Directive’s new transposition deadline: 31 October 2013
By Sophie Petitjean | Wednesday 25 April 2012
A new directive that postpones for 18 months, ie until 31 October 2013, the deadline for transposition of Directive 2004/40/EC on minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from electromagnetic fields entered into force on 24 April, the date of its publication in the EU Official Journal. This text is meant to give the co-legislators more time to agree on the substantive proposal, namely the draft directive “repealing and replacing” the existing legal framework on health and safety requirements related to electromagnetic fields.
In fact, on the Commission’s advice, Directive 2004/40/EC has never been fully transposed by the member states. The text was highly controversial due to the adverse effect it could have on the use of technologies like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
To address this weakness, the Commission proposed, in June 2011, to amend and replace the measure by introducing a new system of limit values and reference values. In parallel, it presented a proposal for a directive postponing, until 30 April 2014, the deadline for transposition of Directive 2004/40/EC to avoid creating a situation of legal uncertainty upon expiry of the initial deadline of 30 April 2012. Parliament and the Council nevertheless agreed on 31 October 2013 as the new deadline in order “to obtain an agreement before the end of the current legislature,” explained the EP’s rapporteur, Elisabeth Morin-Chartier (EPP, France).