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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 March 2013

Land transport of dangerous goods: Commission refers Belgium to Court for failing to update national legislation

The European Commission has decided today to take Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union over the failure to adopt national legislation on the inland transport of dangerous goods.

Directive 2008/68/EC on the inland transport of dangerous goods guarantees the safe transport of dangerous goods (such as explosives, flammable liquids and toxic substances) by road, rail and inland waterways. It is harmonised with the relevant international agreements and provides for uniform and safe conditions for all land transport of dangerous goods in the EU. The rules are amended every two years to take into account scientific and technical progress causing changes to the international agreements. The rules for the years 2011 – 2013 were brought into application by Directive 2010/61/EU.

The Commission has decided to refer Belgium to the Court of Justice as it has not fully transposed in their national law this Directive, which should have taken place by 30 June 2011. This follows the formal request (reasoned opinion) that the Commission sent to Belgium in June 2012.

Lack of compliance with the common norms and standards when transporting dangerous goods can compromise safety and it implies a risk for citizens and the environment. Furthermore, to establish a fair and functioning internal market for the transport of dangerous goods, the rules need to be harmonised in Member States.

More information

On the March infringement package decisions, see MEMO/13/261

On the general infringement procedure, see MEMO/12/12

For more information on infringement procedures:

Contacts :

Helen Kearns (+32 2 298 76 38)

Dale Kidd (+32 2 295 74 61)

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