08 May 2003 17:18 [Source: ICIS news]
FRANKFURT (CNI)--The European Commission's (EC's) proposed chemicals policy reforms were roundly criticised on Thursday as a major threat to the competitiveness of both the European economy and the chemicals industry.
In an initial reaction to the EC’s planned chemicals registration, evaluation and authorisation (Reach) system, German chemical industry association VCI described it as extremely bureaucratic and unacceptably costly.
It said the question remained as to whether the EC was backtracking on making Europe’s economy the most competitive worldwide.
VCI president Wilhelm Simson said the EC's 1200-page draft proposals for a new chemicals policy appear to have missed the target of reshaping European chemicals legislation comprehensively, efficiently and in an integrated manner.
In the association’s view, the draft contains “old regulations that have failed in the past because they are inefficient and inadequate.” It said the regulations burden companies with extreme bureaucracy and massive additional costs and are not acceptable for small and medium sized companies or for chemical users downstream. VCI said it fears “massive” economic damage not only to the chemicals economy, but to the economy as a whole.
“A policy that blocks economic growth and destroys jobs without really making progress in protecting the environment and consumers is everything but sustainable,” Simson commented.
VCI said it believes the EC’s proposals have not been sufficiently tested as to their practicality. Therefore it supports the European Parliament’s calls for joint pilot projects aimed at developing regulations that serve the goals of a European chemicals policy without unnecessarily hampering the competitiveness of European companies.
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