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Shipments of radioactive substances

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Shipments of radioactive substances


Regulation (Euratom) No 1493/93 on shipments of radioactive waste


After the removal of internal border controls between European Union countries on 1 January 1993, national authorities needed the same level of information on shipments of radioactive substances as before, to continue implementing radiation protection controls.


It introduces an EU-wide system for declarations of shipments of radioactive substances between EU countries.


Holders’ obligations

When carrying out shipments of radioactive material, the ‘holder’* must provide a prior declaration by the ‘consignee’*. This declaration should certify the consignee's compliance with EU law on compulsory reporting about activities relating to natural and artificial radioactive substances. This declaration must be supplied to the competent national authority of the EU country of destination.

Holders must also comply with national regulations for safe storage, use and disposal on radioactive activity.

The steps involved include:

The consignee submits the declaration to the authority.

The authority notes the declaration, confirming this with an official stamp and sends it back to the consignee.

The consignee then sends the declaration to the holder.

A declaration is valid for up to 3 years.

Multiple shipments

The declaration issued can refer to multiple shipments if:

the radioactive substances have the same physical and chemical characteristics,

the sealed sources* to which it relates do not exceed the levels of activity set out in the declaration,

the shipments are made from the same holder to the same consignee and involve the same competent authorities.


Holders must provide to the authorities within 21 days of any shipment:

the names and addresses of consignees,

the total radioactivity of each consignment delivered,

the number of deliveries made and the quantities delivered to each consignee; the type of substance (sealed source or other relevant source).

EU countries must report all activities which could involve a hazard arising from ionising radiation.

Radioactive waste

Shipments of radioactive waste between EU countries and into and out of the EU are subject to specific measures laid down by Directive 2006/117/Euratom.


Since 9 July 1993.


* Holder: any individual or organisation in charge of planning the shipment of radioactive waste or spent fuel and legally responsible for it prior to shipment.

* Consignee: the party that receives the shipment.

* Sealed source: a source of ionising radiation consisting of radioactive substances firmly incorporated in solid and effectively inactive materials, or sealed in an inactive container of sufficient strength to prevent, under normal conditions of use, any dispersion of radioactive substances.


Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1493/93 of 8 June 1993 on shipments of radioactive substances between Member States



Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (Euratom) No 1493/93



OJ L 148, 19.6.1993, pp. 1–7


Council Directive 2006/117/Euratom of 20 November 2006 on the supervision and control of shipments of radioactive waste and spent fuel (OJ L 337, 5.12.2006, pp. 21–32)

Council Directive 2013/59/Euratom of 5 December 2013 laying down basic safety standards for protection against the dangers arising from exposure to ionising radiation, and repealing Directives 89/618/Euratom, 90/641/Euratom, 96/29/Euratom, 97/43/Euratom and 2003/122/Euratom (OJ L 13, 17.1.2014, pp. 1–73)

last update 22.10.2015