21 May 2010 12:02 [Source: ICIS news]
HELSINKI (ICIS news)--The requirement under Europe’s new classification and labelling regulations to notify substances intended for research threatens the competitiveness of Europe’s chemicals sector, Cefic director general Hubert Mandery said on Friday.
Under the new rules, which are being introduced alongside the EU’s new Reach legislation, all substances, including those used in research, must be notified by January 2011. The list would then be made public, he said.
“This is a fundamental flaw in the legislation that needs to be addressed before the deadline of January 2011," Mandery told delegates at the second Helsinki Chemicals Forum. “It’s a huge burden at this stage because there is no minimum threshold in terms of quantity.”
This was one of the chemical industry’s top concerns in relation to innovation and competitiveness, he said.
Cefic was in discussions with all relevant parties, including the European Commission, to find an interim solution, he told ICIS on the sidelines of the meeting. “I think we should be smart enough to find a solution,” he said.
The new EU chemicals regulations would need to evolve over time, he said. “Reach is a giant field experiment. You can’t anticipate all the ‘ifs and buts’.”
While the notification of research substances poses a serious threat to innovation, the main concern for chemicals companies remains meeting the first Reach deadline of 31 November 2010 for registering high-tonnage substances, Mandery added.
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