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Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC

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Presentation on theme: "Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC"— Presentation transcript:

1 Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC
European Commission Enterprise and Industry Directorate General Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC Peter Bischoff-Everding - DG Enterprise and Industry May 2006

2 Today’s Presentation Directive 98/34/EC & Internal Market
Objectives of Directive 98/34/EC Scope of Directive 98/34/EC Notification process Reactions Exceptions Lack of Notification - Relevant ECJ Cases Notification 2005/525/F: processing aids Results of the Procedure WTO/TBT Notification Procedure

3 Directive 98/34/EC & Internal Market
Free movement of goods = fundamental freedom After „Cassis de Dijon“ judgment of the ECJ Mutual recognition (Article 28 EC Treaty) Harmonisation in important sectors (protection of health, safety and environment) Preventive control mechanisms (e.g. Directive 83/189/EEC, replaced by 98/34/EC)

4 A system of notification of technical regulations at a draft stage
What is Directive 98/34/EC? A system of notification of technical regulations at a draft stage applying standstill periods during which the Commission and all Member States can react in a specific form.

5 Objectives of Directive 98/34/EC
Transparency All participants in the notification process are informed Prevention Avoiding barriers to trade before they appear Subsidiarity Detecting those areas where Community intervention appears most appropriate Smooth functioning of the Internal Market ‘Better Regulation’ - greater competitiveness for enterprises

6 Scope of Application of Directive 98/34/EC (1)
The Directive applies to all industrial and agricultural products Directive 98/48/EC extended the notification procedure to Information Society services (Possible extension to other services) Geographical scope: 25 MS, EFTA, Turkey

7 Scope of Application of Directive 98/34/EC (2)
Factors triggering a notification: a) must contain technical regulations b) must fall outside the “harmonised” area c) measures must be imputable to the state

8 Scope of Application of Directive 98/34/EC (3)
Technical regulations: Other requirements Technical specifications affecting the life cycle after placing on the market such as conditions of use, recycling, reuse or disposal characteristics of a product: levels of quality, performance, safety dimensions terminology, symbols, labelling, packaging testing, testing methods conformity assessment procedures production methods/processes Rules on I.S. services at a distance by electronic means at the individual request of a recipient of services

9 Mandatory character of technical regulations
‘De iure’ mandatory: formal and binding act which is directly attributable to public authority ‘De facto’ technical regulations Voluntary agreements Reference to tech. spec. (e.g. professional codes/codes of practice) conferring presumption of conformity Fiscal or financial measures affecting the consumption of products or services

10 Moment of Notification
When to notify a text: when a text is still at a draft stage when substantial amendments can still be made in any case before its adoption

11 Notification Process (1)
Member State notifies Commission opens 3 month standstill period Comments Detailed opinion Blocking MS + COM MS + COM only COM

12 Notification Process (2)
Comments Detailed opinion Blocking Total standstill period 3 months Total standstill period 6 months Total standstill period 12 months 4 months for vol. agree. and I.S. services Taking into account + obligation to answer Taking into account Extension to 18 months poss. Transmission of final text Reference to notification procedure

13 Request for Urgency Article 9.7
No standstill period if a Member State invokes serious and unforeseeable circumstances relating to: protection of public health or safety, protection of animals and plants for rules on services, also to public policy, notably the protection of minors

14 Exceptions Main exceptions to notification:
complying with binding Community acts; fulfilment of obligations under an international agreement; implementation of an ECJ judgment; amendment of a technical regulation in accordance with a Commission request; making use of safeguard clauses; and technical specifications linked to national social security systems.

15 Absence of Notification (1)
ECJ judgments regarding the procedure CIA Security (C-194/94) Inapplicability of non-notified technical regulations Unilever (C-443/98) Inapplicability of technical regulations adopted during standstill period Legal basis: Art. 8-9 Directive 98/34/EC are precise and unconditional  direct effect

16 Absence of Notification (2)
Cases on the Directive’s scope of application Unilever (C-443/98) and Canal Satélite Digital (C-390/99) Narrow interpretation of « harmonised » area Lemmens (C-226/97) Rules falling under criminal law need to be notified if they contain technical regulations

17 Notification 2005/525/F: Processing aids
Practical example Notification 2005/525/F: Processing aids (Projet d’arrêté relatif à l’emploi d’auxiliaires technologiques dans la fabrication de certaines denrées alimentaires) notified on (standstill period: ) UK and DK: detailed opinions (extended standstill period: ) ELC and AAC: position papers COM: treatment within pending infringement procedure (comments from industry and UK+DK detailed opinions taken into account)

18 Results of the Procedure (1)
Total Detailed opinions Comments 2003 486 80 (COM) 59 (MS) 165 (COM) 151 (MS) 2004 557 66 (COM) 60 (MS) 229 (COM) 178 (MS) 2005 739 77 (COM) 45 (MS) 263 (COM) 227 (MS)

19 Results of the Procedure (2)
Some statistics for 2005 : 739 notifications made by Member States 61 notifications made by EFTA & Turkey Main sectors: Foodstuffs, agricultural products (130) Transport (102) Telecommunications (99) Building and construction (98) Detailed opinions 77 (COM) 45 (MS) Comments 263 (COM) 227 (MS)

20 Results of the procedure (3)
Directive 98/34/EC is an instrument ensuring: Transparency TRIS internet site Openness alert system, brochure, etc. Participation stakeholders’ comments are welcome Efficiency prevention is better than cure

21 Useful links and contacts
Commission internet site: Mailing list (see internet site) Commission

22 The TBT Notification Procedure
Objectives of the TBT Procedure Scope of Application Procedure: three cases Links with the 98/34 Procedure Statistics Internet Site

23 Objectives of the TBT Procedure
Transparency To inform WTO Members and stakeholders Dialogue To avoid obstacles to trade Harmonization To encourage compliance with international standards Transparency Dialogue Harmonization

24 Scope of Application Technical regulations
Conformity assessment procedures Conditions for the notification: Absence of relevant international standards /guides or non conformity with such standards/ guides Significant effect on trade

25 Community texts Member States’ texts Third country texts Procedure
Commission prepares comments on 3rd country notifications; input from Member States and enterprises

26 Reactions of EC to 3rd country notifications
Statistics Total European Communities Member States Reactions of EC to 3rd country notifications 2003 794 21 55 37 2004 638 30 61 47 2005 673 22 75

27 Useful links and contacts
Commission Internet site (and mailing list): Commission WTO Internet site:

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