The Commission is aware that the Czech set of technical standards ČSN-EN-62305 is identical to the European standard EN-62305 and the international standard IEC-62305. This, indeed, is the core of the issue here and the reason why the Commission asked Czechia to lift restrictions on lightning protection systems.
On 12 October 2020, Czech Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Tomas Zdechovsky of the Group of the European People’s Party stated that “In the correspondence on my previous question E-003918/2019, it was stated in general terms that the mandatory application of certain technical standards restricts the free movement of goods and is therefore prohibited under Article 34 TFEU unless such a measure would be justified by another higher and more general interest under Article 36 TFEU. One of these general interests is the protection of human health and life. Logically, the lightning protection systems in question serve this general interest. It is therefore indisputable that a product’s technical capability to provide adequate protection against lightning must take precedence over any commercial interests and the principle of the free movement of goods. ESE active lighting conductors designed according to French technical standard NFC-17-102 do not provide the same protection as lightning protection systems that meet the requirements of EN-62305 or IEC-62305.”
In light of this, MEP Zdechovsky tabled a written parliamentary question to the European Commission. He asked the Commission “why is it of the opinion that the Czech set of technical standards ČSN-EN-62305 does not provide for a higher safety level than that set by other standards, i.e. the French technical standard NFC-17-102?”
On 30 November, Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton responded on behalf of the European Commission and explained that “on 26 July 2019, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the Czech Republic and in this letter, the Commission takes the view that the Czech Republic infringes Articles 34 and 36 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) by prohibiting ESE active lightning conductors that comply with the standard NFC 17-102” and “the Commission invited the Czech Republic to justify such a prohibition”.
Commissioner Breton further asserted that “the Commission is still assessing the reply of the Czech Republic to the letter of formal notice, in particular in relation with the other standards at stake” and “after this examination, the Commission will decide, in the light of the arguments transmitted by the Czech Republic, whether it considers that the relevant Czech rule is justified by one of the public interest reasons laid down in Article 36 TFEU or by one of the overriding requirements referred to in the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, and whether this measure is appropriate for securing the attainment of the objective pursued and does not go beyond what is necessary in order to attain it”.
Photo Credit : https://pixabay.com/photos/lightening-struck-bolt-weather-1185742/