Representatives of 13 nations including some of the EU's largest trading partners issued a joint statement on 8 June asking the EU to revisit a draft EU law on chemicals known as REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of CHemicals).
The joint statement, which was publicised at the initiative of the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU (AmCham EU), focuses on what those nations consider as potential trade disrupting effects of REACH. The signatories include Australia, Brazil, Chile, India, Israel, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand and the United States.
It follows an earlier statement by AmCham EU in April which claimed that some aspects of REACH could be regarded as constituting an unnecessary obstacle to trade, opening the prospect of a WTO dispute in accordance with article 2.2 on technical barriers to trade (TBT).
The countries call on EU lawmakers to "review the legislation" and to consider "revisiting the scope" of the draft law, in particular when it comes to authorising and registering chemical products with the future European chemical agency in Helsinki.
They denounce "the opacity of the regulatory process" and highlight concerns regarding the high cost burden that REACH will inflict on SMEs, particularly in developing countries.