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Czech Republic

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1) REFERENCES

Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2009 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(98) 708 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(1999) 503 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2000) 703 final - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1746 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1402 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1200 - Not published in the Official Journal]
Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]

2) SUMMARY

In its Opinion of July 1997, the Commission considered that the Czech Republic had made significant progress in taking on the acquis related to the free movement of goods and noted that it had already taken on the most important directives. Implementation of the provisions of the Europe Agreement and the White Paper was generally good. However, the Commission called on the Czech Republic to monitor developments with regard to legislation and inspection structures for industrial product safety.

The November 1998 Report noted that substantial progress had been made in this field, including in standardisation and certification.

The October 1999 Report notes that progress is continuing to be made in this field.

The November 2000 Report noted steady progress in the field of the free movement of goods and the customs union.

The November 2001 Report observed steady progress in the field of the free movement of goods but no progress on the customs union.

In its October 2002 Report, the Commission notes that significant progress has been made.

In its November 2003 Report, the Commission notes that the Czech Republic is essentially meeting the requirements for membership.
The Treaty of Accession was signed on 16 April 2003 and accession took place on 1 May 2004.

COMMUNITY ACQUIS

Free movement of goods can only be achieved by removing measures which restrict trade - not only customs duties and quantitative restrictions but all measures with equivalent, i.e. protectionist, effect.

Where technical standards are not harmonised, the principle of mutual recognition of national rules applies (in line with the Cassis de Dijon judgment).

For the purpose of harmonisation, the European Community has developed the " New Approach ". Instead of imposing technical solutions, European Community legislation is limited to establishing the essential requirements which products must meet.

EVALUATION

The alignment of legislation is well advanced, in particular the "New Approach" directives on machinery, simple pressure apparatus, pressure equipment, construction materials, medical equipment and lifts. In the sectors covered by product-specific legislation, progress has been made in areas such as foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, chemicals and textiles.

However, full transposition of all New Approach directives depends on the entry into force of the Framework Act which in some cases will be amended by the new Act on Public Health Protection. The planned amendment to the 1997 Framework Act on technical requirements for products and conformity assessment has still to be adopted by parliament. In April 2000, an amendment to the law on technical requirements for products entered into force. It relates to essential requirements and conformity assessment procedures and will permit the full implementation of the principles of the New Approach.

As regards public procurement, the new law amending the 1994 Act by including in its scope the public utilities sector (water, energy, transport and communications) came into force on 1 June 2000. In the 2002 report, the Commission notes that the transposition of the acquis on public procurement has been delayed and must be addressed before accession. The 2003 report notes that the alignment needs to be finalised to ensure equal access for Community companies through abolition of the national preference clause.

The framework legislation on horizontal and procedural measures is more or less in place. In May 2002, an amendment was made to the law on technical requirements for products, some elements of which enter into force on accession.

Efforts are also needed in product liability and safety (see Consumers).

In January 1999, approximately 90% of European standards had been adopted. The transposition of legislation on medical equipment was carried out with the adoption of government orders laying down technical requirements for such apparatus and devices destined for implantation in the human body. A new decree on foodstuffs transposing EC directives on processing aids and additives has been adopted. Considerable progress has been achieved in the chemicals field with the new Framework Act on chemical substances and preparations, supplemented by the adoption of thirteen implementing decrees covering a significant part of Community legislation in this area. The three new decrees on textiles adopted to implement the 1992 Act on Consumer Protection cover all EC directives in this field. The law on product safety, which entered into force in July 2001, has further aligned Czech legislation with the acquis. The 2002 report states that 99% of all harmonised Community standards are already implemented.

The Czech Republic has also strengthened the administrative structures in this area. In January 1999, the Czech Office for Standards, Metrology and Testing set up a centre for the translation of EC regulations. A registration centre for chemical substances placed on the Czech market has been in operation at the Ministry of Health since June 1999. A national authority for monitoring compliance with good laboratory practice with regard to chemical substances has been in operation since January 1999. The 2001 report considered that the bodies charged with standardisation and certification continued to function well. A June 2002 resolution makes provision for administrative structures overseeing the free movement of goods between Member States and the introduction of mutual recognition clauses in new and amended technical legislation.

The 2003 report observes that framework legislation for the horizontal and procedural measures necessary for the administration of the acquis in the new approach sector is in place, as are the implementing structures in the fields of standardisation, metrology, accreditation, conformity assessment and market surveillance.

Negotiations on this chapter have been closed. No transitional arrangements have been requested in this area.

The Czech Republic has reached a very high level of legislative alignment with the acquis relating to the customs union. In 2001, it took several initiatives to strengthen administrative and operational capacity to implement the acquis. As regards alignment with the customs acquis, an amendment to the Customs Code was adopted in November 2001 and, together with its implementing provisions, entered into force in July 2002.
The 2003 report points out that the Czech Republic should strengthen the customs services' capacity to combat fraud, piracy, counterfeiting and economic crime. In conclusion, the country is essentially meeting the commitments and requirements arising from the accession negotiations in the area of customs union and is expected to be in a position to implement the acquis from accession with the necessary administrative and operational capacities

Negotiations on this chapter have been closed. The Czech Republic has not requested any transitional arrangements.

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Last updated: 23.02.2004
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