Energy Community initiates 5 new dispute settlement cases on the lack of transposition of the Directive on the sulphur content of liquid fuels

, SEE Energy News

The Energy Community Secretariat, acting under Article 90 of the Treaty, through Opening Letters notes that Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine have not yet transposed and implemented the requirements of Directive 1999/32/EC. The deadline for the implementation expired at the end of 2011.

Directive 1999/32/EC relating to a reduction in the sulphur content of certain liquid fuels aims to reduce emissions of SO2, a substance harmful to human health and the environment, resulting from combustion of heavy fuel oils and gas oils. The Directive sets maximum thresholds for the sulphur content in these fuels of 1 % and 0,1% respectively, and requires frequent sampling and analysis in each Contracting Parties. The Secretariat considers its transposition and application in the Contracting Parties a priority and a token for the Treaty’s commitment to improving the environmental situation in the Energy Community.

In its implementation reports, the Secretariat repeatedly underlined that a number of Contracting Parties need to take substantial steps in order to transpose and implement Directive 1999/32/EC. With the present Opening Letters the Secretariat initiated preliminary procedures in accordance with Article 12 of the Rules of Procedure for Dispute Settlement. The purpose of this initial step in the procedure is to give the aforementioned Contracting Parties the possibility to react to the allegation of non-compliance with Energy Community law, and enabling the Secretariat to establish the full factual and legal background of the case. The Contracting Parties have been given the possibility until 12 April 2013 to comply of their own accord with the requirements of the Treaty, or to justify their position.

According to Articles 6 and 16 of the Rules of Procedure for Dispute Settlement, interested parties may be granted access to the case file and may submit written observations on the present case to the Secretariat within one month from 11 February 2013.