You are on page 1of 4

14.9.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 285/1

I
(Information)

COUNCIL

COMMON POSITION (EC) No 46/98

adopted by the Council on 20 July 1998

with a view to adopting European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No . . ./98 of . . .
amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91 on the statistics relating to the trading of
goods between Member States with a view to reducing the data to be provided

(98/C 285/01)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL for the internal market) initiative, aims to improve
OF THE EUROPEAN UNION, enterprises’ competitiveness and job-creation potential;

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Whereas the simplification of the Intrastat system was
Community, and in particular Article 100a thereof, chosen as a SLIM pilot project, and specific proposals
formulated by the SLIM-Intrastat Working Party with a
Having regard to the proposal from the Commission (1), view to reducing the burden on providers of statistical
information which were contained in a communication to
the European Parliament and to the Council have been
Having regard to the opinion of the Economic and Social endorsed by those institutions;
Committee (2),

Whereas limiting the information on declarations, while
Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in
maintaining an acceptable level of information for users,
Article 189b of the Treaty (3),
is a prime means of reducing the burden on providers of
statistical information;
Whereas, pursuant to Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91 (4),
the Community and the Member States have been
compiling statistics relating to the trading of goods Whereas deletion of the mode of transport and the
between Member States (Intrastat) during the transitional delivery terms is one of these simplification measures;
period beginning on 1 January 1993 and ending on the whereas, however, reporting in the country of origin, the
date of changeover to a unified system of taxation in the region of origin and/or the region of destination as well
Member State of origin; as of the statistical procedure is of particular benefit to
many users and should therefore be retained;

Whereas the simplification of legislation for the internal
market, as formulated in the SLIM (simpler legislation Whereas it is necessary for certain Member States to
require reporting of delivery terms and the presumed
mode of transport; whereas, however, it is desirable, after
(1) OJ C 203, 3.7.1997, p. 10.
consultation in the Committee on Statistics, to set
(2) OJ C 19, 21.1.1998, p. 49.
(3) Opinion of the European Parliament of 1 April 1998 (OJ thresholds below which Member States may not prescribe
C 138, 4.5.1998, p. 90), Council Common Position of such statistical data, in order to avoid a disproportionate
20 July 1998 (not yet published in the Official Journal). burden for small and medium-sized undertakings;
Decision of the European Parliament of . . . (not yet
published in the Official Journal).
(4) OJ L 316, 16.11.1991, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Whereas, in order to meet the expectations of the
Commission Regulation (EEC) No 3046/92 (OJ L 307, providers of statistical information and take account of
23.10.1992, p. 27). the Member States’ differing administrative structures,
C 285/2 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14.9.98

national administrations should be afforded greater (c) paragraph 3 becomes paragraph 4 and the
flexibility in laying down the deadlines for the following new paragraph 3 shall be inserted:
transmission of declarations;
‘3. In the case of providers of statistical
Whereas such simplification may cause practical information whose annual value of arrivals or of
difficulties for certain national administrations; whereas it dispatches falls below the thresholds fixed by the
is necessary to confer on the Commission, acting in Member States after consultation in the
accordance with Article 30 of Regulation (EEC) Committee set up under Article 29, it shall not
No 3330/91, the power to grant derogations to be prescribed that data other than those listed in
individual Member States allowing them to defer the paragraphs 1 and 2 be provided for such arrivals
application of this Regulation for a transitional period of or dispatches on the statistical data medium.
up to two years,
Member States may require other providers of
statistical information to supply the following
HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION: additional data:

(a) the delivery terms;
Article 1
(b) the presumed mode of transport.’;
Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91 is hereby amended as
follows: (d) the following paragraph shall be added:

1. Article 13(1) shall be replaced by the following: ‘5. The Commission shall ensure publication
of a list of the data required of providers of
‘1. The statistical information required by the statistical information by the Member States, as
Intrastat system shall be covered in periodic well as the thresholds referred to in paragraph 3,
declarations to be sent by the party responsible for in the Official Journal of the European
providing the information to the competent national Communities.’
departments, under conditions which the Commission
shall lay down pursuant to Article 30.’;

2. Article 23 shall be amended as follows: Article 2
(a) in paragraph (1) the points (f) and (g) shall be
deleted; Where significant changes are required in national
statistical systems, the Commission may, acting in
(b) Paragraph (2) shall be replaced by the accordance with the procedure set out in Article 30 of
following: Council Regulation (EEC) No 3330/91, grant derogations
to individual Member States allowing them to defer the
‘2. Member States may prescribe that the
application of this Regulation for a transitional period of
following additional data be provided on the
up to two years.
statistical data medium:
(a) in the Member State of arrival, the country
of origin; however, that information may
only be prescribed within the limits of Article 3
Community law;
(b) in the Member State of dispatch, the region This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth
of origin; in the Member State of arrival, the day following that of its publication in the Official
region of destination; Journal of the European Communities.
(c) Where appropriate, the statistical
procedure.’; It shall apply from 1 January 1999.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at . . .

For the European Parliament For the Council
The President The President
14.9.98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 285/3

STATEMENT OF THE COUNCIL’S REASONS

I. INTRODUCTION

1. On 30 May 1997, the Commission presented a proposal based on Article 100a of the
EC Treaty on the statistics relating to the trading of goods between Member States.

2. The European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee delivered their
Opinions on 1 April 1998 (1) and 29 October 1997 (2) respectively.

Following the Opinion of the European Parliament, the Commission presented an
amended proposal on 27 April 1998 (3).

3. The Council adopted its common position, under Article 189b of the Treaty, on 20 July
1998.

II. OBJECTIVE

4. The Intrastat system was introduced on 1 April 1993 following the abolition of customs
formalities within the Community. The system lays down the rules for the collection
and compilation of statistics on the trading of goods between Member States. The
proposal seeks to reduce the administrative burden on businesses by abolishing some of
the data which they are at present required to supply to national authorities.

III. THE COMMON POSITION

5. Broadly speaking, the Commission proposal has been reworked during the discussions
in the Council. However, the common position takes account of the wishes expressed
by the European Parliament on several important points listed below.

6. Concerning the data to be forwarded to the national administrations, the Council
accepted the part of amendment No 1 (accepted by the Commission) designed to limit
the administrative burden on firms, and in particular on small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs).

The introduction of a threshold definitively frees SMEs from declaring data on the
means of transport and terms of delivery (Article 23(3)). Optional data (data which a
Member State may stipulate) have, moreover, been reduced to two variables and
consequently SMEs will to totally exempt from declaring four variables.

Nevertheless, in order to compile reliable statistics on goods traded between Member
States, the Council considers that Member States unable to obtain the requisite data by
other means may require businesses other than SMEs to supply data on delivery terms
and the presumed mode of transport.

7. From amendment No 2 relating to Article 23(2) (approved by the Commission except
for the immediate deletion of ‘delivery terms’), the Council has incorporated into its
common position the part about the introduction of a threshold so as to limit the
number of SMEs required to provide detailed statistical data.

(1) OJ C 138, 4.5.1998, p. 90.
(2) OJ C 19, 21.1.1998, p. 49.
(3) OJ C 171, 5.6.1998, p. 12.
C 285/4 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 14.9.98

The Council has then partly incorporated in its common position that element of the
amendment which allows Member States to ask those making returns for the variables
concerning the region of origin and the region of arrival. The Council further considers
that it is for the Member States to determine the statistical system and it has not
therefore eliminated that possibility from its common position.

The Council was, however, unable to take over certain parts of amendment No 2, since
it thought that the threshold below which Member States could not require certain
figures for SMEs should be determined by the Member States in consultation with the
Committee on Statistics relating to the Trading of Goods between Member States.

Furthermore, the Council did not agree that optional information could be stipulated
solely for businesses other than SMEs.

8. After taking over a number of important points from the European Parliament
amendments, the Council thought that it had, all in all, achieved a fair balance not
merely between different positions within the Council, but also between the aim of
lightening the declaration burden on firms, on the one hand, and the need for reliable
statistics, on the other.

IV. CONCLUSION

The Council considers that its common position entails above all advantages for SMEs,
which will be exempt from declaring four variables.