The addition of new chemicals under an international export convention is challenging the European Chemicals Agency with a rising tide of export requests, potentially causing delays for chemicals companies.
According to the agency, the number of notifications—which chemicals exporters are required to submit under the European Union’s Prior Informed Consent Regulation (PIC, Regulation (EU) 649/2012)—increased by 74 percent since 2014 to nearly 8,000 in 2016. The number of companies filing notifications rose from 390 to 1,177.
The export notifications are on the rise because new substances are being added to Annex I of the PIC Regulation and companies are becoming more aware of their obligations under the law.
“The expectation is that more chemicals will be added to Annex I,” leading to a greater workload in the future, the agency said in a Sept. 6 statement to Bloomberg BNA.
The agency said it has only seven full-time staff working on the implementation of the PIC Regulation and will request that EU institutions allocate additional resources when its budget for the 2018-2020 period is discussed.
Jasper Jansen, communications manager with Dutch chemicals company AkzoNobel, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 6 that it was required to file notifications for exports of some hazardous substances and “overall, we are satisfied” with the system set up by the chemicals agency to handle the notifications.
European Chemicals Agency Director Geert Dancet said in a statement Sept. 6 that unless the agency received new resources, however, it “cannot guarantee the same level of quality as we have achieved so far.”
When exporters want to export a listed chemical, they have to notify their national authority no later than 35 days before the export. The national authority then has 10 days to check the notification and pass it onto the EU chemicals agency. About 5 percent of these notifications are delivered late, according to the agency. ECHA then has 10 days to get in touch with the authority in the importing country to notify them of the export; about 1percent of these notifications are now running late.
According to a report it published Sept. 6, the agency has already experienced some delays in processing export notifications and passing them onto importing countries and with authorities in EU member countries forwarding notifications to the European Chemicals Agency.
The EU PIC Regulation implements the Rotterdam Convention on the PIC Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade in the bloc, which seeks to ensure that companies only export certain hazardous substances to countries that have previously consented to their import.
The regulation’s Annex I contains 200 substances for which consent must be sought from authorities in the importing country, or for which an export notification must be filed with the European Chemicals Agency.
According to the chemicals agency’s website, the greatest number of notifications for exports out of the EU are submitted for chloroform, benzene and 1,2-dichloroethane, which is used in applications such as the production of polymers, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides.
Companies that manufacture the substances in the EU include AkzoNobel and Germany’s BASF. BASF told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 6 it was unable to comment on the PIC export notification procedure.
The U.S. signed the Rotterdam, or PIC, Convention, but never ratified it. Since 157 countries and regions are parties to the treaty, however, U.S. chemical and pesticide manufacturers exporting to those parts of the world must comply.
To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gardner in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachael Daigle at email@example.com
The European Chemicals Agency report on the implementation of the PIC Regulation is available at http://src.bna.com/ski.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)