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Industry pushes Commission to extend CLP poison centre deadline

Labels - Pictogram reproduced with permission of the secretariat of Unece

Several trade bodies have written to European Commission vice president Jyrki Katainen calling for the EU executive to postpone the deadline for harmonised information relating to emergency health response (poison centres).

CLP Annex VIII requires companies placing hazardous mixtures on the EU market to provide member state authorities with certain information about them. The first deadline of 1 January 2020 is for substances placed on the market specifically for consumer use.

In their letter, dated 29 November, they cite "a clear lack of preparedness or legal certainty in several key areas".

It follows a move by soaps and detergents trade body Aise, which in October asked members of the Competent Authorities for REACH and CLP (Caracal) to consider postponing the first deadline by a year.  

The trade bodies’ November letter does not suggest a new deadline, but asks the Commission to organise a "swift" meeting to assess how their proposal should be progressed.

A delay, the letter said, will not have significant negative effects "since national poison centres will continue to operate according to the already existing national schemes". It highlights lack of preparedness and legal certainty concerning:

  • duty holders' future responsibilities;
  • potential changes to legal requirements leading to updates of the Regulation; and
  • guidance and IT tools being unready.

Aise has previously asked for the deadline for professional use mixtures to be pushed back by one year to 1 January 2022.  

The Commission said it is not considering a postponement of the first deadline "for the time being".

A number of processes are still ongoing, in particular on the guidance document and the development of the IT tools, a spokesperson told Chemical Watch. "We are convinced that these will be finalised in time before the first application deadline."

The nine signatories to the letter are:

  • Aise;
  • Cembureau – European Cement Association;
  • Eurogypsum;
  • European Federation of Concrete Admixtures Associations;
  • European Federation for Construction Chemicals;
  • European Mortar Industry Organisation;
  • European Ready Mixed Concrete Organisation;
  • Feica – the association of the European Adhesive and Sealant Industry; and
  • Fuels Europe.

Caracal support

Other industry associations demanded a postponement at the 22 November Caracal meeting, while several member states added their support, the letter to the Commission said.

In a separate submission to the recent meeting, Cefic reiterated its "deep concerns" over the Annex VII requirements due to the "very limited room for action, the uncertainty and the tight time schedule".

It asked the Commission to take "necessary actions" to guarantee obligations can be met. If not, it should consider "a reappraisal of the current deadline to allow the ongoing activities to be completed and analysed properly," it said.

Additionally, Cefic underlined data confidentiality as a key problem. The current timelines may not allow member state authorities to implement data protection standards – a major issue for downstream users whose formulations "absolutely demand protection", it said.

Meanwhile, in its submission to Caracal, the Downstream Users of Chemicals Coordination Group (Ducc) invited the Commission to "reflect seriously" on the situation and commit to taking "whatever action is necessary".

 

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