EU Environment Report: February 2013 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: February 2013

EU Environment Report: February 2013

In this issue...

Chemicals
Commission concludes that the REACH Regulation has brought significant improvements
Commission releases roadmap on SVHCs
ECHA publishes additional list of substances for REACH registration by May 2013

Climate Change
Parliament backs Commission's proposal to suspend ETS for intercontinental flights

Eco-design
Commission publishes eco-label criteria for sanitary tapware

Products
Commission adds illustrative examples to EU definition of packaging
French government proposes broad environmental labelling requirement

Other
Commission opens consultation on revision of EU inspection rules
Commission opens anti-dumping investigation into imports of solar glass originating in China

The Months Ahead
Workshops & Conferences

Commission concludes that the REACH Regulation has brought significant improvements
On 5 February 2013, the European Commission ("Commission") published its general report on Regulation 1907/2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals ("REACH"). The publication of the report fulfils the obligation on the Commission to review functioning of the REACH Regulation every five years. Generally, the Commission concluded that the REACH regime has brought significant improvements in the management of chemical risks—a marked increase in the quality of data submitted to the European Chemicals Agency during the first registration phase and a marked decrease in the risks associated with the substances already registered. In particular, the report notes that the REACH Regulation poses a significant burden to SMEs and proposes a list of measures aiming to reduce the administrative burden of REACH for SMEs while assisting them to fulfil all REACH obligations.

Commission releases roadmap on SVHCs
On 5 February 2013, the European Commission ("Commission") published a roadmap on substances of very high concern ("SVHCs"). The roadmap, which was drafted by the Commission with the help of the European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA"), aims to identify a process for identifying potential SVHCs. The roadmap states that between 2013 and 2020, 440 substances should be subject to a "Risk Management Options" approach, which aims to identify the best regulatory option to manage the risk, either within REACH (authorisation, restriction or substance evaluation) or outside of REACH (via another legislation). Finally, the Commission invites the Member States to work together with the Commission and ECHA on SVHC identification. The roadmap was also published within the context of the five-year review of the EU's REACH Regulation.

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