EC takes France to court over biocide directive failings

22 February 2002 16:24  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (CNI)--The European Commission (EC) is taking legal action in the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against France and threatening similar moves against five other EU member countries over the handling of dangerous chemical substances.

The Commission is referring France to the Court for failing to adopt and communicate all the texts required to implement the EU biocide directive. The directive mandates the establishment of an authorisation system for the marketing of such products.

Biocides are non-agricultural pesticides. Biocidal products include wood preservatives, disinfectants and insecticides; they control organisms harmful to human or animal health or which damage natural or manufactured products.

In a linked action, the UK, Germany, Greece, Austria and Luxembourg have each received a formal notice of failing to adopt and communicate the Dangerous Substances Directive, the EU's core legislation for dealing with chemicals.

This directive classifies dangerous substances and danger levels, lists danger symbols, includes standard phrases on the nature of special risks from substances on the wording of safety precaution phrases and includes testing methods to determine the dangerous properties of substances.

The countries failed to enact national legislation to implement the directive by the deadline of 1 June last year.

By: Alan Osborn
+44 208 652 3214

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