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Guides on the EU policy on chemicals.
Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability
The European Commission adopted on 14 October the EU Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.
Bayer - Monsanto: the Commission's competition concerns
The European Commission approved on 21 March under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Monsanto by Bayer. The merger is conditional on the divestiture of an extensive remedy package, which addresses the parties' overlaps in seeds, pesticides and digital agriculture.
Ten years of REACH - Commission review
The European Commission proposed on 5 March actions to facilitate implementation of 'REACH', the key EU law on chemicals, which has made significant contributions to enhancing the protection of human health and the environment and promoting alternatives to animal testing.
Endocrine disruptors
EU Member States representatives voted on 4 July in favour of the European Commission's proposal on scientific criteria to identify endocrine disruptors in the field of plant protection products. This is seen as an important step towards greater protection of citizens from harmful substances.
Endocrine Disruptors: Commission Communication
The European Commission adopted on 7 November a Communication outlining its strategy to address the problem of endocrine disruptors, with the aim of protecting consumers against harmful chemicals which change our hormonal system.
Protection against exposure to hazardous chemicals
The European Commission has proposed to better protect workers from risks linked to exposure to chemicals at the workplace.
Fish-friendly laundry and dishwasher detergents - guide
Washing powders and dishwasher detergents will need to be almost phosphate-free in future, following a vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday. The measures aim to protect aquatic life in waterways and seas around the EU.
EU proposal to ban phosphates in laundry detergents - guide
The European Commission has proposed to ban the use of phosphates and to limit the content of other phosphorous containing compounds in laundry detergents. The draft Regulation aims to reduce the phosphates found in waste water and to improve water quality. The draft Regulation does not affect detergents for automatic dishwashers or those used by professionals as technically and economically feasible alternatives are not yet available throughout the EU. However, Member States can regulate the phosphate content of these detergents in specific circumstances.
Chemicals deadlines - guide
The chemicals deadlines: REACH places the responsibility on industry to manage the risks that chemicals can pose to human health and the environment. The REACH registration deadline is 30 November 2010. Companies have also to notify by 1 January 2011 the classification and labelling of the substances they place on the market to the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), who will publish the information in the Classification & Labelling Inventory.
Registration and authorisation for safer chemicals in the EU - briefing
European Commission Vice President Tajani and Commissioner Potočnik on 25 March announced EC action to make progress towards the registration of chemicals and the management of substances of very high concern. This memo focuses on action being taken for European companies, in particular for SMEs, towards the approaching deadline of 30 November 2010 under REACH. It also provides background information regarding substances of very high concern and authorisation, where substantial progress has been reached.
EU Enterprise and Industry Contacts
REACH - Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals
REACH is the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals. It entered into force on 1st June 2007. It streamlines and improves the former legislative framework on chemicals of the European Union.
CLP: Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging
The CLP is an EU regulation which sets the rules for classification and labelling of chemicals. It aims to determine whether a substance or mixture displays properties that lead to a classification as hazardous.
Chemicals Reference Documents
EU reference documentation related to CLP (the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures) and specific chemicals.
Competitiveness in the European Chemical Industry
Since industrial competitiveness is of central importance for the Commission, on the basis of the Communication "Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: A policy framework to strengthen EU manufacturing" a High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the European Chemicals Industry in the European Union was set up.
REACH - Recycling and Waste Prevention - Clean Air
A long-awaited compromise on the REACH - the registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals - was adopted by the European Union in December 2006, to come into force in June 2007. REACH is hoped to increase protection of human health and the environment while enhancing the innovative capability and competitiveness of the EU chemicals industry.
EU and China agreements to strengthen cooperation on protecting Intellectual Property Rights and on preventing illicit imports of chemical substances used for synthetic drug production - briefing
Commissioner Kovacs, responsible for Taxation and Customs, today signed an Action Plan with the Chinese Ambassador Song to strengthen customs cooperation on protecting Intellectual Property Rights. They also signed an agreement to enhance customs co-operation in monitoring trade and preventing trafficking and the diversion of drug precursors (chemicals that are essential to the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs).
EU ban on dimethylfumarate (DMF) in consumer products such as sofas and shoes - briefing
The use of the biocide (DMF) dimethylfumarate - which has caused severe allergic reactions in hundreds of consumers, because of its use in every day consumer products such as couches and shoes - looks set to be banned across the EU. Today, EU Member States voted in favour of a draft European Commission Decision to ensure that consumer products, such as leather furniture or footwear, containing the strongly sensitising (DMF) are not placed on the market in the EU. If already on the market, these products will have to be recalled and withdrawn without delay. In countries such as France, Finland, Poland, Sweden and the UK, consumers exposed to products containing DMF, have experienced serious health problems including skin itching, irritation, redness, burns and, in some cases, acute respiratory difficult. The draft Commission decision is for an emergency EU wide measure, pending the adoption of a more permanent regulatory solution. Following today's vote, the draft Commission decision will be submitted for consultation to the European Parliament before going before the College of Commissioners for final approval.
EU ban on mercury exports - briefing
The EU Council today adopted legislation banning all exports of mercury from the European Union. The export ban is a key part of the EU's strategy for reducing the global supply of mercury and thereby limiting emissions of the highly toxic heavy metal into the environment. The legislation requires mercury that is no longer used in the chlor-alkali industry – the chemical industry sector responsible for chlorine and caustic soda production – or that is produced in certain other industrial operations, to be put into safe storage once the export ban takes effect in March 2011.
European Chemicals Agency ECHA - guide
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) was officially opened on 3 June 2008 by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Finnish Prime Matti Vanhanen. Located in Helsinki, ECHA is responsible for managing the implementation of the REACH requirements in relation to the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction processes of chemical substances. ECHA formally began its activities a year ago and its work has been devoted to intensive preparations, including staff recruitment and establishing support structures and procedures. On 1st June 2008 two key processes of REACH entered into operation: Registration of chemicals and pre-registration of the some 30,000 chemicals currently in use (e.g. acids, metals, solvents, surfactants). Manufacturers or importers of chemicals have to pre-register them by 1 December 2008 if they want to continue manufacturing or importing them without interruption. It has been estimated that over 180,000 pre-registration files will be submitted.