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Brussels, 28th November 2007

Safety assessment of third-country aircraft using Community airports: Commission takes Poland to the Court

Today, the European Commission has decided to take legal action against Poland for not having transposed properly the Directive on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports. The Commission has thus launched the third stage of an infringement procedure by lodging a formal complaint before the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

The Commission sent a reasoned opinion to Poland on 27 June 2007 for its failure to notify the measures implementing Directive 2004/36 EC[1] into national law. On 16 August 2007, Poland finally communicated to the Commission the relevant measures. Nonetheless, after reviewing these implementing measures, the Commission is of the opinion that they do not transpose correctly the Directive into Polish law.

In order to guarantee a high and uniform level of safety in European civil aviation, this Directive harmonises the rules and procedures for ramp inspections of third-country aircraft landing at airports located in the Member States. It foresees possible measures to be taken by a Member State against aircraft and/or their operators which may result to be unsafe following such inspections. The Directive also provides for harmonised rules on the collection, exchange, protection and dissemination of information gathered from such inspections.

The referral of the infringement case before the Court of Justice may lead to declare that a Member State has failed to fulfil an obligation under the EC Treaty and, if the infringement persists, to condemn the Member State concerned to pay a lump sum or penalty payment.

[1] Directive 2004/36/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the safety of third-country aircraft using Community airports. OJ nº L 143, of 30.04.2004, p. 46.

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