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

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Presentation on theme: "European Commission Functioning of Directive 98/34/EC Peter Bischoff-Everding - DG Enterprise and Industry May 2006 Enterprise and Industry Directorate."— Presentation transcript:


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

3 Todays Presentation 1.Directive 98/34/EC & Internal Market 2.Objectives of Directive 98/34/EC 3.Scope of Directive 98/34/EC 4.Notification process 5.Reactions 6.Exceptions 7.Lack of Notification - Relevant ECJ Cases 8.Notification 2005/525/F: processing aids 9.Results of the Procedure 10.WTO/TBT Notification Procedure

4 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)

5 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.

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

7 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

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

9 Scope of Application of Directive 98/34/EC (3) Technical regulations: 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 Technical specifications Other requirements Rules on I.S. services at a distance by electronic means at the individual request of a recipient of services

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

11 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

12 Notification Process (1) Member State notifies Commission opens 3 month standstill period CommentsDetailed opinionBlocking MS + COM only COM

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

14 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

15 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.

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

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

18 Practical example Notification 2005/525/F: Processing aids (Projet darrêté relatif à lemploi dauxiliaires 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)

19 Results of the Procedure (1) Total Detailed opinions Comments (COM) 59 (MS) 165 (COM) 151 (MS) (COM) 60 (MS) 229 (COM) 178 (MS) (COM) 45 (MS) 263 (COM) 227 (MS)

20 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 opinions77 (COM)45 (MS) Comments263 (COM)227 (MS)

21 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

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

23 The TBT Notification Procedure 1.Objectives of the TBT Procedure 2.Scope of Application 3.Procedure: three cases 4.Links with the 98/34 Procedure 5.Statistics 6.Internet Site

24 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 Harmonization Dialogue Transparency

25 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

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

27 Statistics Total European Communities Member States Reactions of EC to 3 rd country notifications

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

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