New EU export, import regulation for hazardous chems is implemented

28 February 2014 10:48 Source:ICIS News

LONDON (ICIS)--New rules concerning the export and import of very hazardous chemicals will be implemented from 1 March 2014, when the revised Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation becomes operational, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) said on Friday.

PIC regulates the import and export of very hazardous chemicals between the EU and third countries, and implements the global Rotterdam Convention within the EU.

Under the new regulation, the export of very hazardous chemicals cannot take place until the receiving country has been informed. The ECHA said in some cases, an ‘explicit consent' is needed from the importing country.

The regulation also introduces fixed timelines for all acting parties to perform their tasks, whereas the previous regulation had different deadlines for first time exports and exports that have previously taken place.

“The regulation aims to promote shared responsibility and cooperation in the international trade of very hazardous chemicals, and to protect human health and the environment by giving information to the receiving countries on how to store, transport, use and dispose of such chemicals safely,” the ECHA said.

The new regulation is consistent with the Reach and Classification, Labelling and Packaging (CLP) regulations, the Finland-headquartered regulator added.

In addition, the ECHA will take responsibility for the technical and administrative aspects of PIC, while policy responsibility will remain with the Directorate-General for the Environment of the European Commission.

ECHA's executive director Geert Dancet said: "PIC is another piece of EU legislation which makes an important contribution to chemical safety worldwide.

“We are proud to take responsibility for PIC and to strengthen our role as a global actor in the field of chemical safety. Our aim is to ensure a successful transition from the existing legislation to the new. ECHA staff are ready to help dutyholders,” he added.

By Franco Capaldo