07 May 2003 16:10 [Source: ICIS news]
BRUSSELS (CNI)--The European Commission (EC) declined here Wednesday to give further details of the full potential costs and benefits of its proposed new chemicals legislation until after its consultation period is completed.
Drafting the proposed new chemicals registration and evaluation (Reach) rules has been one of the most complex, technical and political efforts in his experience, EC Enterprise Commissioner Erkki Liikanen said today.
The process had been easier in “vision talk” than in practicality, he said. More work would needed, he admitted, to evaluate the full impact on European industry and competitiveness of the proposed Reach chemicals registration and testing system.
However, he stressed that as the system will not now apply to tens of thousands of intermediates and polymers, the impact will be much less than suggested by recent industry studies.
The total direct registration and testing costs borne by industry are likely to be Euro3.6bn ($4.04bn) over a 20 year period, according to the EC. Its estimates put indirect costs at up to Euro26bn but the Commission said today it will present a final impact assessment following input from the eight-week Internet consultation period announced earlier.
The Commission believes that market forces will drive innovation and replacements for many chemicals, eliminating the impact of some substances to downstream users. It said it aims to keep to a minimum the cost and the overall burden on industry of the new registration and testing system.
Full details of the EC’s new chemicals legislation proposals can be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/chemicals/index.htm
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