Within the last few days, the European Commission has opened the ‘public consultation’ stage of its evaluation of the law relating to both electromagnetic compatibility and packaging waste.

Evaluation of the Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) Directive 2014/30/EU

Although the EMC Directive was implemented fairly recently, it largely incorporated its predecessor directive without any major amendments. As a result, the sector specific aspects of the EU law relating to electromagnetic compatibility have not been reviewed in detail in over 30 years.

Accordingly, in January 2020 the Commission announced its intention to undertake a review of the EMC Directive, to assess whether it is still fit for purpose in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, and coherence. The Commission has indicated that the evaluation intends to collect evidence and information to identify areas that may need to be amended, particularly in light of scientific and technological progress, and in particular the increased digitalisation of the equipment falling in scope of the Directive.  On the basis of the conclusions reached, the Commission will assess whether next steps may be necessary to improve the performance of the Directive.

The public consultation period for the EMC Directive review is now open until 29 January 2021.

Evaluation of the Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC

In June of this year, the Commission published an initial assessment document on a proposal for a new directive on packaging waste, to replace the current Packaging Waste Directive. The Commission has stated that the purpose of the review is to improve packaging design to facilitate its cost-effective recycling and reuse, and reduce the generation of packaging waste, in line with the objectives of the Circular Economy Action Plan.

The new directive is still to be developed, but based on the issues raised in the Commission’s Inception Impact Assessment it is expected to include:

  • A requirement that all packaging be reusable or recyclable, and an enforceable definition of “recyclable packaging”;
  • Restrictions on the use of some types of packaging material, and a reduction of the complexity of packaging materials;
  • Recycled content targets for specific packaging formats;
  • Minimum GPP (Green Public Procurement) criteria and targets for packaging.

The public consultation period for the Packaging Waste Directive review is now open until 6 January 2021.