Germany’s chemical producers urge cuts in red tape

10 September 2009 17:55  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Germany’s chemical producers are coping with annual costs of €40m ($57m) from information and reporting duties under environmental laws alone, the country’s chemical industry association VCI said on Thursday, citing the findings of a new study.

The Frankfurt-based group urged lawmakers and government officials to reduce those costs to help make Germany a more competitive location for chemical production.

The €40m total did not include reporting costs from the EU’s REACH regulation, estimated at around €100m/year, or laws and regulations that came into effect in the past two years, VCI said.

VCI general manager Utz Tillmann said lawmakers and government officials needed to take into account those costs when preparing laws, regulations and rules.

The objective was not to lower environmental standards or requirements but rather to make laws and regulations, and their enforcement, more efficient and manageable, and to give firms some scope in compliance, he said.

However, the bureaucratic compliance cost from reporting obligations under environmental laws were only a small part of the overall red tape problem, Tillman said.

In total, Germany's industry faced annual cost of €50bn, or about 2% of GDP, just from “filling out forms” and reporting data under various laws and regulations, Tillman said.

He lauded a government initiative to cut those costs by 25% by 2011.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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