Case ECS-01/13: Albania / environment

summary of the case

status: closed in preliminary procedure (Art.91) /
complied in preliminary procedure
registered: ex officio 2013




Directive 1999/32/EC aims to reduce emissions of SO2, a substance harmful to human health and the environment, resulting from combustion of heavy fuel oils and gas oils. The Directive sets maximum thresholds for the sulphur content in these fuels of 1.00% and 0.10% respectively, and requires frequent sampling and analysis in each Contracting Parties. Directive 1999/32/EC is part of the Energy Community environmental acquis communautaire. The deadline for the implementation of the Directive in the Contracting Parties expired at the end of 2011 and upon the assessment of the domestic legal situation, the Secretariat decided to open dispute settlement procedures against the Contracting Parties the domestic legislation of which was not in line with Energy Community law.

The case against Albania was initiated by the Secretariat for the lack of national provisions transposing the 1.00% threshold for heavy fuel oil and for the lack of standards for sampling and analysis of fuels covered by the scope of the Directive.

Following the entry into force of the 1.00% threshold on the maximum sulphur content of heavy fuel oil on 1 January 2015 and the last updates to the applicable standards on 14 September 2015, Albania rectified the breaches identified in the Opening Letter and the Secretariat closed the case on 9 June 2016.