EU Environment Report: March 2012 | White & Case LLP International Law Firm, Global Law Practice
EU Environment Report: March 2012

EU Environment Report: March 2012

In this issue:

(1) Chemicals:
(a) Member states to evaluate chemicals published in first list of substances under REACH Regulation
(b) EU restricts the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in detergents
(c) ECHA publishes summary of consumer products containing Substances of Very High Concern
(d) EU toughens cadmium limits for toys
(e) EU Court pronounces on definition of biocidal products
(f) France sets temporary new ban on GM maize
(2) Climate Change:
(a) European Commission publishes new guidance on Best Available Technique (BAT) reference documents and quality assurance for industrial emissions
(b) EC publishes BAT for glass, iron, and steel
(c) Poland still not convinced by EU emissions policy
(3) Eco-Design: New eco-design standards for air conditioning appliances
(4) Other: EU contests China's policy on rare earth exports
(5) The Month Ahead: Workshops & Conferences

 

Member states to evaluate chemicals published in first list of substances under REACH Regulation
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) released its very first Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) listing 90 substances to be evaluated under the REACH Regulation's substance evaluation process. This year 36 substances will be evaluated by 17 member states, with the remainder to be examined in 2013 and 2014. Included in the CoRAP's list are new car refrigerant HFO-1234yf and bisphenol A, to be evaluated by Germany this year. Member states have one year to complete their evaluations and to request further information from REACH registrants if required. Registrants will be able to comment before the ECHA or the European Commission (if the ECHA's Member State Committee does not reach a unanimous decision) issues any final decision.

EU restricts the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in detergents
On 30 March 2012, the EU published limitations on the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in consumer laundry detergents and consumer automatic dishwasher detergents in order to reduce the contribution of these compounds to eutrophication risks and to reduce the costs of removal at waste water treatment plants. The limits for consumer laundry detergents are set at 0.5 grams in the recommended quantity to be used in the main cycle of the washing process and will apply from 30 June 2013. For consumer automatic dishwasher detergents, the total content is limited to 0.3 grams of the standard dosage; this limitation will apply from 1 January 2017.

ECHA publishes summary of consumer products containing Substances of Very High Concern
On Monday 5 March 2012 the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) published its first summary of products on the EU market containing substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The ECHA's summary aims at increasing knowledge and awareness of hazardous chemicals in consumer products, but the information released does not provide a comprehensive assessment of all SVHCs. Producers and importers have until June 2012 to notify the ECHA of any products containing the 20 SVHCs included in December 2011's candidate list, which is updated every six months.

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