Extracts from the report by Amalia Sartori, Member of the EP, on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, with the participation of Günter Verheugen
End production: 03/09/2008 First transmission: 03/09/2008
In 1980, the debate on chemicals and the part they play in our lives opened at international level, first within the International Labour Organisation and then within the United Nations which, following various interim stages (Rio in 1992, Johannesburg in 2002), adopted the GHS in December 2002 (with a revision in 2005).
At European level, in 2001, the Commission published a White Paper entitled 'Strategy for a future Chemicals Policy', in which it stated that it intended to propose that the GHS be incorporated into Community legislation. On 29 October 2003, in the Explanatory Memorandum to the amendment to Directive 67/548/EC adopted together with REACH, the Commission stated its intention to draft a proposal on the GHS. Stakeholder consultations were held between 21 August 2006 and 21 October 2006. 370 contributions were received. On 27 June 2007, the Commission adopted the proposal. In June 2007, REACH, one of the main strands of the chemicals policy, entered into force.
The GHS is a voluntary international harmonisation programme which the EU decided to join in order to establish a common, consistent basis for dealing with chemical hazards which set out fundamental rules to ensure: safety in the transport of hazardous goods; and protection of consumer and worker health and safety and of the environment.
Specifically, the proposal for a regulation harmonises the classification of substances and mixtures and the rules on the labelling and packaging of hazardous substances and mixtures; introduces an obligation for suppliers to classify substances and mixtures; establishes a list of substances with their harmonised classifications and labelling at Community level; and establishes a classification and labelling inventory which is made up of all notifications, submissions and harmonised classifications.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
|| Exterior view of the European Parliament in Brussels
|| General view of the hemicycle
|| Günter Verheugen, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Enterprise and Industry, (in GERMAN) saying that this directive creates the basis for a worldwide environmental and health related information system about possibly dangerous chemicals; only when there are harmonised standards and a unified system of labelling is it possible to compare and protect in an international dimension the environment and the consumers
|| Amalia Sartori, Member of the EP, rapporteur, (in ITALIAN) saying that with this new legislation the EU is maintaining the commitments at the international level; the EU made sure that there is consistency with the legislation of the UN; it is also in line with the REACH legislation and companies can become more competitive and efficient to a greater extend
|| Anne Laperrouze, Member of the EP, opinion giving rapporteur for the ITRE committee, (in FRENCH) saying that the GHS role is to protect the consumers and the environment; the ITRE committee asked to set up a procedure especially addressed to SMEs in certain product sectors to decide on the right size and system of labelling; also the committee was interested in the correlation to REACH, concerning the aspect of tonnage; it was important to think about the interpretation of different types of labelling, the need for procedure to harmonize the classification
|| Andreas Schwab, Member of the EP, opinion giving rapporteur for the IMCO committee, (in GERMAN) saying that the users of consumer goods are not acquainted with the composition of these goods, that is why the discussion on GHS took this into consideration; the EP has been concerned to have a practical solution for the consumers; it is not possible to go in all little aspects, but a solution has been found and which widely covers the objectives in terms of information on quantities
|| Guido Sacconi, Member of the EP, (in ITALIAN) saying that GHS is not the final word to be said about classification, labelling and packaging, because they are talking about an ongoing process; they have the classification where they see that the UN set up the system and GHS will be updated in accordance with the new findings
|| Cutaways (4 shots)