HC Deb 10 July 2003 vol 408 cc887-8W
Mr. Bercow

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the names, titles and grades of the officials who sit on the EU advisory committee on the labelling of household appliances, the number of times and the dates on which it has met since January 2002, the agenda items it has considered since January 2002, the decisions it has made since January 2002 and the means used to communicate these decisions to the House. [110500]

Mr. Bradshaw

I have been asked to reply.

There is no committee that has the responsibility for all the labelling issues that might arise in connection with household appliances. There is however a committee which is concerned with "the indication by labelling and standard product information on the consumption of energy and other resources by household appliances". This Committee does not have a fixed membership, but consists of delegates drawn from each of EU member states.

The Committee has met four times since January 2002 (on 18 March, 10 June and 25 September in 2002 and 1 April 2003). Agenda items relate to the implementation of the framework directive for the energy labelling of household appliances (92/5EEC) including proposals for new directives.

Since January 2002, the Committee has voted formally in favour of proposals to amend the current directive on household refrigeration appliances and against proposals to amend the directive on washing machines. The Committee provides advice and comes to conclusions on a range of wider, related issues including, for example, the voluntary provision by manufacturers of energy consumption information on consumer electronic equipment such as TVs and video recorders.

Together with member states, the Commission has been conducting a review to bring existing legislation on the conduct of Comitology Committees into line with Decision 1999/468/EC, to "simplify the requirements for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission". The Working group on the Friends of Comitology is meeting later this month to discuss proposals for interim reform.

As an obligation of this Decision, the Commission undertook to publish an annual report on the Working of the Committee. The second re[port was deposited in the Libraries of both Houses on 10 January 2003 ref 5060/03, COM(03)733.

As part of the review process, the UK Government has encouraged the Commission to produce and maintain an electronic database of every comitology committee, its agendas and recent actions to be accessible through its website.