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Brussels mulls ban on export of hazardous chemicals

11 May 2023, 19:06 CET
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Brussels mulls ban on export of hazardous chemicals

Hazardous chemicals - Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission launched an open public consultation Wednesday to seek views on how to address the production for export of hazardous chemicals that are banned in the EU.

The EU is committed under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, part of the European Green Deal's ambition for a toxic-free environment - to ensuring that such chemicals are not produced for export.

The objective is to promote safety and sustainability standards with regards to hazardous chemicals outside the EU, to further align the EU's external action with policies applied at home. The future initiative will lead to harmonisation of EU rules and legal certainty for business.

"The EU would not be consistent in its ambition for a toxic-free environment if hazardous chemicals that are not allowed for use in the EU can still be produced here and then exported," said Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius: "These chemicals can cause the same harm to health and the environment regardless of where they are being used. As various Member States start to regulate the production of those chemicals, a uniform EU approach will be key to ensure harmonisation and clarity of rules."

International trade in hazardous chemicals is regulated through the UN's Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure, which is implemented in the EU by the PIC Regulation on the import and export of hazardous chemicals.

With this consultation, the Commission is looking to collect information and views from citizens and businesses and interested parties to help prepare the future initiative. Replies will feed into the evaluation of the PIC Regulation and the impact assessment of a future initiative.

The consultation can be accessed here and is open until 31 July 2023.

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