EU forces Sweden to relax gas safety rules

The EU is forcing Sweden to lower safety requirements governing the use of bottled gas in house caravans and trailers.

Sveriges Radio reports serious fears among trade organisations and the Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection Company (Bilprovningen) that the new regulations will lead to more accidents.

For 15 years, Sweden has been the only EU country requiring approval of gas canister installations in house caravans and trailers as a condition of vehicle registration. Caravans and trailers are additionally subject to yearly state inspections.

As of 29 April, however, this will end. The EU considers that the Swedish regulations hinder free competition and has threatened to take Sweden to court.

The new rules will make it easier for private individuals to import trailers and caravans from other EU countries, according to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (Myndigheten för samhällsskydd och beredskap). The agency emphasises that from now on vehicle owners will need to assume greater responsibility for ensuring that calor gas appliances function properly and that ventilation is adequate.

“Dangers include gas leaks, fires and even explosions. Rubber pipes perish with age and leaks can easily develop, as our tests have shown,” explains Torbjörn Unosson, a supervisor at Bilprovningen in Jönköping.

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