EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

DfT: EU drivers' hours rules will be relaxed in areas outside the Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) Risk Area to allow important movements of animals, Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has announced. It will increase the driving hours available by one third over a fortnight.  The European Commission's approval will be required for an extension beyond 30 days.
 
The changes, which will be in place for one month, will apply only to drivers who are wholly or mainly engaged in transporting cattle, pigs and sheep (including lambs) in connection with meeting the exceptional circumstances arising as a consequence of the foot and mouth outbreak.
 
To allow drivers to use the full amount of additional driving time proposed the government also intend that the weekly working time limit is raised by 10% from 60 to 66 hours (the maximum permissible under EU legislation).
Press release ~ Road Transport (Working Time) Regulations 2005 ~ Defra – F&M risk areas ~ Defra - Animal welfare - Transport
 
BERR: Shoppers will benefit from greater choice and flexibility in the supermarket after a new European Directive deregulated fixed packaging sizes.  From April 2009 UK companies will have the freedom to pack foods in different sizes and to develop innovative packaging.
 
Shopping habits have moved on massively since the 1960s, when these restrictions were originally introduced. At present, legislation dating back to the 1960s requires about 30 different foods to be packaged in specified quantities, including butter, cereal, potatoes, sugar, dried fruit, pasta and rice.
 
The deregulation of specified quantities will not impose any new costs for business.  They will be free to pack in any size, including the sizes they now use. In addition, guidance has been issued by Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS) that no new prosecutions should be undertaken against manufacturers who introduce new package sizes from a date three months after the Directive comes into force.

Press release ~ EC Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive 94/62/EC - BERR ~ Packaging in the EU - BERR ~ Local Authority Co-ordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS ~ EU Pre-packaging

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