08 May 2003 13:35 [Source: ICIS news]
MADRID (CNI)--European Union plans for the registration, evaulation and authorisation (Reach) of chemicals will be impossible for Spanish paint makers to afford and could force them out of business or out of the EU, it has been claimed.
The Spanish paints industry is facing tough times as it moves to adapt to the European Commission’s (EC) white paper legislation on chemicals policy, Jose Uriz Echegaray, president of the Asociacion Espanola de Fabricantes de Pinturas y Tintas de Imprimir (ASEFAPI) told CNI.
He said the environmental legislation, which calls for testing and registration of thousands of chemicals, would cost Spanish paints companies nearly Euro1bn ($1.12bn) to implement.
"It’s going to cost producers between two and five times their annual revenues to adapt to this. It’s impossible for us to invest this much," Uriz Echagaray said, adding that the sector’s biggest company – an industrial paints maker he would not name - has annual revenues of about Euro200m.
If the legislation were passed as drafted, lots of companies in Spain would have to close or relocate to Asia or Africa where they can be spared the legislation, he said.
"Whoever manufactures, say, in Morocco, would only have to comply with European product-circulation and labelling directives – not have to test and register all the substances," Uriz Echegaray said.
His comments echoed those of the broad Spanish chemicals industry, which like its European counterparts, has denounced the legislation as a harbinger of disaster for the industry.
Uriz Echegaray said Spanish producers now spend about 5% of their annual turnover on the environment and that a special hotline was set up recently to take calls from producers with ecological concerns.
ASEFAPI has 162 members in Spain representing approximately 80% of the paints and dyes sector. Its members together have annual revenues of about Euro1.9bn.
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