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

EU Environment Report: September 2012

In this issue:

(1) Automobiles: EU to extend exemption for lead in cars
(2) Chemicals:
(a) New REACH restrictions on cadmium and lead published
(b) Prohibition on mercury in measuring devices extended
(c) New prohibition on certain phenylmercury products
(3) Eco-design/Eco-labelling: Energy labelling of electrical lamps and luminaires
(4) Energy: Parliament approves agreements on new Directives on marine fuels and energy efficiency
(5) Other:
(a) EU court rules against Italian GM maize ban
(b) Initiation of EU investigation into Chinese solar panels
(c) Denmark confirms plans to create a nanoregister
(6) The Months Ahead: Workshops & Conferences

Automobiles—EU to extend exemption for lead in cars
On 20 September 2012, a draft decision by the European Commission was published which extends the exemption, due to expire on 1 January 2013, from a prohibition on lead in vehicle parts and components under Directive 2000/53/EC on end-of-life vehicles. The exemption, contained in Annex II of Directive 2000/53/EC, deals with the use of lead in solders in electrical glazing applications on glass, except for soldering in laminated glazing. According to the draft Commission Decision, the exemption will remain in place until 1 January 2016.

Chemicals—New REACH restrictions on cadmium and lead published
On 18 September 2012, two new substance restrictions were published in the EU's official journal, on cadmium and lead. The restrictions take the form of Regulations amending Annex XVII to Regulation No. 1907/2006 on the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals ("REACH Regulation").

The Regulation on cadmium removes cross-linked polyethylene (VPE), high-impact polystyrene and polypropylene (PP) from the list of restricted uses of cadmium, and mandates that the Commission ask the European Chemicals Agency, by 19 November 2012, to prepare a dossier in order to assess whether the use of cadmium and its compounds in plastic material should be further restricted.

The Regulation on lead provides that lead shall not be placed on the market or used in any individual part of articles of jewellery if the concentration of lead (expressed as metal) in such a part is equal to or greater than 0.05 % by weight. Certain derogations are contained in the Regulation.

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