Eurometaux considers the Commission proposal for potential new REACH SVHC candidates as lacking efficiency and a waste of public resources

Date

30 Aug 2012

Sections

Climate & Environment

Press release

Eurometaux, the European Association of Metals, is very concerned about the recent Commission initiative to list 38 substances, including a series of lead compounds, in the Register of Intentions for SVHCs (Substances of Very High Concern).

The metals sector is deeply surprised and concerned by the Commission’s unilateral move to propose a series of substances, for the SVHC list, for which extensive EU-wide Risk Management Measures are already in place”, states Guy Thiran, Director-General of Eurometaux. A prime example is the inclusion of lead stabilisers, even though the Commission is well aware that industry has already agreed to a phase-out programme before 2015. “Putting them on the SVHC list for authorisation has no added value for society and diverts resources away from more important risk management work”.

John Schonenberger, Chair of Eurometaux’s Industry REACH Forum, adds: “This proposal lacks the efficiency and efficacy checks normally included as part of a Risk Management Option (RMO) analysis. As a consequence, it would most probably result in wasteful action and a heavy administrative burden without delivering additional benefits for man and the environment.

Industry understands that the Commission took this measure to “meet its declared target of 136 substances by the end of the year”, as requested by Commissioners Tajani and Potočnik. However, delivering a target should not be at the expense of the efficient use of public resources and best regulatory practice. On the contrary, the Commission has the responsibility to ensure that the resources of both ECHA and industry are spent effectively by assessing if Authorisation / Restriction are the best tools to handle a potential concern.

Guy Thiran concludes: “I therefore invite the Commission to reconsider the urgency of this initiative and propose that it should first complete an RMO on the candidate substances listed. In this way, society can be assured that further action towards the Prioritisation, Restriction or Authorisation of potential SVHC chemicals will be effective and efficient in terms of improving the health of workers and the environment.”

For further information, please contact:

Guy THIRAN Director-General

EUROMETAUX – European Association of Metals

E-mail : thiran@eurometaux.be

John SCHONENBERGER Chair of the Eurometaux REACH Forum

Chief Executive - European Copper Institute

E-mail : john.schonenberger@copperalliance.eu

Eurometaux is the Brussels-based EU association of the non-ferrous metals industry, representing the main EU and international metals producers, EU and international metal commodity groups and national metal federations. The industry covers base metals (Al, Cu, Pb, Ni, Zn, Sn), precious metals (Au, Ag, PGM´s) and technical metals (e.g. Co, W, Cr, Mo, Mn), manufactured from both virgin and recycled raw materials.