Appliances burning gaseous fuels: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

05-12-2014

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal for a Regulation on appliances burning gaseous fuels This is a proposal to replace the Gas Appliances Directive 2009/142/EC (GAD) of 2009, which aims to permit the free movement of appliances and fittings burning gaseous fuels within the EU market while ensuring a high level of protection for their users against risks. The Directive is an example of Union harmonisation legislation, and is said to have contributed considerably to the completion and operation of the single market. The Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) covers 'appliances burning gaseous fuels that are used for cooking, heating, hot water production, refrigeration, lighting or washing, [...] forced draft burners and heating bodies to be equipped with such burners', as well as 'fittings' such as safety, controlling or regulating devices. The document concludes that, as far as the form is concerned, the drafting and editing quality of the IA is poor in places and there is a great deal of repetition. Some of the information contained in the Annexes could usefully have been included in the body of the report, and more direct reference to the work of the external study would have been helpful. The assessment of the options by individual problem issue is not the clearest way to proceed and makes it difficult to gain an overview. As far as the substance is concerned, the IA report seems to suggest that there is a limit to how much analysis can realistically and usefully be made of what it repeatedly recalls are unlikely to be significant impacts. The assessment of those potential impacts is therefore equally limited. The choice of options is also very restricted. The external IA study apparently already carried out an in-depth analysis of the various suggestions coming out of the consultation process. As a result, any additional options which might have implied more far-reaching impacts, such as extension of the scope of the legislation, for example, had already been discarded, and are therefore not included in the assessment within the IA report itself. Both the external study and the IA report could perhaps usefully have considered addressing in more depth some of the impacts of the original directive identified by the ex-post evaluation. This note, prepared by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit for the Committee Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal. It is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the relevant parliamentary committee(s) and Members more widely in their work.

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal for a Regulation on appliances burning gaseous fuels This is a proposal to replace the Gas Appliances Directive 2009/142/EC (GAD) of 2009, which aims to permit the free movement of appliances and fittings burning gaseous fuels within the EU market while ensuring a high level of protection for their users against risks. The Directive is an example of Union harmonisation legislation, and is said to have contributed considerably to the completion and operation of the single market. The Gas Appliances Directive (GAD) covers 'appliances burning gaseous fuels that are used for cooking, heating, hot water production, refrigeration, lighting or washing, [...] forced draft burners and heating bodies to be equipped with such burners', as well as 'fittings' such as safety, controlling or regulating devices. The document concludes that, as far as the form is concerned, the drafting and editing quality of the IA is poor in places and there is a great deal of repetition. Some of the information contained in the Annexes could usefully have been included in the body of the report, and more direct reference to the work of the external study would have been helpful. The assessment of the options by individual problem issue is not the clearest way to proceed and makes it difficult to gain an overview. As far as the substance is concerned, the IA report seems to suggest that there is a limit to how much analysis can realistically and usefully be made of what it repeatedly recalls are unlikely to be significant impacts. The assessment of those potential impacts is therefore equally limited. The choice of options is also very restricted. The external IA study apparently already carried out an in-depth analysis of the various suggestions coming out of the consultation process. As a result, any additional options which might have implied more far-reaching impacts, such as extension of the scope of the legislation, for example, had already been discarded, and are therefore not included in the assessment within the IA report itself. Both the external study and the IA report could perhaps usefully have considered addressing in more depth some of the impacts of the original directive identified by the ex-post evaluation. This note, prepared by the Ex-Ante Impact Assessment Unit for the Committee Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament, analyses whether the principal criteria laid down in the Commission’s own Impact Assessment Guidelines, as well as additional factors identified by the Parliament in its Impact Assessment Handbook, appear to be met by the IA. It does not attempt to deal with the substance of the proposal. It is drafted for informational and background purposes to assist the relevant parliamentary committee(s) and Members more widely in their work.