Saturday

28th May 2022

EU wood and packaging rules scrapped

The EU has withdrawn two pieces of legislation from the bloc's lawbooks that have been deemed examples of over-regulation by Brussels.

Following a decision on Monday (21 May), regulations on timber quality and packaging sizes will be scrapped.

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The "knots in wood" directive set out standards for European timber since 1968 while the packaging law laid out how goods - such as bread - should be packaged.

However, packaging sizes for wines and spirits will remain controlled by EU regulation.

Announcing the decision, EU industry commissioner Guenter Verheugen said the "decision underlines that we have moved from words to deeds and that we are hard working to cut unnecessary red-tape on all fronts."

The wood directive particularly - which regulated the quality and size of wood in the rough - was seen as a "symbol" of unnecessary bureaucracy from the commission.

Brussels announced its anti-red-tape drive in 2005 following years of complaints, especially by small and medium sized enterprises that the laws were crippling their business.

The move is also in reaction to a popular perception across Europe that associates the commission with unnecessary rules and bureaucracy.

But the commission's own self-regulation, announced with great fanfare two years ago, proved harder than it looked, with its in-house mentality about the necessity of making rules one of the first and toughest obstacles to overcome.

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