Europe’s top court upholds Reach against challenge

07 July 2009 21:02  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday rejected a challenge regarding the registration of monomers under the EU’s Reach regulation and ruled that reacted monomers in polymers must be registered.

In a case referred by a UK court, four polymer suppliers had argued that the words “monomer substance” in article 6 (3) of the regulation did not mean or include reacted monomers and that, therefore, no registration of reacted monomers was required under the regulation.

However, the ECJ found that under the regulation the term related to reacted monomers which were integrated in polymers, thus requiring registration.

“[The] obligation to register reacted monomers in polymers is an appropriate means by which to realise the objectives of the Reach regulation,” the EU's highest court said.

Under Reach, polymers are exempted until those that need to be registered due to health or environmental risks can be selected in a practicable and cost-efficient way on the basis of sound technical and valid scientific criteria.

However, subject to certain weight and volume conditions, manufacturers or importers of polymers must submit a registration to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) in Helsinki for monomer substances or any other substances that have not already been registered.

The case was brought by SPCM SA, a French producer of water-soluble polymers; CH Erbloh KG, a German distributor and wholesaler of specialty and industrial chemicals, including polymers; Lake Chemicals and Minerals, a UK-based importer of chemicals, including polymers; and US specialty chemicals producer Hercules, now part of Ashland.

The ECJ’s detailed ruling is available on the court’s website under case number C‑558/07.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653



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