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The chemicals, plastics and rubber industries are among the largest and the most dynamic industrial sectors in the EU. Together they generate about 3.1 million jobs in more than 83 000 companies. In 2012 chemicals sales in the EU amounted to €539 billion which is about 20 % of global chemicals sales. Regulation has a significant impact on the chemicals industry. This is why the quality of legislation, correct implementation and proper enforcement are not only of high significance for the achievement of health and environmental objectives, but also for the competitiveness of the chemicals industry.

For authorities and industry the main regulatory challenges are the correct implementation of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals) and CLP (Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures). Furthermore, DG Enterprise and Industry is in charge of sector-specific legislation on chemicals (e.g. fertilisers, detergents, etc.) in the EU.

These web pages (Enterprise & Industry/Chemicals) offer the interested reader further information on the legislation on chemicals and on the ongoing work on competitiveness-related issues. Links to the work of other Commission services and/or stakeholders are offered where available and applicable. There are several European Commission services contributing to the ongoing work in this area. The main players are Enterprise & Industry, Environment, Joint Research Centre, Health & Consumer Protection, Employment, Social Affairs & Equal Opportunities and