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European Commission - Press release

Transport: Commission requests Austria and Portugal to take action regarding transport of dangerous goods

Brussels, 22 March 2012 - European Commission has today asked Austria and Portugal to adopt national legislation on the inland transport of dangerous goods in accordance with their obligations under European Union law. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion under EU infringement procedures. If Austria or Portugal fail to inform the Commission within two months of measures taken to ensure full compliance with the Directive, the Commission could refer the cases to the EU Court of Justice.

The EU rules

Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods sets out the rules for the safe transport of dangerous goods by road, rail and inland waterways. The rules are updated every two years to keep them in line with the latest scientific and technical progress and to maintain coherence with the relevant international regulations. Commission Directive 2010/61/EU adapts the technical provisions on the inland transport of dangerous goods to take into account the changes entered into force in 2011.

The reason for today's action

Austria and Portugal were required to fully transpose the directive into national law by 30 June 2011 but they have not yet done so.

The practical effect of non-implementation

Not respecting common norms and standards when transporting dangerous goods could compromise safety and, as a result, put citizens and the environment at risk. Furthermore, the rules must be the same in all Member States to ensure the internal market for the transport of dangerous goods functions fairly.

More information on infringement procedures: MEMO/12/200

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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