18 August 2003 08:45 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Members of Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) have expressed strong reservations over the European Commission's (EC) proposed chemicals legislation at a meeting in Phuket, Thailand, saying it raised concerns about the potential cost the proposed European system would impose on small businesses in the Asia-Pacific region.
The concerns over the EU's Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) proposals were raised at a meeting of the APEC Committee on Trade and Investment on Sunday (17 August) following a briefing from the Asia-Pacific group's Chemical Dialogue Steering Group.
Reach has been the subject of over 6000 comments submitted to the EC by a diverse range of stakeholders, including industry groups and governments in Europe, the APEC region and Latin America.
APEC filed a collective comment on 29 May which noted the significant impact the proposed European system would have on developing economies and for economies whose commodity exports are crucial to their continued economic growth. It also emphasised the potential impact of Reach on downstream industry sectors such as automobiles, electronics and other consumer goods.
Similar concerns about the Reach system were expressed at the last meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade in Khon Kaen, Thailand, in June.
While APEC members support the overall objectives of Reach, they believe enhancing the level of environmental protection surrounding chemicals should be done in a way that minimises the impact on trade and industry.
APEC believes the system should take into account the financial implications for small and medium enterprises in the chemical industry.
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