The EU has become increasingly dependent on energy imports from countries outside the EU. In order to secure energy supplies and a well-functioning, transparent internal market the European Commission (EC) monitors imports of hard coal from non-EU countries. It also publishes an annual report on the solid fuels market in the EU.
The monitoring system is regulated by Council Regulation (EC) No 405/2003. It continues the Decision on coal import monitoring introduced under the ECSC Treaty, which expired on 23 July 2002.
Within the EU monitoring system for coal imports, Member States are required to provide information on their hard coal imports. Twice a year, the EC publishes information on the average price in the EU of hard coal imports intended for the production of coke for blast furnaces (excluding duties and taxes) and electricity or combined heat and power (excluding duties and taxes).