Brussels – The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) has joined a grouping of 19 chemicals organisations and goods manufacturers to call for the full enforcement of the EU chemicals safety and environmental legislation.
In a 23 Nov statement, the organisations, which also include European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), Covestro, Solvay and Henkel, urged the European Commission and EU member states to implement the legislation.
This, insisted the groups, was "crucial" for the competitiveness of European business and central to the European Green Deal agenda.
“No product (article, substance, or mixture) should enter the market if it does not comply with EU rules,” said the statement, urging officials to prioritise tightening controls of imports of both, chemicals and goods, including from online marketplaces.
“There is sufficient evidence that the vast majority of goods containing banned or restricted chemicals come from outside of the EU,” they argued.
This, they said, is “a matter of consumer safety” as many of these products are purchased online by individuals.
Stating that the number of reported non-compliance cases were “only the tip of the iceberg”, the group said such products reduced the competitiveness of EU domestic producers and distributors, who "invested millions" into compliance with the EU chemicals law.
Non-compliant imports will also hamper EU’s circular economy ambitions if they enter the European recycling streams, they added.
To address this, the statement said, enforcement authorities need to have “harmonised and standardised control test methods, the lab capacity, the budget and resources to check whether representative samples contain restricted chemicals or not.”
The chemical industry, it added, “stands ready” to contribute to the development of such analytical methods.
Furthermore, the statement called for improving coordination and sharing of data between regulators, private sector and civil society.
For instance, it said, the private sector can alert authorities and provide them with data and sector-specific expertise to identify non-compliant products.
In addition, the group called for digitalisation of information to enable sectors to ‘quickly and more systematically’ identify non-compliant articles, and pass the information on to competent authorities.
“Creating a toolkit of more efficient enforcement measures would make an enormous difference to public health and the environment,” the statement said.
The enforcement of the legislation, it concluded, will also reassure those who comply with EU legislation and invest in sustainability that their competitiveness will remain safeguarded.