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Brussels, 28 October 2010

Free movement of goods: Commission takes Finland to Court over late implementation of explosives Directive

The European Commission has decided to take Finland to the EU Court of Justice for failing to implement into national law Directive 2008/43/EC, which sets up a system for identification and traceability of explosives for civil uses. The Directive, which was due to be implemented into national law by 5 April 2009 and applied by 5 April 2012, will allow explosives to be identified and traced from their production site to the final user.

Directive 2008/43/EC requires Member States to set up a system for the identification and traceability of explosives for civil uses. They have until 5 April 2012 to apply the national provisions to companies and individuals. The Directive harmonizes the safety requirements for civil explosives at a high level of protection and, by creating an administrative system for identifying and tracing civil explosives during transfers within the EU, protect the general public from potential illicit uses of explosives by criminals or terrorists.

The three year delay between the date the Directive is due to be implemented in national law and the date of application is because the explosives industry needs sufficient time to undertake the necessary preparation to set up the identification and labelling system foreseen. It is therefore of great importance that Member States implement the Directive into national law in sufficient time before the date of entry into force of the Directive.

Finland has informed the Commission that the Directive has only been partly transposed into national law so far. Notably, implementing legislation is still outstanding for continental Finland and also for the province of Åland.

For more information on the explosives Directive see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/10/530

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