16 September 2005 12:24 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--European trade group UNICE on Friday welcomed the compromises suggested by the European Parliament’s (EP’s) industry and internal market committees on Reach, the European Union’s proposed new chemicals policy.
The committees voted on Tuesday on numerous compromise amendments to the Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals) draft put to parliament and Europe’s Council of Ministers almost two years ago and widely discussed since.
“UNICE and its member federations welcome adoption of the compromise amendments which have been supported by a large number of MEPs (members of the European Parliament) from different political groups in the EP’s industry and internal market committees,” the association which represents 39 industry and employer federations said. “Although not as far-reaching as it could have been, this compromise follows to a significant extent the risk-based approach advocated by European companies,” it added.
“A risk-based approach will put a particular emphasis on substances of high concern and ensure their registration first, thereby leading to a more efficient system that is more compatible with the capacities and resources of companies. In particular, this will help SMEs and downstream users in all sectors,” UNICE said.
It stressed that a risk-based approach would not reduce the responsibilities placed on industry nor would it put at risk the health and environmental objectives of Reach, a particular fear of environmentalists.
“We strongly encourage the environment committee to translate the compromise reached in the internal market and industry committees into a workable solution during the votes in early October and later in the plenary”, Philippe de Buck, UNICE secretary general, stated.
The environment committee votes on Reach on 4 October and will take MEPs amendments to a plenary session of the European Parliament.
A full reading of the proposed legislation, for which something like 5000 amendments have been suggested, is not expected until November at the earliest.
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