This content is exclusively provided by FAO / FAOLEX

Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council relating to the assessment and management of environmental noise.

Type of law

The aim of this Directive is to define a common approach intended to avoid, prevent or reduce those harmful effects which derive from the exposure to environmental noise. The following actions are to be implemented progressively: (a) the determination of exposure to environmental noise, through noise mapping; (b) ensuring that information on environmental noise and its effects is made available to the public; (c) adoption of action plans by the Member States, based upon noise-mapping results, with a view to preventing and reducing environmental and to preserving environmental noise quality where it is good. Article 2 defines the application scope of this Directive, which shall apply namely to environmental noise to which humans are exposed in particular in built-up areas, in public parks or other quiet areas in an agglomeration, in quiet areas in open country, near schools, hospitals and other noise-sensitive buildings and areas. The Directive shall not apply to noise that is caused by the exposed person himself, noise from domestic activities, noise created by neighbours, noise at work places or noise inside means of transport or due to military activities in military areas.
Environmental noise is defined by article 2 as the unwanted or harmful outdoor sound created by human activities, including noise emitted by means of transport, road traffic, rail traffic, air traffic and from sites of industrial activity. Different noise indicators are established as per different periods, namely day, evening and night. Such noise indicators, defined in Annex I, shall be taken into account by Member States when preparing and revising strategic noise mapping in accordance with article 7. Member States are also required to adopt the special action plans referred to in article 8. The above-mentioned strategic noise plans as well as the action plans that have been adopted shall be made available and disseminated to the public (art. 9). Article 10 concerns the collection and publication of data by Member States and by the Commission. The latter shall set up a database of information on strategic noise maps. Lastly, the following six Annexes are attached: (I) Noise indicators; (II) Assessment methods for the noise indicators; (III) Assessment methods for harmful effects; (IV) Minimum requirements for strategic noise mapping; (V) Minimum requirements for action plans; (VI) Data to be sent to the Commission.
Date of text
Entry into force notes
The Directive entered into force on 18 July 2002.
Serial Imprint
Official Journal L 189, 18 July 2002, pp. 12-26
Source language


Legislation status
in force
Legislation Amendment
Implemented by