Evaluation of the VOC I and VOC II Directives

Evaluation of the VOC I and VOC II Directives

Source of funding

European Commission

Name of client/donor

DG Environment

Overall project value

EUR 162,145


March 2015 – February 2016

Beneficiary countries


Number of staff


The EC is systematically reviewing EU legislation in order to check that it is, and remains, "fit for purpose" through its Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT). The REFIT programme emphasises the importance of EU regulations efficiently pursuing public policy objectives that are best achieved at EU level.

In line with the Clean Air Programme for Europe, in addition to setting more ambitious targets in the National Emissions Ceilings Directive it is important to investigate options to control emissions at source. It is therefore relevant to assess the level of emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) during petrol production, storage and distribution.

The overall objective of the study undertaken for the EC's Directorate-General for Environment was to support the EC in an evaluation of the performance of the VOCs Stage I and Stage II Directives compared to initial expectations, assessing the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, coherence and EU added value of the directives. In addition, the implementation status of both directives was assessed across EU member states, focusing on the key provisions and requirements of the legislation.

The study "Supporting the evaluation of Directive 1994/63/EC on VOC emissions from petrol storage and distribution and Directive 2009/126/EC on petrol vapour recovery" provided valuable contextual information to allow the European Commission to ensure that VOC emissions are controlled at all relevant stages of petrol storage and distribution. The study was intended to significantly improve the EC's understanding of how well the directives are being implemented; the reasons why difficulties are being faced in particular areas; and potential options to improve the implementation of the current directives. It also provided advice on possible further actions to achieve enhanced environmental objectives and/or reduce the regulatory burden or complexity (or, alternatively, to confirm that there is no need to do so). The aim was to give the EC a clear basis for decision making on how to take this legislation forward.

In the preparation of the study, work was carried out in four principle areas:

  • An evaluation of the VOC I Directive
  • An evaluation of the VOC II Directive
  • An assessment of the implementation status of the VOC I Directive
  • An assessment of the implementation status of the VOC- I Directive
  • Telephone interviews
  • Information gathering 
  • Assessment of information
  • Preparation of reports