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

EU Environment Report: May 2012

In this issue:

(1) Chemicals
(a) Council of Ministers endorses new regulations on biocides
(b) New SVHC submissions from Sweden and Germany
(c) Parliament adopts chemicals legislative resolution
(2) Climate Change
(a) Late ETS plans trigger Commission infringement action
(b) China and India miss ETS deadline to submit airline emissions data
(c) Commission adopts ETS state aid rules
(d) Commission consulting on EU Adaptation Strategy
(3) Energy: EU and China form urbanisation partnership
(4) Pollution: Parliament and Member States agree on new sulphur limits in marine fuels
(5) The Months Ahead: Workshops & Conferences

Council of Ministers endorses new regulations on biocides
On 10 May 2012, the Council of Ministers endorsed new regulations seeking to minimise environmental and health risks of biocidal products. These products include insecticides, disinfectants and repellents, but not medicines or agricultural pesticides. The rules were originally agreed to under a deal struck by Members of Parliament last November and subsequently approved in January this year. The deal provides for an EU authorisation system which will be introduced from 2013 to 2020 and will require the labelling of certain products, such as anti-bacterial kitchen tops, and will ban the most dangerous chemicals. In addition, the new rules will recognise the potential threat of nanomaterials. The new regulations will apply from 1 September 2013.

New SVHC submissions from Sweden and Germany
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has revealed that Germany and Sweden plan to recommend eight new substances of very high concern (SVHCs) for the REACH candidate list this summer. Germany is preparing information on four perfluorinated acids which are classified as persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT). Sweden's notifications feature cadmium and two cadmium-related compounds, in addition to methoxy acetic acid. Currently, the candidate list includes 73 substances, with 13 more under consideration.

Parliament adopts chemicals legislative resolution
On 10 May 2012, the European Parliament adopted a resolution at first reading on the Commission's proposal for a recast of regulation EC 689/2008 of 17 June 2008 regarding the export and import of dangerous chemicals. The recast was necessary to coordinate definitions spelled out in REACH. In the resolution, the Parliament approved amendments requiring that if a destination country does not respond within 60 days to a request for its prior informed consent to imports of such chemicals, importation may proceed provided that the substance is "licensed, registered or authorised" in the destination country.

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