Guidelines and Their Impact on ALTANA
The United Nations’ Globally Harmonized System (GHS) is a standard that is to be used to create a uniform worldwide register for labeling chemicals. In Europe, this standard is part of the EU-wide CLP (Classification, Labeling and Packaging of Substances and Mixtures) regulation, which has already been implemented by our companies.
In the U.S., GHS is a component of the new HCS (Hazard Communication Standard) guideline that went into effect in June 2015. Our companies in the U.S. implemented the corresponding measures in their SAP systems within the deadlines provided. It must be noted, however, that in our view GHS standards are manifested so differently in the EU and the U.S. that manufacturers still have to bear additional costs.
International guidelines and national laws are the framework for our actions. Hence we attentively follow the development of plans that affect us and actively participate in opinion-making within the framework of our association memberships. This concerns the reform of TSCA in the U.S. as well as the REACH Review, which focuses on regulations for polymers and nanomaterials, among other things.
When it comes to nanomaterials, we advocate an EU-wide nanomaterial register. At the same time, however, we are concerned that it will not replace the national registers established by some countries. In light of the fact that there is still no feasible method for determining what nanomaterials are, we have observed growing uncertainty among all participants, manufacturers and customers, as well as nongovernment organizations. This is preventing progress from being made in the debate about what the term “nano” means.
We are also attentively following the development of the much-discussed transatlantic free trade agreement TTIP. Like the VCI, we expect the agreement to provide a number of advantages for our industry and thus for our group. If customs taxes disappear, the chances of exporting to the U.S. will improve, and the outlay for goods and services will be lower.
Transatlantic cooperation on regulatory projects can also be favorable for both partners, for instance when it comes to harmonizing the worldwide GHS. In the long run, TTIP can raise the global standards for protecting the environment, employees, and consumers. The prerequisite is that the TTIP stipulations are adopted by countries in other regions.