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Brussels, 30 April 2004

EU improves controls on the transfer of explosives

The Commission has just adopted improved controls on the transfer of explosives between Member States. The controls are contained in a Commission Decision harmonising the information required, and procedures to be followed, when a company is seeking to move explosives between Member States. It should make it easier to trace explosives and to check that their movement has been approved by national authorities.

In welcoming the adoption of the Decision, Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen commented: "This Decision helps to complete and strengthen the framework for moving explosives around the Union. It is a welcome development after several years of discussion and will improve the safety and security of our citizens."

EU legislation in this area dates back to 1993(1). The Directive lays down the essential safety requirements for explosives in the EU and sets out how the movement of explosives between Member States should be supervised. However up to now, there was no single document that set out all the information required for such transfers and which could act as proof that a particular transfer had been authorised by the authorities of a Member State. That document has now been adopted. The amount of information required depends on the security risk involved. The document also includes details of the companies or organisations involved, the type of explosives, an itinerary for the transfer and authorisations by all Member States over whose territory the explosives will move. Thanks to this measure, it should be easier to trace explosives as they move from the manufacturer to the user.

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(1) Council Directive 93/15/EEC on the harmonisation of the provisions relating to the placing on the market and supervision of explosives for civil uses OJ L121, 15.5.1993, p. 20.

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