GlobalChem: Commentary

27 February 2014 11:15 Source:ICIS Chemical Business

Chemicals management practitioners, experts and regulators come together each year at the GlobalChem conference to discuss latest developments. Organised jointly by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) and the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA), this leading event offers chemical executives the chance to bring themselves up to date on global initiatives and practices.

ICIS is pleased to be working with these two trade bodies to bring you this special publication on global chemicals management. It is a busy time for the industry, with progress at last on the reform and renewal of the US’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), made possible by the bipartisan approach fostered last year by Senators Lautenberg and Vitter.

But there are moves in other countries too. China, South Korea, Taiwan and many other Asian nations are formulating their own regulations. And in Europe, the Reach regulation continues to roll through its phased approach, taking in ever-smaller-volume chemicals, in many ways setting the pace and the standard for others to follow.

All of this keeps a global industry on its toes as producers have to assimilate multiple approaches and standards on risk assessment, classification and labelling and chemical safety. To add even further to the complexity, the economically and politically important US West Coast state of California has just implemented its own chemicals regulation, the Safer Consumer Products Regulations, albeit setting out at a moderate pace.

What industry craves most is transparency in its dealings within the US regulatory framework and harmonisation on the global stage. ACC and SOCMA are hoping the US-EU trade talks will lead to progress in both areas, with closer cooperation and communication between the two leading global economic regions.

Those attending the GlobalChem meeting in Baltimore this year will have chance to learn the latest news and views on these complex issues.

By John Baker