Written Answers. - Commercial Payments Directive.

Richard Bruton

Ceist:

57 Mr. R. Bruton asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment whether she is supporting the EU directive on late payments which will have application in the private sector; the discussions, if any, she has had to date in order to prepare for its implementation; and the time frame within which it is proposed to introduce it. [15337/98]

A proposal for a European Parliament and Council directive combating late payment in commercial transactions was adopted by the European Commission on 25 March, 1998. Consideration of the proposed directive commenced at the Council's Economic Questions Group on 8 June, 1998 and discussions are scheduled to continue during the Austrian Presidency of the European Union.

Ireland is supporting the proposed directive but is seeking to ensure that the provisions which are finally agreed by the Council are appropriate to meet the needs of this country in combating late payments.

My Department has consulted widely on the provisions of the proposed directive and the views received are being taken into account in current discussions at the Council's Economic Questions Group.

As the provisions of the proposed directive, including an implementation date, have not yet been agreed and adopted by the Council, it is not possible to give a timeframe for introducing it in Ireland.