21 February 2008 17:34 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Commission (EC) must not rush efforts to introduce the UN’s Global Harmonized System (GHS) for the classification and labelling of chemicals, Germany’s chemical industry group Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), said on Thursday.
“Careful consultation with the European Parliament is more important than sticking to a set timeframe” to implement the scheme, VCI said in commenting on an EC proposal that aimed to have a European Union (EU) agreement on GHS in place as early as mid 2008.
VCI was supporting GHS, which would improve safety standards in countries that currently had no or only inadequate chemical regulations, it said.
“For a global industry such as chemicals, GHS is an important step in harmonising regulatory frameworks beyond the borders of ?xml:namespace>
GHS would not further improve on the already high levels of regulatory protection within the EU as it was a re-classification of chemical products based on revised formal criteria, not on new scientific findings, VCI said.
However, its introduction would affect a broad range of existing regulations and technical norms in Germany and other EU countries - including rules for waste disposal, storage, worker protection and accident prevention and response - which all need to be adapted, VCI said.
In addition, some of the GHS labelling rules could confuse consumers of detergent and soap products, it said.
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