Brussels, 3 June 2010
Transport: Commission questions Italy, Poland and Germany over implementation of technical standards and safety provisions on EU inland waterways
The European Commission has today sent reasoned opinions to Italy, Poland and Germany for failing to notify measures for the implementation of EU legislation ensuring technical harmonisation and safety on EU inland waterways. Directives 2008/126/EC and 2009/46/EC lay down technical standards for inland waterway vessels required for a Community certificate which is valid on all waterways within the European Union, including the Rhine. Italy, Poland and Germany have two months to comply with the request.
The EU rules
Directives 2008/126/EC1 and 2009/46/EC2 lay down technical standards for inland waterway vessels. Compliance with these standards is required for obtaining a Community certificate, authorising vessels from EU Member States to operate on all waterways within the European Union, including the Rhine. They are necessary to guarantee the same level of safety throughout the EU as well as the proper functioning of the internal market for inland waterway transport.
Member States were required to implement the directives by 30 June 2009, after which they had to inform the Commission of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions enacted at a national level in order to comply with the European rules.
The reason for formal request ("reasoned opinion")
Italy has not yet communicated to the European Commission any national measures to transpose the directives. Poland and Germany have communicated only partial transposition measures.
The practical effect of non-transposition
Failure to transpose the EU directives means a potential risk that important provisions do not fully comply with EU safety standards. Besides, the proper functioning of the internal market for internal waterway transport could be hampered.
Commission Directive 2008/126/EC of 19 December 2008 amending Directive 2006/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels (OJ L 32, 31.1.2009, p. 1)
Commission Directive 2009/46/EC of 24 April 2009 amending Directive 2006/87/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down technical requirements for inland waterway vessels (OJ L 109, 30.4.2009, p. 14)