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Brussels, 22 February 2008

New European Commission proposals for fast track administrative burden reductions

Simplifying the statistical reporting duties of Small- and Medium- Sized Enterprises (SMEs), reducing paperwork for micro enterprises or facilitating the market introduction of new radio and telecommunication equipment. These are some examples of new possible Fast Track Actions (FTA) to reduce quickly administrative burdens. . These possible actions will be presented by the Commission to the European Council in March 2008. The ambitious Action Programme in the EU to cut administrative burdens by 25% in 2012 was presented by the Commission in January 2007 including ten Fast Track Actions to produce concrete results in the short term. Five of them have already been adopted and the rest are awaiting adoption in the coming months. 500 million EUR is the estimated savings for companies achieved under the first five proposals adopted in 2007 (see MEMO/08/63).

Among the new proposals for quickly simplifying legislation hampering the success of businesses are:

  • Fewer translations when opening branches in other Member States: the need to have translations certified by several Member States will no longer be required when the same language is practiced. The proposal contributes to lowering the cost of establishing new branches of companies and thereby gives a very concrete positive signal to European businesses.
  • The requirement for companies to explain in the accounts formation expenses and to break down the net turnover into categories of activity and geographical markets are clearly abundant for SMEs and should therefore be abolished for them.
  • Facilitating the market introduction of new radio and telecommunication equipment: Producers should notify new products for all Member States only once. This would reduce costs caused by different rules in the Member States.
  • Reduce paperwork for companies placing medicines on the EU market. Different rules in the Member States mobilise more than 60% of the human resources and financial costs of companies’ regulatory departments. This simplification will make it easier to change rules for packaging or the production process without jeopardizing patient’s safety, but paper work of enterprises arising from different rules will be reduced.
  • Reducing the statistical reporting duties of SMEs (Intrastat): The Commission intends to further reduce the number of companies which have to report on intra-community trade.
  • Differences in definitions for “volatile organic compounds” create some confusion and complicate compliance for no obvious reason. Aligning different definitions of the same subject will reduce paper work of stakeholders.
  • Reducing the paperwork for operators reprocessing agricultural starch products.

The proposals have been shared with the High Level Group (HLG) on Administrative Burden Reduction, chaired by Mr. Edmund Stoiber, in January and will be formally tabled after have received the opinion of the HLG. A major set of cost reduction proposals in the field of Community Law will follow in 2008.

Full list of proposals

Legislation concerned
Short descritption of the envisaged measure
Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1722/93 of 30 June 1993 laying down detailed rules for the application of Council Regulations (EEC) No 1766/92 and (EEC) No 1418/76 concerning production refunds in the cereals and rice sectors respectively
Simplification of control procedures on modified starches by increasing the threshold below which these procedures do not apply.
Directive 97/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1997 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to measures against the emission of gaseous and particulate pollutants from internal combustion engines to be installed in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM)
Remove the adminstrative burdens arising from the notification requirements under the flexibility scheme and falling on Member States' approval authorities and manufacturers
Directive 1999/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 1999 on radio equipment and telecommunications terminal equipment and the mutual recognition of their conformity
Reduce the administrative burden for manufacturers arising from the need to notify to Member States the intention to place radiocommunications equipment on the market
Pharmaceutical legislation:
- Directive 2001/82/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to veterinary medicinal products
- Directive 2001/83/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 November 2001 on the Community code relating to medicinal products for human use
Review the legal bases of the Variations Regulations in order to bring full harmonisation of the variations rules within the EU. This will allow to make the regulatory framework governing changes to medicinal products (e.g. change in the packaging, in the address of the manufacturer, ...) clearer, simpler and more flexible.
Commission Decision 2002/739/EC of 3 September 2002 establishing revised ecological criteria for the award of the Community eco-label to indoor paints and varnishes and amending Decision 1999/10/EC.
The definition of a volatile organic compound (VOC) varies unnecessarily between legislative instruments. It is generally not helpful to have differently worded definitions where they cover the same enterprises/activities. The VOC definitions will be harmonised
Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 September 2006 on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators and repealing Directive 91/157/EEC
Clarify Article 6(2) of the battery Directive. This provision sets out that batteries that do not fulfil the requirements of the Directive must not be placed on the market after 26 September 2008 or they need to be withdrawn from it. This can be understood to entail that batteries, that were lawfully placed on the market before 26 September 2008, still on the market after this date, and do not meet the requirements of the Directive, also need to be withdrawn from the market.
Regulation (EC) No 638/2004 of the EP and of the Council on Community statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States
Simplification of Intrastat with a view to alleviate the statistical reporting of economic operators, in particular SMEs
Council Directive 97/70/EC of 11 December 1997 setting up a harmonized safety regime for fishing vessels of 24 meters in length and over
Surveys regarding the structure including the outside of the hull shall be carried out with intervals of four years. This requirement is in contradiction to the rules adopted by the recognised organisations mentioned in Article 5 of the Directive which foresee that surveys are carried out every five years. This difference in intervals represents an unnecessary burden and intervals for surveys will be harmonised
First Council Directive 68/151/EEC of 9 March 1968 on co-ordination of safeguards which, for the protection of the interests of members and others, are required by Member States of companies within the meaning of the second paragraph of Article 58 of the Treaty, with a view to making such safeguards equivalent throughout the Community
Eliminate the costs of publishing, in the national gazette, information that has already been disclosed in the commercial register.
Eleventh Council Directive 89/666/EEC of 21 December 1989 concerning disclosure requirements in respect of branches opened in a Member State by certain types of company governed by the law of another State
Member States should not require the translation and the certification of the translation to be made in their respective country.
Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978 based on Article 54 (3) (g) of the Treaty on the annual accounts of certain types of companies
Granting small-size accounting regime to medium-size unlimited liability companies
Fourth Council Directive 78/660/EEC of 25 July 1978 based on Article 54 (3) (g) of the Treaty on the annual accounts of certain types of companies
Elimination of certain disclosure requirements from the Directive.
Seventh Council Directive 83/349/EEC of 13 June 1983 based on the Article 54 (3) (g) of the Treaty on consolidated accounts
Clarification of the relationship between the IAS Regulation 1606/2002 and the Seventh Directive.

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