Trade association responds to government consultation.

Biba has called for greater clarity in new European legislation governing environmental liability.

In its response to a government consultation, seen exclusively by Insurance Times, the trade association warned the laws could be implemented differently by Europe’s 27 member states, causing confusion.

It said: “The effectiveness of the regulations will depend to a large extent on the uniformity of their application.”

It also recommended proportionate liability, rather than a joint and several approach, and called for more information on how the laws would be applied retrospectively.

However it broadly agreed with the form of legislation the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has proposed for the implementation of the European directive on environmental liability.

Under the directive, those who have caused environmental damage will be held financially liable for repairing it.

The law has been rubber-stamped by the EU, but has yet to be enforced in the UK. It should have been implemented in April 2007, but the earliest date now being given is the end of this year.

Defra’s second consultation on the legislation closed on 27 May. It is now expected to finalise the form that the laws will take.