assistance.

A common negotiation agenda

Each trade partnership is unique, according to existing relations between partner States. Nevertheless, the Commission identifies a number of principles which should frame its future negotiations as regards international investments. These are:

  • selection criteria for partner countries, which take into account the guarantees offered to European investors (fair and predictable treatment, political and institutional stability, economic potential, etc) and the degree of trade cooperation;
  • the treatment of investment-related fields, in order to cover all transactions concerning the acquisition or establishment of enterprises (costs of fund transfers, payments, intellectual property rights, etc);
  • investment protection standards, specifically concerning the fair treatment of investors, legal certainty, the principle of proportionality of public action and also expropriation rights and the freedom to transfer funds;
  • the implementation of commitments concerning FDI, for example to guarantee transparency or the proper regulation of litigation;
  • States’ international responsibility, in particular concerning the payment of financial compensation.

These principles are to be formalised by a Commission Recommendation.

Key terms
  • Foreign Direct Investment: any foreign investment which serves to establish lasting and direct links with an undertaking whose capital is employed to carry out an economic activity. Such investments may enable shareholders to participate in the management or control of a company.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing transitional arrangements for bilateral investment agreements between Member States and third countries [COM(2010) 344 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes a transitional framework for implementing international investment agreements. This framework should allow existing agreements to be maintained and conditions to be laid down for future agreements.
Codecision procedure: (COD/2010/197)

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

Endangered species of wild fauna and flora

Endangered species of wild fauna and flora

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Endangered species of wild fauna and flora

Topics

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

Environment > Protection of nature and biodiversity

Endangered species of wild fauna and flora (CITES)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 of 9 December 1996 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein [See amending acts].

Summary

This Regulation applies in compliance with the objectives, principles and provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). It establishes a list of endangered species in four annexes (A, B, C and D). The degree of protection and the nature of commercial measures that apply to the species concerned vary according to the Annex in which the species are listed.

Under this Regulation, common conditions apply to:

  • the issue, use and presentation of documents for the import, export or re-export of specimens of the species covered by the Regulation. Without prejudice to any stricter measures which may be taken by Member States, these documents are valid throughout the Community;
  • the sale or any other commercial transaction of specimens of the species listed in Annex A within the Community.

Introduction into the Community

Importation of specimens of endangered species is subject to:

  • the presentation of an import permit issued by a management authority of the Member State of destination or an import notification; and
  • completion of the necessary checks.

The Commission may at any time impose general import restrictions, or restrictions relating only to certain countries of origin; it publishes a list of such restrictions regularly in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Export or re-export outside the Community

The export or re-export of specimens of endangered species is subject to:

  • the presentation of an export permit or re-export certificate issued by a management authority of the Member State in which the specimens are located; and
  • completion of the necessary checks.

Rejection of requests for permits and certificates

When a Member State rejects an application for a permit or certificate, it immediately informs the Commission which, in turn, will be responsible for informing the other Member States.

Derogations

The Regulation establishes derogations for specimens born and bred in captivity or artificially propagated, for specimens in transit and for specimens forming part of personal and household effects or destined for scientific institutions.

Provisions relating to the control of commercial activities

The purchase of or trade in specimens of species in Annex A is prohibited.

Member States may also prohibit the holding of specimens of species in Annex A.

Movement of live specimens

The movement within the Community of live specimens of a species listed in Annex A is subject to prior authorisation from a management authority of the Member State in which the specimen is located.

The movement within the Community of live specimens of a species listed in Annex B is subject to compliance by the recipient with rules on animal protection (adequate housing and care).

The Commission may at any time impose restrictions on the holding or movement of live specimens of species in respect of which restrictions on introduction into the Community have been established.

Places of introduction and export

Member States must:

  • designate customs offices for carrying out the checks and formalities for the species covered by the Regulation. A list of these offices is published in the Official Journal of the European Union;
  • designate the management authorities and the scientific authorities responsible for implementation of the Regulation. A list of such authorities is published in the Official Journal of the European Union;
  • monitor compliance with the provisions of the Regulation and penalise infringements.

Communication of information

The Regulation introduces a system for the exchange of information between the various authorities concerned with the implementation of the Regulation: the Member States, the Commission, the CITES Secretariat, etc.

The Member States draw up annual reports detailing the volume of trade in specimens covered by the Regulation. Every two years, they draw up detailed reports on the implementation and application of the Regulation.

Background

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed in Washington on 3 March 1973 and entered into force on 1 January 1975. It currently has 175 parties.

The CITES text was amended in 1983 to allow regional economic integration organisations such as the European Community to become parties to the Convention (Gaborone amendment). However, not enough parties have ratified the amendment for it to enter into force. Accordingly, the Community position at CITES conferences is represented by the EU Member States acting jointly from a position established by the Council.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 338/97

1.3.1997

OJ L 61 of 3.3.1997

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1497/2003

30.8.2003

OJ L 215 of 27.8.2003

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 834/2004

19.5.2004

OJ L 127 of 29.4.2004

Regulation (EC) No 1332/2005

22.8.2005

OJ L 215 of 19.8.2005

Regulation (EC) No 398/2009

10.6.2009

OJ L 126 of 21.5.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 338/97 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

AMENDMENTS TO THE ANNEXES

Annex I – List of endangered species
Regulation (EC) No 318/2008 [Official Journal L 95 of 8.4.2008];
Regulation (EC) No 407/2009 [Official Journal L 123 of 19.5.2009];
Regulation (EU) No 709/2010 [Official Journal L 212 of 12.8.2010].

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 997/2010 of 5 November 2010 suspending the introduction into the Union of specimens of certain species of wild fauna and flora [Official Journal L290 of 6.11.2010].

Implementing measures

Commission Recommendation 2007/425/EC of 13 June 2007 identifying a set of actions for the enforcement of Council Regulation No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein [Official Journal L 159 of 20.6.2007].
Member States should take a certain number of measures, including the adoption of national action plans for coordinating the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 338/97, the preparation of dissuasive penalties in cases of infringement of this Regulation, the appropriate provision of agencies responsible for the enforcement of the Regulation in terms of human and financial resources and training, the provision of adequate information to the public, regular checks of traders and holders of flora and fauna such as pet shops, breeders and nurseries, the appointing of national focal points for the exchange of information and intelligence, support for management and control capacity-building programmes in third countries as well as inter-departmental cooperation and exchange of information between Member States and with the appropriate management authorities (such as those of CITES, Interpol and the World Customs Organization).

Commission Regulation (EC) No 865/2006 of 4 May 2006 laying down detailed rules concerning the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 on the protection of species of wild fauna and flora by regulating trade therein [Official Journal L 166 of 19.6.2006].
The forms on which import permits, export permits and re-export certificates are drawn up must conform to the model in Annex I to this Regulation. The forms on which import notifications are drawn up must conform to the model in Annex II. Those on which certificates for travelling exhibitions are drawn up must conform to the model in Annex III. The forms on which continuation sheets for personal ownership certificates are drawn up must conform to the model set out in Annex IV. The forms provided for in Articles 5, 8 and 9 must conform to the models set out in Annex V. A model for labels is given in Annex VI. The codes to be included in the description of the specimens and the units of measurement to be used are listed in Annex VII. Annex VIII gives a list of references which can be used to indicate the scientific names of species. The purpose of a transaction and the source of species must be indicated using the codes in Annex IX. In addition, the Regulation lays down provisions on the issue, use and validity of the documents. It also introduces specific provisions on specimens born and bred in captivity or artificially propagated as well as for samples.
See consolidated version