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Answer to Parliamentary Question: expiry dates for the use of lead

Publication date: 25 May 2009

ORAL QUESTION H-0252/09 by Holger Krahmer to the Commission

Subject: Expiry dates for the use of lead in Annex II (Decision 2008/689/EC) to the ELV Directive 2000/53/EC

The expiry dates recently set in the revision of Annex II (Decision 2008/689/EC[1]) to the ELV Directive 2000/53/EC[2] (end of 2010 for new vehicle types) for the use of lead in the few remaining applications will jeopardise the introduction of environmental and safety vehicle applications where technical alternatives for lead are not available. Prolonged expiry dates are necessary.

How does the Commission guarantee that the current revision will provide a swift positive decision to give legal and planning certainty to the car industry at the earliest possible date?

How, in this context, does the Commission plan to take into account the recommendations made by the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission itself, in light of the difficult economic situation of the automotive industry, notably to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens, to avoid creating new economic burdens, to weigh up costs and benefits, and to consider the main CARS 21 principles by assessing cumulative costs of regulation, and providing predictability and legal certainty?

Reply to oral question H-0252/09 by Mr Krahmer May 2009

The Commission is regularly reviewing the list of exemptions from the "heavy metal ban" contained in Annex II to the ELV Directive 2000/53/EC[3]. At the moment, the Commission is running a study preparing grounds for the 5th adaptation of this Annex to technical and scientific progress. This study focuses specifically on the two exemptions mentioned by the Honourable Member. The first public consultation on this subject was carried out between 26 January and 9 March 2009 (see: Once all the submitted technical and scientific data are verified by the Commission's consultant, a draft Commission decision amending Annex II will be prepared. This draft will undergo a consultation with all Commission Services and with the Member States who will vote on it. In the case of a successful vote, the draft will be subject to a three-month parliamentary scrutiny. After the latter, provided the result is positive, the measure will be adopted. The Commission is aiming at the adoption of this decision by the end of year 2009.

The process of reviewing Annex II does not create new economic burdens as it has been in place since the adoption of the Directive and the industry has always been aware that any of the exemptions may undergo a review process. The Commission services make all possible efforts to ensure the predictability and legal certainty for the industry, within the context of the rules and procedures which need to be applied during any revision process of Community legislation. The Commission is in regular contacts with the industry on this issue and endeavours to provide accurate information about the status of the revision of Annex II at each of its steps.

[1]   OJ L 225, 23.8.2008, p. 10.

[2]   OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, p. 34.

[3]   OJ L 269, 21.10.2000, p. 34.

Source: European Parliament

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