How do I access EU Legislation

Accessing EU legislation

EU legislation can be found at: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html.

Under the tab ‘EU law’, click on ‘Legal Acts’. On next page click on ‘Search in legal acts’.

Half way down the next page in the boxes under ‘Document reference’ enter the year and number of the legislation. Click the ‘search’ button (top or bottom of the page).

On the next screen, click on the heading of the legislation you require. Make sure you select the correct legislation as different legislation can have similar numbers.

The heading of the legislation is a hyperlink to the legislation. (Note there is also a hyperlink to the latest consolidated version at this point if you need it but see below). On the next page click on the pdf icon under the language you require to bring up the original version of the legislation.

However the original legislation is frequently amended. Over time, these amendments are incorporated into a consolidated version of the legislation but note that a new consolidated version is not issued immediately the legislation is amended, it could be some months later. This means here may be some outstanding amendments not yet included in the latest consolidated version. So before using the latest consolidated version you must check there are no additional amendments not yet included which you need to know about.

To check, click on ‘Document Information’ on the left side of the screen. Scroll down and you will see, under ‘Amended by’, all the amendments to the original legislation and below that all the consolidated versions with the latest at the top of the list. If there are any amendments after the date of the latest consolidated version you will need to consult these too.

Please be aware that sometimes an amendment is included in the consolidated version but the changes do not come into effect immediately, e.g. a new certificate is laid down but the new certificate is not mandatory for 6 months. This delayed implementation will not be reflected in the consolidated version.

Also the preamble (the ‘recitals’) which explains why the legislation was issued now appear only in the original legislation and are not included in the consolidated version.


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