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

EU Environment Report: November 2013

In this issue...

Chemicals:
Proposed REACH restriction on chromium in leather goods
ECHA consults on new authorisation requests on phthalates
General Court finds REACH restriction of cadmium unjustified; Commission did not conduct a proper risk assessment

Climate Change:
Changes to EU Emissions Trading Scheme
UN climate talks in Warsaw

Energy Efficiency:
New guidance on EU energy efficiency rules

Other:
Council and Parliament agree on stricter noise limits for vehicles
Commission launches public consultation on marine biotechnology

The Months Ahead:
Workshops & Conferences

Proposed REACH restriction on chromium in leather goods
On 5 November, the Danish Environment Minister announced that the Member States representatives in an EU legislative committee ("comitology committee") have approved the proposed restriction on chromium VI in leather goods which are intended to come into contact with the skin. If the restriction enters into force, it will limit the use of chromium VI to 3 mg per kilogram of dry leather. This would apply to products such as leather shoes, handbags and watch straps. According to Denmark, chromium VI can be formed from chromium III during the tanning process, and can cause allergic reactions.

The restriction will enter into force if it is formally adopted by the Member States in the Council and by the European Parliament, which now have three months to scrutinise the proposal. If adopted, it will be included in the "Restriction List" in Annex XVII of the EU's chemical regulation, REACH.

ECHA consults on new authorisation requests on phthalates
The European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA") is consulting on requests under the EU's chemical regime, REACH, to use the phthalates DEHP and DBP. DEHP and DBP are listed in the "Authorisation" Annex XIV of REACH, which means that companies wanting to sell or use them beyond 2015 must make an application for authorisation. ECHA received 7 applications for the use of these two phthalates, including for the manufacture of a variety of PVC products, electrical components, and explosive propellants for ammunition and aircraft ejection. In the context of the consultation, it is asking for information on potential substitutes. The consultation runs until 8 January. Submissions received will be considered by ECHA's expert committees, whose views will then be passed to the European Commission for a final decision on the applications for authorisation.

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