The objective of this paper is to investigate the transverse fatigue cracking of layered structures. To this end a fatigue crack propagation rate for a crack growing perpendicularly through the interfaces between individual layers of the structure is estimated. The suggested procedure takes into account the influence of different material properties of the layers on the stress field around the fatigue crack and the change of the stress singularity exponent in the special case of a crack touching the material interface. The assumptions of linear elastic fracture mechanics and elastic behaviour of the composite are considered. It is shown that the existence of the interfaces can have a negative influence on the residual fatigue life of layered structures.