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Guide to the Approximation of European Union Environmental Legislation

Part 1

Introduction to the Approximation of Environmental Legislation


1.1 What is approximation?

The approximation of law is a unique obligation of membership in the European Union. It means that countries aspiring to join the European Union must align their national laws, rules and procedures in order to give effect to the entire body of EU law contained in the acquis communautaire(2).

As the obligation to approximate continues after accession, the pre-accession approximation process becomes an opportunity for countries to organise their institutions and procedures and to train their staff for the daily processes and responsibilities of European Union law making, implementation and enforcement.(3)

There are three key elements:

First, to adopt or change national laws, rules, and procedures so that the requirements of the relevant EU law are fully incorporated into the national legal order. This process is known as Transposition. Although countries have considerable discretion in choosing the most appropriate national mechanism to reflect Union environmental obligations, this discretion is limited in some respects by general principles of Union law. In most cases it will be necessary to adopt national legislation passed by Parliament or in some countries by Presidential or Governmental Decree. Section 4 'Principles of Transposition' gives further guidance.

Second, to provide the institutions and budgets necessary to carry out the laws and regulations (known as the 'Implementation' or 'Practical Application' of the directive -See Annex 4 for full definitions).

Third, to provide the necessary controls and penalties to ensure that the law is being complied with fully and properly (Enforcement).

1.2 What is the scope of environmental approximation?

Following the principles laid down in Agenda 2000(3), each applicant country will eventually have to adopt the entire acquis communautaire into its national legal order and to adapt its administrative system accordingly.

In broad terms, EU environmental legislation covers:

Products: for example, control of noise from construction equipment, control of emissions from motor vehicles, control of hazardous chemicals in some consumer products, waste movements, control of hazardous chemicals and preparation in general, and trade in endangered species. Many of these requirements are covered in the White Paper (See Preface).

Activities or production processes which can have environmental or health impacts: construction, operation of industrial plants, waste disposal, nature protection

Environmental quality protection: for example controlling dangerous substances in air, water or soil, land development; nature and resource conservation; and biodiversity

Procedures and procedural rights such as impact assessment, access to information and public consultation.

1.3 What is the deadline for approximation?

Subject to any prior negotiated agreements contained in the Act of Accession (7), the national laws, regulations and administrative procedures which are needed to give effect to the existing body of EU law must be adopted by the date of accession. The legislation also may contain other deadlines for action by the Member States, such as the preparation of pollution control plans, the designation of protected or 'sensitive' areas, and compliance with emission limits or environmental quality standards.


2.1 What is required by the EU legislation?

The vast majority of EU environment legislation is in the form of Directives, and these are the focus of this Guide. Different, and normally less complex actions are required for Regulations and Decisions because these do not need incorporation into national law.

The first step in the process of approximation is the analysis and comparison of EU and existing national environmental legislation to determine the existing state of conformity and the appropriate national response to the EU legislation. (8)

This initial evaluation has two steps:

Step 1. Is there national legislation covering this subject matter?

Step 2. Where there is national legislation, each article of the EU law must be compared to the relevant national law(s) and regulations.

The national legislation may:

respond entirely to EU obligations in which case the evaluation is more a check of conformity(9);

correspond in part to EU obligations, in which case the evaluation will need to consider gaps which may remain and the possible ways of dealing with them;

appear to be in conflict with EU legislation, in which case the evaluation should include a review of options for the modification of relevant national legislation (whether to adapt existing laws or to replace them, for example); here again all parts of the relevant national law need to be considered.

When beginning the process of approximation, Member States often compare their national laws, institutions and procedures with the requirements of a directive in tabular form, with each article or requirement of the national legislation set out in comparison to the reference of the relevant article of the directive. This can later be used as a guide to the texts the Member States must provide to the Commission demonstrating that they have approximated the EU directive in full. An example of such a table of concordance is given in Annex 4. A similar implementation table might be prepared containing the most important steps to approximation described below and summarised on pages 12-13 – these can be checked off when they have been accomplished.

National administrative instructions, circulars, and some types of ministerial order or decree which correspond to EU environmental legislation but which are not binding pose a particular problem. They are not normally considered sufficient for transposition, and must be converted into more formal legal measures.

For example, one Member State had incorporated the directive 80/778/EEC on the quality of drinking water into its law by means of an administrative circular. The Court of Justice said that it must adopt legislation which transposed the directive's maximum admissible concentration limits for pollutants into national law.

2.2 Choice and Content of National Measures

The Ministry with primary responsibility for environmental approximation must consider the individual EU laws to determine the extent of discretion they have concerning the scope, form, level and definition of requirements under their national laws and rules.

While EU environmental directives are designed to be implemented in ways which are adjusted to the unique circumstances of each Member State, the ultimate responsibility is on the national government to take binding measures which fully carry out the letter and the spirit of EU environmental law. Where the directive is precise, countries must transpose the precise requirement, for example, as in the definitions used in the directive, minimum quality standards, and permitting requirements. Where the directive allows scope for different national actions, as in the details of the permitting procedures or public consultations, or in the designation of geographical areas to be covered by the directive, then Member States have greater freedom.

Countries have a choice between new laws and administrative measures or the amendment of existing laws and measures. It may decide that a single law should be introduced or modified, or that a series of laws need to be adopted or modified to give effect to a particular directive. Ore a country may also decide to implement several directives through one national law.

These laws may need the involvement of different levels of government and different institutions. The competent Ministry may act alone or in agreement with other involved ministries and institutions such as State Inspectorates and laboratories.

To the greatest possible extent, national legal measures aimed at approximating EU legislation should be integrated with national environmental priorities and principles in a manner which fully reinforces the principles, objectives and requirements of EU law. It may be helpful to look at existing Member State legislation for examples of different types of solutions to approximation issues. However, each Member State takes the actions which it considers appropriate and feasible in its own unique legal, economic and political circumstances.

For example, in Belgium, which is a federal union where powers to regulate the environment are devolved almost entirely to the regional governments, each region implements EU law separately. In France, the transposed EU directives are contained in the Environment Code, which aims at harmonising existing environmental legislation by assembling it in one legislative framework.

The choice of measures may also be governed by the form of the requirement or type of EU legislation. EU regulations, for example apply directly in Member States and may not be transposed into national law. When a directive prohibits an action (the use or the discharge of certain substances such as asbestos or heavy metals in products), it provides fixed requirements. But when a directive fixes limit values (82/884/EEC on limit value for lead in the air) which are precise targets to reach, but leaves the Member States free to decide how to comply, the requirement becomes more flexible.

2.3 The competent authority or authorities

At least one authority at national level must assume overall responsibility for the implementation of the EU law and be the European Union's interlocutor. A national 'competent authority' is also required in federal states even where the bulk of the legislation is adopted and implemented at the level of the regional government. The competent authorities, especially where they have licensing or enforcement powers under environmental directives, should normally be public bodies or agencies of some sort.

Competencies may be divided among several institutions at the same level or at different levels. For example, a Ministry of Public Works may have responsibilities in the implementation of the directive on environmental impact assessment. Local, regional and national authorities may all have competence for issuing environmental permits controlling emissions to air, water or land. Monitoring and enforcement may be partially or wholly delegated to regional or local authorities.

2.4 Institutions, administration and financing

The practical application of the new legislation means that changes may have to be made to institutions, procedures and standards. The responsible ministries and authorities should consider these institutional needs, the financing of administration and enforcement, and investments. Transitional provisions are normally used to bring existing industrial plants or activities gradually within the scope of the new regulatory system, such as the requirements for the provision of waste water treatment which are phased in to 2005.

The costs and benefits of different implementation choices have to be considered. An evaluation of the financing needed for administration and for investment, in order to improve environmental quality should be carried out, and methods need to be identified whereby which the needed financing can be obtained.

2.5 Enforcement

Enforcement is a growing focus of attention in the European Union, both because of the problems of uneven implementation by the Member States and the recognition that compliance problems can arise even in countries which have relatively strict laws and procedures.

Therefore, associated countries should take all necessary measures to improve their monitoring and control mechanisms, for example, by strengthening their inspection systems and by taking administrative and judicial measures, in order to ensure that their environmental legislation is properly implemented and eventually enforced.

2.6 Consulting interested groups and individuals

The responsible Ministry will probably find it useful to consult with interested groups during the process of transposition as well as implementation, both to identify and avoid potential problems as well as to gain support from the groups which are involved in or subject to the national laws and procedures. Possibilities include government departments, local and regional authorities, industry, non-governmental organisations and neighbourhood groups.

2.7 Steps to approximating EU legislation

Many of the steps which Member States routinely follow in the process of approximation are the same for all directives and regulations. These are listed on the following pages, together with some of the more specific issues that need to be decided in the process of aligning national legislation with that of the European Union.

Steps to the Approximation of EU Directives
Step 1. Determine the type of law and its requirements

1. What type: directive, regulation, decision?

2. What are its aims and objectives?

3. What competent authorities are needed?

4. What information must be collected and provided to the Commission?

5. What planning is required?

6. What scientific or technical knowledge is required?

7. What consultation procedures are required?

8. What investments are required?

Step 2. Determine your national choices

1. Which requirements (in the EU legislation) allow choices to be made?

2. Which requirements do not allow choice?

3. National Laws or administrative measures?

4. New or amended legislation?

5. Content of national legal measures?

6. What are the costs and benefits to the economy and to the environment?

7. Which sectors will bear the burden?

8. How should the transition to the new requirements be organised: deadlines, transition periods, implementation programmes, investments & reports

Step 3. Determine how the national law will be implemented and enforced

1. Central, regional or local level implementation? Staff and technical needs?

2. What powers will officials need to have?

3. What co-ordination and consultation amongst regulatory bodies is needed?

4. What is the need for Information, Guidelines, Training?

5. Costs and benefits of different implementation choices?

6. What financing is needed for administration? for investment?

7. How will costs be recovered and financing be obtained?

8. What monitoring is needed?

9. Who will carry out the monitoring? Do they need training, staff, equipment?

10. What penalties should apply? How will they be applied (administrative, judicial)?

Step 4. Decide information and consultation procedures

1. Who should be consulted? Government departments, Local and regional authorities, Industry, NGOs, neighbourhood groups?

2. What form of consultation is needed?

3. At what stage in the process?

4. Other possible roles of organisations outside the national government?

Step 5. Define the Implementation Programme

1. Legislative schedule

2. Preparation of implementing administrative rules, decrees, etc.

3. Budgetary schedule

4. Institutions, staff and resources

5. Training, information materials, meetings with concerned government offices, industry, public, etc. and communication activities

6. Investments

7. Operational expenses

8. Monitoring

9. Information assembly and reporting

10. Enforcement


3.1 The role of the European Community Treaty in the approximation process

The EC Treaty establishes some general principles of environmental policy in Article 130r but these do not have to be expressly transposed into national laws for the purposes of approximation. They help in understanding the goals of EU environmental policy and laws, as well as in interpreting and approximating individual EU legal acts.

1 EU environmental law has to be expressly based on one or more provisions of the Treaty, the most common in the environmental field being Art 100a (Single Market related legislation with environmental dimensions) and Art 130S (purely environmental). For the purposes of approximation, the significance of the legal base of the EU law in question is first of all that it will affect the ability of a country to impose stricter environmental standards than those contained in the EU law in question.

For example, if a directive is adopted on the basis of Article 130S, Member States have more opportunity to adopt stronger national measures than if it is adopted on the basis of Article 100a.

3.2 Directives

Most EU environmental laws are directives. This is a form of law peculiar to the European Union. They are designed to impose obligations on Member States and to be sufficiently flexible to take into account differing legal and administrative traditions. The choice and method of aligning the national legal and administrative system is left to the discretion of the Member State. (See Section 4 below.)

Directives are binding on all Member States but may contain differing requirements which take into account the different environmental and economic conditions in each Member State.

For example, the Large Combustion Plants Directive sets different targets for the reduction of emissions from each Member State, and even allows some which are economically less developed to increase their emissions.

Framework directives set out general principles, procedures, and requirements for legislation in different sectors. So far they have been adopted for the air and waste sectors, and a proposal has been made for the water sector. Other 'daughter' directives in each sector must conform to the general requirements of the framework directive.

Understanding the structure of EU legal texts is vital in developing effective approximation strategies. General guidance on this subject is given in Annex 1.

3.3 Regulations

About 10% of EU environmental laws take the form of regulations. Regulations are directly binding in Member States and supersede any conflicting national laws. Member states may not transpose the provisions of regulations into national law, even if the national law is identical to the regulation.(11)

Regulations therefore largely fall outside the approximation process and come into force in the acceding countries on the date of accession.. Nevertheless, environmental regulations require further national measures for implementation and therefore cannot be wholly ignored before accession.

For example, the types of measures which countries will have to take include the appointment of competent authorities to inspect and control trade in severely restricted chemicals or in endangered species, the publication of guides and notification forms, or the designation of national sanctions for violations of the law.

Table 1. Three forms of binding EU Legislation
Directives Regulations Decisions
1. Enter into force upon the date specified in the directive or on the 20th day after publication in the Official Journal: this obliges Member States to approximate 1. Enter into force upon the date specified in the directive or on the 20th day after publication in the Official Journal 1. Enter into force upon notification to the party to whom they are addressed.
2. are the most frequently used of EU environmental law 2. are used when a unified system is needed: Funds, institutions; EU voluntary schemes such as eco-label; product or trade regulation (endangered species, transport of wastes) 2. are used to specify detailed administrative requirements or update technical aspects of Regulations or Directives
3. Member States must adopt laws, regulations and procedures to give effect to the directive by the date of transposition; this is typically two years after the date of entry into force. 3. Member States must establish institutions and procedures; they should repeal conflicting national provisions 3. focused in scope and application
4.come into effect on the date of practical application, the same as the date of transposition unless other date(s) is(are) indicated in the directive itself for specific actions. Some directives can have direct effect if the Member State fail to transpose into national legislation. 4. are directly binding on the date they come into force 4. are binding on the parties to whom they are addressed on the date they come into force

Regulations usually have a precise purpose, and are used where it is important that in the Member States precisely the same requirements are applied. In some sectors(12) such as waste and chemicals, EU law is a mixture of regulations and directives. It is important to analyse the impact of the regulations in order to know what actions will be necessary to approximate the linked directives.

3.4 Decisions

Decisions are individual legislative acts which are binding in their entirety upon the parties to whom they are addressed. They differ from regulations or directives in that they are usually very specific in nature. They are less common in the environmental field. Environmental regulations or directives often given the Commission the power to take decisions to implement them.

For example, the Commission can amend the lists of wastes under the regulation on the transfrontier shipment of waste, specify forms and documentation requirements, and other administrative matters. The Commission has taken a series of decisions setting conditions for the award of the EU eco-label to different product groups.

3.5 The role of the European Court of Justice

The European Court of Justice has the ultimate authority for the legal interpretation of the Treaty and EU legislation. In the last ten years the Court has made an increasing number of decisions concerning the interpretation of EU environmental laws and their approximation by Member States in the context of the establishment of the Single Market. It has also developed important principles concerning the transposition of directives.

Therefore, when drawing up a detailed environmental approximation strategy, countries should carefully consider the impact of these decisions on the interpretation of the directives and the methods of approximation.


This section gives some general guidelines and answers some common questions about the process of approximating EU environmental legislation. There are a number of crucial principles and requirements which should guide the process of approximation and implementation which derive mainly from the case law of the European Court concerning the failure of a Member State to properly implement a directive. The judgements of the European Court are legally binding, even though they do not appear expressly in the Treaty or in the directives themselves.

A more specific discussion of each directive or regulation is in Part 2 of this Guide.

4.1 Can a government use non-binding administrative measures to achieve the aims of the directive?

No. Although the Treaty appears to give wide discretion as the means of transposition adopted, the Court of Justice has held that reliance on non-legal methods of transposition conflicts with the binding legal nature of directives. This principle is especially important for those countries who have traditionally relied upon administrative measures in carrying out environmental policy.

Where a provision of a directive provides for the setting up of general programmes or for the achievement of general targets, legally binding Environmental Agreements between public authorities and industry can be an appropriate means of implementation. (Cf. Commission Communication on Environmental Agreements, COM(96) 591 of 27.11.1996 and Commission Recommendation 96/733/EC, OJ L 333/59 of 21.12.1996).

Provisions which oblige Member States to gather information and produce reports, do not necessarily have to be transposed into binding national legislation in Member States.

4.2 Does new national legislation have to be adopted?

Not necessarily. Countries may use existing national laws or amendments to existing laws to implement the directive. But it is rare that an existing law is a perfect match and experience has shown that it is unwise to rely on existing legislation unless their adequacy has been demonstrated on the basis of a detailed provision by provision comparison of national law with the EU directive.

For example, In 1985, France informed the Commission that its 1977 law on environmental impact assessment satisfied all the requirements of Directive 85/337/EEC, but later had to modify the law in order to come into compliance.

4.3 Do the precise terms of the directive have to be transposed in national legislation?

No. Directives are designed to give some flexibility to Member States, and word for word transposition is not essential if the requirements of the directive are complied with by national laws. But, countries need to be very careful that the language of national law fully reflects the directive. Some Member States have in fact adopted a practice of word for word transposition (known as 'copy-out') in order to avoid problems of non-conformity. This practice has its dangers: transposition without accompanying legal and administrative measures to ensure effective implementation and enforcement of the directive will not be sufficient. It is at times necessary, in order to achieve in practice the result required by the directive, to make transposing legislation more detailed than broadly phrased obligations in the directive. In doing so great care must be taken not to restrict the scope of the obligations contained in the directive.

It is particularly important to ensure that the definitions in the EU directive are literally and fully transposed in the national legislation intended to implement the directive.

4.4 May government choose the sanctions to enforce national laws transposing directives?

Yes. Directives generally leave the form of sanction to the discretion of Member States. Only rarely do they even prescribe that breach of national law implementing a directive must be punished by civil or criminal penalties. But this discretion is not completely free:

The form of national sanction chosen must be effective to ensure that the aims of the directive are achieved.

There must be no discrimination between the sanctions adopted for measures implementing directives and sanctions laid down under related national legislation – for example, an environmental offence under national law should not have unduly severe sanctions compared to an offence under a national law which transposes a comparable requirement under an EU directive.

For example, a penalty for violation of emission limits on discharges to water should be comparable, whether or not those discharge limits are covered by an EU directive.

4.5 May countries adopt higher national environmental standards?

Sometimes. The EC Treaty allows countries to adopt – or to maintain – national environmental standards and requirements which are more stringent than those contained in EU environmental legislation. But this freedom is not absolute.

Some EU environmental directives explicitly allow – or encourage – the Member States to take more stringent measures. That is, they set the minimum standard for compliance, not the maximum standard. This is frequently the case for emission limit values on discharges to air or water, or for environmental quality standards.

For example, EU directives on air and water quality often set mandatory Limit values for certain pollutants, supplemented with Guide Values which set environmental quality objectives the Member States should strive to achieve.

Where EU environmental directives are based on Art. 100a of the EC Treaty (single market), a Member State may, if it has obtained advance approval from the Commission and demonstrated why it needs the more stringent environmental measure, apply more stringent environmental protection measures.

Where EU environmental legislation is based on the environmental provisions of the Treaty (Art.s 130r, s & t), countries have broader rights to adopt more stringent measures. These measures must be notified to the Commission (but not in advance) and they may not be a disguised form of trade restriction or arbitrarily discriminate against the goods or services of another Member State. Where an EU directive or regulation, based on Article 130s, aims to fully regulate an area of activity, such as the regulation on transfrontier shipment of waste, countries should be very cautious in introducing more stringent measures.

4.6 Does a government have complete discretion to designate geographical areas under environmental directives?

No. Many of the environmental directives call for the Member States to designate areas within their territory according to criteria given in the directive which will be subject to the directive's requirements. Examples include: habitat protection areas, sensitive and less sensitive areas under the Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive, and areas where the air quality does not meet EU standards. Usually these areas must be notified to the European Commission and plans for their protection or remediation must be adopted.

Although the criteria given in the directive may leave some discretion to Member States in how they go about the task of designating such areas, failure to correctly apply the criteria, e.g. by introducing illegitimate economic considerations in the designation procedure, can get the Member State government into trouble with the European Commission and ultimately with the European Court of Justice.

The following general principles apply:

The designation must be carried out by the competent national authority in an appropriately legally binding form, whether or not the proposal is developed by other institutions.

The criteria for designation specified in the directive must be carefully applied.

Governments must be particularly wary of allowing extraneous factors to influence the choice of designated areas. Because of the costs for protection or environmental improvement which may follow from the designation, there will be pressure to designate as few and as small areas as possible. But economic and other non-environmental considerations may not be taken into account, unless they are specifically allowed by the directive.

1 It will be valuable to review the practices of the Member States which are in compliance and to check the rulings of the Court of Justice.

For example, under Directive 85/203/EEC Member States may fix limit values lower than those in the directive in zones where they consider it necessary to limit or prevent a foreseeable increase in pollution by nitrogen dioxide in the wake of urban or industrial development.

4.7 Does approximation apply to regulations?

Strictly speaking, no, but countries must still take some administrative steps to implement regulations. The environmental sector has some very important regulations, which, for example, implement controls on international trade in waste and on endangered species, and the Eco-management and Audit Scheme. These will not come into force in the acceding countries until the date of accession, and no transposition into national law is required – or indeed permitted.

But countries should be aware that:

Some regulations require the designation or establishment of authorities or bodies responsible for their implementation; this may be done by administrative order or decree.

Some expressly require countries to specify penalties in national law – the civil or criminal code, for example – for non-compliance with the EU regulation. Even if there is no such express provision there must be effective national sanctions to ensure compliance with the regulations.

So countries should ensure that the necessary administrative and institutional measures are in place by the date of accession and that any overlapping or conflicting national laws are repealed.

Where the EU legislation in an environmental sector contains a mixture of directives and regulations, countries must take particular care to ensure that the national measures implementing the directives are fully integrated and do not conflict with the EU regulations.

There are fewer steps to implementing regulations than to directives. These are :

Steps to Implementing Regulations

  1. Identify a national competent authority or authorities to implement the regulation
  2. Identify what legislation (if any) is necessary (e.g. to prescribe sanctions or designate competent authorities).
  3. Establish a legislative timetable (as appropriate).
  4. Prepare administrative instructions and procedures to the relevant authorities
  5. Consult with other concerned government departments and with the groups affected by the regulation (e.g. importers and exporters; major industries; environmental organisations)
  6. Provide staff and resources
  7. Train staff
  8. Inform affected industrial sectors and companies of what is required
  9. Provide the relevant documents, forms and certification to the groups concerned
  10. After accession, monitor implementation and report to other Member States and to the European Commission as needed.

(Note: Footnote numbering as printed document)

(2). The acquis communautaire includes the directives, regulations, and decisions adopted on the basis of the various Treaties which together make up the primary law of the European Union and Communities. It is the term used to describe all the principles, policies, laws and objectives that have been agreed by the European Union. It includes the Treaties, all Community legislation, all the principles of law and interpretations of the European Court of Justice, all international agreements signed by the European Commission as interpreted by the declarations and resolutions of the Council of Ministers. It goes much further than simply the formal legislation – acceding countries need to comply with the spirit as well as with the letter of EU legislation. (Further details in Annex 2)


(3) Agenda 2000 emphasises that as none of the candidate countries can be expected to comply fully with the acquis in the near future, "in partnership with the Union realistic national long-term strategies for gradual effective alignment should be drawn up and start being implemented in all the applicant countries before accession, in particular for tackling water and air pollution. These strategies should identify key priority areas and objectives to be fulfilled by the dates of accession as well as timetables for further full compliance; ensueing obligations should be incorporated in the accession treaties. All new investments should comply with the acquis." (Agenda 2000, Volume I, Communication: For a Stronger and Wider Union, DOC/97/6, 15.07.1997, p.65).


(7) Agenda 2000 foresees that the accession treaties with the applicant countries will contain such negotiated agreements on derogations linked to binding timetables for full compliance in certain areas. New investments, however, should as a rule comply with theacquis immediately. See footnote 3, above.


(8) Attention should be drawn to the assistance which the associated countries can get from the TAIEX office for the development and implementation of approximation programmes for the acquis covered by the White Paper and from the DISAE facility for the rest of the environmental acquis.


(9) It must be stressed that only the European Commission may undertake the formal compliance review.


(10) European Union or European Community? References to both the European Union and the European Community will be found in policy and legislative documents. Both entities exist. The Maastricht Treaty created the European Union to express the wider political aspirations of the Member States. The European Union encompasses both the European Community (whose powers and institutional arrangements are laid down in the European Community Treaty) together with broader mechanisms for policy development and co-ordination among Member States, described in the Maastricht Treaty.

The legal basis for environment legislation is in the EC Treaty and the European Community is the legal entity which ratifies international conventions. In many instances, the same bodies (Member States, European Commission etc.) will be acting both within the Union and the Community. The key distinction is that only within the European Community may legislation be passed which binds Member States. Thus, strictly speaking, the reference should be to European Community legislation, not European Union legislation. However, for the sake of simplicity, this Guide uses the term European Union to encompass both policy and law.


(11) This ban on transposition arises from the fact that regulations must be applied directly by national courts and national administrative bodies; any transposing national legislation would be in conflict with the particular legal nature of regulations under the EC Treaty.


(12) For example, the regulation implementing the Basle Convention on the transfrontier shipment of waste and the Waste Framework Directive; the directives on the classification and labelling of hazardous chemicals and preparations and the regulation on the export and import of banned or severely restricted chemicals.