On May 08, 2023, the Commission launched an open public consultation as part of an initiative to prohibit the production for export of hazardous chemicals that are banned in the EU. The consultation is open until 31 July.
The initiative is a commitment made under the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, which is part of the Green Deal’s ambition for a toxic-free environment. The objective is to promote safety and sustainability standards outside the EU, to further align the EU’s internal and external policies, and lead by example. The initiative will also contribute to a safer environment in the EU, by potentially minimising the use in non-EU-countries of certain persistent and mobile chemicals that can cause cross-border harm.
Commissioner for Environment, Oceans, and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius, said:
Chemicals can be very useful for our society and economy, but we must produce and use them without causing harm to people and planet. The EU would not be consistent in its ambition for a toxic-free environment if hazardous chemicals that are not allowed for use in the EU can still be produced here and then exported. These chemicals can cause the same harm to health and the environment regardless of where they are being used. As various Member States start to regulate the production of those chemicals, a uniform EU approach will be key to ensure harmonisation and clarity of rules.
International trade in hazardous chemicals is regulated through the UN’s Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure, which is implemented in the EU by the PIC Regulation on the import and export of hazardous chemicals.
With this consultation, the Commission seeks to collect information and views from citizens and stakeholders, to help prepare the future initiative. Replies will feed into the evaluation of the PIC Regulation and the impact assessment of this action.
Members are encouraged to respond to this consultation directly by 31 July if appropriate.