U.S. Business Urges Revision of European Chemicals Guidelines

Proposed EU chemicals legislation could impact downstream users as well as importers.
Proposed EU chemicals legislation could impact downstream users as well as importers.

New York, N.Y., September 13, 2006 – The United States Council for International Business, which represents America’s top global companies, has voiced concern to European Union authorities over proposed implementation guidelines for EU legislation, known as REACH, to regulate over 30,000 chemicals and products made from them.

REACH, which stands for “registration, evaluation, and authorization of chemicals,” is slated to undergo its second reading in the European parliament this fall. As currently drafted, the proposed legislation would affect downstream users and importers as well as chemical manufacturers.

USCIB submitted comments on a draft REACH implementation project or (known as RIP 3.8) that sets out guidance for manufacturers in the implementation of the draft chemicals legislation. It said its comments aimed to help contribute to the workability of rules laying out the obligations under REACH for industries that use chemicals in the manufacture of their products.

“The workability and proportionality of REACH has been raised as a top priority by both the European Commission and Council,” said Andrea Fava, USCIB’s manager of environmental affairs. “However, we are concerned that these guidelines are neither workable nor proportionate.”

USCIB recommended the revision of the proposed guidelines, saying its members are concerned about the workability of the draft from both the compliance and enforcement perspectives. USCIB has also expressed concern that the guidelines go beyond the scope of the draft chemicals legislation.

“We urge that further input be considered and that the guidance for articles be revised to ensure it is consistent with the intent of the draft REACH legislation,” said the USCIB statement.

In 2003 and 2004, USCIB submitted comments to the European Commission on the economic and environmental impact of the REACH proposal. Since then the EU has undertaken an extensive revision of the proposed legislation and is now pushing to finalize REACH in the near future.

USCIB promotes an open system of global commerce in which business can flourish and contribute to economic growth, human welfare and protection of the environment. Its membership includes some 300 leading U.S. companies, professional services firms and associations whose combined annual revenues exceed $3 trillion. As American affiliate of the leading international business and employers organizations, USCIB provides business views to policy makers and regulatory authorities worldwide and works to facilitate international trade.

Contact:
Helen Medina
(212) 703-5047 or hmedina@uscib.org

USCIB comments on on REACH Implementation Project 3.8

More on USCIB’s Environmental Committee

Staff Contact:   Brian Lowry

Senior VP, Innovation, Regulation, and Trade
Tel: 202.617.3159

Brian Lowry leads USCIB’s policy work on trade, health, food, agriculture, chemicals, and intellectual property. He also coordinates USCIB’s engagement in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Lowry joined USCIB in February 2021 having previously worked as an executive in the agriculture and crop science industry. Through his role as an executive, Lowry was also a longtime USCIB corporate member leader, as well as co-chair of USCIB’s working group on the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda. Lowry was also the first board chair of the UN Global Compact Network USA.
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