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EU to publish 'fitness check' on non-REACH chemical laws in June
The European Commission will publish in June its long-delayed report on the regulatory fitness of all chemicals legislation excluding REACH, sources at the EU executive have said.
The report concludes three years of work to assess hazard and risk management processes across the EU chemicals policy framework. It will be released before the Commission's high level EU Chemicals Policy 2030 conference in Brussels on 27-28 June, they said.
This, they added, will give participants a chance to comment on the findings and "contribute to the discussion" on future EU policy. However, the report will not set out any follow-up actions, like the REACH review report has, as these should be determined under the new Commission term, said the sources.
The current Commission's term of office ends on 31 October. The next Commission president and commissioners will be nominated by the new EU parliament following this week's MEP elections.
The report, initially expected in 2017 and then in the middle of last year, has experienced severe delays due to the vast amount of information generated through stakeholder consultations.
These highlighted concerns around inefficiencies in harmonised classification (CLH) processes, and poor labeling and information on detergents and cosmetics, among others.
The fitness check exercise focuses on the most relevant of the EU's more than 40 pieces of chemicals legislation. This includes EU Regulations or Directives on CLP, biocidal products, chemical agents and carcinogens and mutagens in the workplace, as well as those focused on product categories, such as toys, cosmetics and detergents.
Several working documents and annexes will accompany the report, the sources said. However, as its scope is much bigger than that of the REACH Review, it is not expected to have as much detail.
Tatiana Santos, policy manager at the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), said she hoped the Commission would bring "clear conclusions and recommendations" to address gaps in legislation to compensate for the delays.
Urgent action is needed, she said, to tackle inconsistencies such as SVHCs still allowed in food contact materials, challenges in implementation and enforcement, as well as transparency issues, cocktail effects, mixtures and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDC).
Meanwhile, the EU is looking at the conference in Brussels to put its long-term policy ambitions firmly on the agenda, the sources said.
The conference will feature speakers including environment commissioner Karmenu Vella, commissioner for DG Grow Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Echa executive director Bjorn Hansen, as well as some ministers from member states and high-level industry and NGO representatives.