InterviewMore distributors adopting Responsible Care - FECC

26 May 2009 11:53  [Source: ICIS news]

By Elaine Burridge

LONDON (ICIS news)--Take up of Responsible Care in the chemical distribution sector, particularly in eastern Europe, is growing, said the European Association of Chemical Distributors (FECC) on Tuesday.

Director general Hendrik Abma said that the FECC was focusing on developing an “attractive and credible” tailor-made programme for chemical distribution.

“Our membership has grown with new company members in Greece, Portugal, Finland, and eastern Europe and many of these are now fully involved in Responsible Care. Several new national associations have also joined including from Sweden, Switzerland and Hungary,” said Abma.

Responsible Care, an initiative launched in 1985, monitors the chemical industry’s health, safety and environmental performance.

As well as Responsible Care, the FECC was active in its advocacy work on Reach, the EU’s regulatory scheme for chemicals. “We are still advocating pragmatic changes to the implementation of Reach to make it more workable and expect that its practical implementation will be adjusted to the particularities of the industry,” Abma said.

In particular, Abma was concerned with the issue of cost sharing in the substance information exchange forums (SIEFs). “We managed to get appropriate cost sharing in the guidelines, but we need to make it happen now. If everybody pays an equal share, the cost for a small importer can be very substantial and, consequently, he may not be able to bear the cost of the regulation,” said Abma.

Reach will be a major focus for the FECC at its congress in Helsinki, Finland, which will feature a presentation from Geert Dancet, executive director of the European Chemicals Agency. The congress will run from 22-24 June.

Abma said that some European chemical distributors had seen a drop in demand of up to 20-30% during the economic downturn. In particular, companies active in the automotive and constructions sectors had been strongly hit. Other sectors such as food, nutrition and water treatment were performing relatively well.

Click here to listen to the full interview

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By: Elaine Burridge
+44 20 8652 3214

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