Global Regulatory Update for April 2017


AUSTRALIA

NICNAS Requests Information About Products In The Trade Name Annex Of The AICS: On March 7, 2017, the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) published a Chemical Gazette notice requesting information about products in the Trade Name Annex of the Australian Inventory of Chemical Substances (AICS). For each industrial chemical making up a trade name product listed in the Trade Name Annex as of March 7, 2017, the following information on the chemical identity is required:

  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) name;
     
  • CAS number; and
     
  • Molecular formula.
     

Where a product’s name has changed and differs from that in the Trade Name Annex, but the product has the same chemical ingredients as the listed product, NICNAS asks that companies provide the chemical composition of the rebranded product and details of when the product was rebranded. Any such chemical may, on application to NICNAS, be included in the confidential section of the AICS if certain criteria are met. Once NICNAS receives the requested information, it will add the particulars of the industrial chemical(s) making up a trade name product that is not already on the AICS to the AICS, and then remove the trade name product. Responses are due March 9, 2018. If NICNAS does not receive information about each chemical making up a trade name product by the due date, NICNAS must remove the trade name product from the AICS.

Australia Publishes 20th Tranche Of IMAP Assessments: NICNAS published for public comment the 20th tranche of human health and environmental assessments for chemicals identified as part of the Inventory Multi-tiered Assessment and Prioritization (IMAP) Framework. NICNAS states that it seeks comments where information that has the potential to affect the outcome of an assessment has not been considered. The 20th tranche assessments include excluded use chemicals. In Stage Two of IMAP, NICNAS is screening the AICS for chemicals that are used exclusively for therapeutic, agricultural, veterinary, or food purposes (excluded uses). NICNAS states that it does not consider excluded use chemicals to be relevant industrial chemicals, and they do not need Tier II assessment. According to NICNAS, this is part of preparatory (pre-prioritization) work to identify criteria for the identification of higher risk chemicals requiring assessment. Comments on the 20th tranche of assessments should be evidence-based and the relevance of submitted information should be highlighted. Comments are due May 12, 2017.

BRAZIL

Brazil Proposes Additional Requirements For Hazardous Waste Management: Brazil’s Lower House of its Congress, the Câmara dos Deputados (Chamber of Deputies), has proposed legislation (the Bill) that would strengthen the requirements contained in its existing hazardous waste-related law, the Política Nacional de Resíduos Sólidos (National Solid Waste Policy, No. 12.305/2010), which has been in effect since 2010. If passed by both houses of Congress and signed into national law, the Bill, which is not presently available online, would mandate that hazardous waste operators install tracking devices, that could be accessed remotely, on vehicles used to transport hazardous waste throughout the country. Furthermore, the Bill includes a provision that would mandate the National Registry of Hazardous Waste Operators to develop a process that would be capable of remotely tracking hazardous waste at all points in its lifecycle, from generation to storage to transport and ultimately to disposal.

CANADA

Mandatory Surveys Concerning Certain Substances Require Information For Risk Management: On April 1, 2017, Canada published in the Canada Gazette two Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA) Section 71 notices to obtain information for the risk management of approximately 80 substances. Canada states that it needs information from manufacturers, importers, and users of these substances to identify current commercial data, such as quantities and applications of these substances in Canadian commerce. Canada staggered the information gathering initiative through two separate notices with staggered reporting timelines. The Summer 2017 survey applies to approximately 21 substances that are toxic or proposed to be toxic as defined under CEPA Section 64:

  • Part 1 -- Hexavalent chromium compounds;
     
  • Part 2 -- 2-Propanone, Reaction Products with Diphenylamine (PREPOD) and related substance;
     
  • Part 3 -- Dechlorane plus (DP), decabromodiphenyl ethane (DBDPE), and decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE); and
     
  • Part 4 -- Refractory ceramic fibers.
     

Every person to whom the notice for Summer 2017 applies is required to comply no later than June 28, 2017, 3:00 p.m. (ET). The Fall 2017 notice applies to 50 substances that are toxic as defined under CEPA Section 64:

  • Part 1 -- Toluene diisocyanates;
     
  • Part 2 -- Phenol, 2,6-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-(1-methylpropyl)- (DTBSBP);
     
  • Part 3 -- 2,4,6-tri-tert-butylphenol (2,4,6-TTBP);
     
  • Part 4 -- Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate; and
     
  • Part 5 -- Tetrachloroethylene (PERC), trichloroethylene (TCE), and nonylphenol and its ethoxylates.
     

Every person to whom the Notice for Fall 2017 applies is required to comply no later than September 27, 2017, 3:00 p.m. (ET). Guidance is available for companies to help determine if they are subject to the notice and for assistance with completing the sections of the notice. According to the guidance, mixtures and products that may contain reportable substances include, but are not limited to:

  • Prepared formulations;
     
  • Homogenous and heterogeneous alloys;
     
  • Hydrates;
     
  • Reaction mixtures that are characterized in terms of their constituents;
     
  • Brake fluids;
     
  • Fuels;
     
  • Lubricants;
     
  • Paints and coatings;
     
  • Ink toners and colorants;
     
  • Cosmetics and personal care products (e.g., lipstick, mascara, toothpaste, mouthwash, creams, and lotions);
     
  • Cleaning liquids, gels, or sprays; and
     
  • Adhesives and glues.
     

CHINA

China Publishes The Final Version Of The New Regulation On Pesticide Administration: On April 1, 2017, the State Council of China published Decree Number 677 of the State Council of China (China Decree 677), the final version of the new “Regulation on Pesticide Administration (RPA),” which will become effective on June 1, 2017.

The first version of RPA became effective on May 8, 1997, and was revised by China Decree 326, which took effect on November 29, 2001. China Decree 677 includes the following eight chapters -- General Provisions, Pesticide Registration, Production of Pesticides, Distribution of Pesticides, Uses of Pesticides, Supervision and Management, Legal Liability, and Supplementary Provision -- and has significant changes to the current version of RPA (China Decree 326). The key changes in the new RPA are as follows:

  • Streamline the administration process:
     
    • Pesticides will now be administered by the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), instead of multiple ministries.
       
    • Licensing systems for pesticide production and distribution will be implemented.
       
    • Promote the reduction of pesticide uses and enhance the management of highly toxic pesticides.
       
  • Clarify the responsibilities:
     
    • Manufacturers, sponsors of the contracted manufacturers, and distributors are responsible for the safety, efficacy, and quality of pesticides.
       
  • Prevent and punish adulteration of pesticides and enhance enforcement:
     
    • Increased fines and blacklisting are included to strengthen the punishments for adulteration.
       
  • Revise the registration process:
     
    • Temporary pesticide registration is no longer an option. The MOA will formulate the relevant rules and measures for the pesticide registration and establish the Pesticide Registration Review Committee, but no timeline is provided.
       
    • The review times for pesticide registration are included. The MOA should complete its review within 40 working days for the notification of field trials of new pesticides after receiving accepted notification application. The provincial department of agriculture should submit its preliminary review recommendations to the MOA within 20 working days after receiving accepted pesticide registration application of domestic products and the MOA should complete its review within 20 working days after receiving preliminary review recommendations from the provincial department of agriculture. The registration of overseas pesticide products will be directly submitted to the MOA by applicant.
       
    • Registration holder is allowed to transfer its data used for the registration but not the registration certificate to others.
       
    • Exemption of residue and environmental tests is allowed to register pesticides with the same composition as well as the same application scopes and methods as a registered pesticide, but authorization by the registration holder is required for the registered pesticide within the six-year protection period from the date of registration.
       
  • Revise pesticide labeling requirements:
     
    • All pesticide labels must be approved by the MOA.
       
    • False or misleading labeling is not allowed.
       
    • Changes to approved label content are not allowed without approval by the MOA.
       
  • Improve the recording and tracking system of pesticide uses:
     
    • Manufacturers and distributors/retailers of pesticides must maintain the required records for at least two years.
       
    • Overseas enterprises cannot distribute or sell pesticides in China directly and will have to distribute or sell pesticides through either their own distribution entity in China or pesticide distribution agents in China.
       
  • Establish the pesticide recall and pesticide waste recycling systems:
     
    • Manufacturers are responsible for recalling timely pesticides deemed to have serious toxicity or great risk.
       
    • Promote the recycling of pesticide wastes by manufacturers and distributors/retailers. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP), MOA, the Ministry of Finance, and the relevant ministries will formulate the relevant rules and measures for its implementation, but no timeline is included.
       

EUROPEAN UNION (EU)

EFSA Begins Public Consultation On Draft Weight Of Evidence And Biological Relevance Guidance Documents: On March 6, 2017, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) announced the availability of two draft guidance documents -- the weight of evidence approach and biological relevance of observed effects -- for public comment. The draft guidance on biological relevance:

  • Provides generic issues and criteria when deciding on whether an observed effect is of biological relevance, i.e., is adverse (or shows a positive health effect) or not; and
     
  • Clarifies definitions and concepts, such as responses of a biological system to exposure, mode of action and adverse outcome pathways, thresholds, critical effect, modeling approaches, and biomarkers.
     

The draft guidance on weight of evidence:

  • Addresses the use of the weight of evidence in scientific assessments using both qualitative and quantitative approaches; and
     
  • Proposes a three-step approach for assembling, weighing, and integrating evidence and defines reliability, relevance, and consistency in terms of their contributions to a weight of evidence assessment.
     

According to EFSA, these documents, together with the guidance on uncertainty assessment, will help to harmonize methodologies across all the areas under EFSA’s remit. EFSA states that “[t]his work will increase the openness, robustness and transparency of our scientific assessments.” EFSA calls for feedback on the draft guidance documents from the international scientific community, European and national risk assessors, risk communicators, and risk managers, as well as EFSA’s stakeholders. EFSA’s Scientific Committee will review the comments and consider them in developing the final versions of these documents. Comments are due May 1, 2017.

ECHA Publishes Document On How To Consider A Read-Across Approach For Multi-Constituent And UVCB Substances: The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) announced on March 7, 2017, the availability of a new document on using read-across for multi-constituent and unknown or variable composition, complex reaction products, or biological materials (UVCB) substances. The document describes key issues for assessing and addressing the complexity of read-across approaches for these substances, and includes example model cases to illustrate the complexity. More information is available in ECHA’s press release, “How to consider a read-across approach for multi-constituent and UVCB substances.”

EC Begins Consultation For The Evaluation Of ECICS: On March 14, 2017, the European Commission (EC) began a public consultation for the evaluation of the European Customs Inventory of Chemical Substances (ECICS). The EC states that the ECICS allows users to:

  • Clearly and easily identify chemicals;
     
  • Classify them correctly and easily in the Combined Nomenclature; and
     
  • Name them in all EU languages for regulation purposes.
     

The EC seeks the views of businesses, professional associations, public authorities, customs laboratories, international organizations, and any other possible users of the ECICS database. The EC will use the results to shape decisions on the future of the database. Responses are due June 6, 2017.

EP Committee Approves Draft Legislation That Would Boost Recycling: The European Parliament (EP) Committee on Environment, Public Health, and Food Safety adopted draft legislation on March 14, 2017, that would boost recycling, reduce landfilling, and curb food waste. The Committee’s March 14, 2017, press release states that the draft legislation would meet the following targets:

  • Waste and packaging waste: By 2030, at least 70 percent by weight of so-called municipal waste (from households and businesses) should be recycled or prepared for re-use, (i.e., checked, cleaned, or repaired). For packaging materials, such as paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, metal, and wood, the Committee proposes an 80 percent target for 2030, with interim 2025 targets for each material;
     
  • Landfilling: The draft legislation limits the share of municipal waste to be landfilled to ten percent by 2030. The Committee proposes reducing this to five percent, with a possible five-year extension in certain circumstances, for Member States that landfilled more than 65 percent of their municipal waste in 2013; and
     
  • Food waste: Food waste in the EU is estimated at some 89 million tonnes, or 180 kg per capita per year. The Committee advocates an EU food waste reduction target of 30 percent by 2025 and 50 percent by 2030, compared to 2014. The Committee proposes a similar target for marine litter.
     

The EP will now negotiate with the Council of Ministers. More information is available in the Committee’s press release, “Waste: boost recycling, cut landfilling and curb food waste, Parliament says.”

Court Of Justice Rules That REACH Article 57(f) Listing Cannot Be Based Only On Hazards: On March 15, 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU issued its decisions in the cases Polynt v. ECHA (C-323/15 P) and Hitachi Chemical Europe and Polynt v. ECHA (C-324/15 P). The appellants in both cases challenged the General Court’s opinions concerning ECHA’s decision under Article 57(f) of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation to list hexahydro-2-benzofuran-1,3-dione (HHPA) and hexahydromethylphthalic anhydride (MHHPA) as substances of very high concern (SVHC). ECHA identified HHPA and MHHPA as meeting the criteria under Article 57(f) and listed them as SVHCs in December 2012. The companies filed suit in General Court, arguing that ECHA was incorrect in its conclusion that HHPA and MHHPA give rise to a level of concern equivalent to category 1 carcinogenic, mutagenic, or toxic to reproduction substances (CMR). According to the companies, the effects of respiratory sensitization are not irreversible, and consumers and workers were not exposed to HHPA or MHHPA. The General Court concluded that REACH Article 57(f) excludes consideration of data other than those regarding the hazards arising from the intrinsic properties of the substances concerned, such as those relating to human exposure reflecting the risk management measures in force, and dismissed both cases. The companies filed appeals in the Court of Justice of the EU. The court ruled that SVHC listing on the grounds of Article 57(f) (equivalence of concern) cannot be based only on hazards. Instead, ECHA must consider other factors, including “data relating to human exposure reflecting the risk management measures in force.”

EP, Council Of The EU Approve Conflict Minerals Regulation: On March 16, 2017, the EP approved a draft conflict minerals regulation by a vote of 558-17 with 45 abstentions. In its March 21, 2017, press release, the EP states that the regulation concerns tin, tungsten, tantalum, and gold and applies to all conflict-affected and high-risk areas in the world, “of which the most obvious examples are the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Great Lakes region.” The press release states that they achieved their two main objectives:

  1. Make checks binding for smelters, refiners, and importers of minerals and metals. Only the smallest EU importers, such as dentists or jewelers, will be exempt from this obligation; and
     
  2. The country of origin will not be the only indicator of risk as the EP has also added information on transit or an irresponsible supplier as reasons to trigger a background check.
     

Beginning January 1, 2021, companies will be required to check their supply chain “to respect human rights and prevent them from contributing to conflicts.” EU countries will be responsible for ensuring companies comply. The press release notes that the regulation will also have an impact beyond the EU, as smelters that want to supply to the European market will have to be certified. According to the EC’s press release, the rule will cover up to 95 percent of imports as of January 1, 2021. In the meantime, according to the press release, the EC and Member States “will work to make sure that the necessary structures are in place to ensure EU-wide implementation.” The press release states that the EU will put in place accompanying measures to support small- and medium-sized importers, and development aid to ensure the rule is effective and has a positive impact on the ground. The EU has also “reach[ed] out to governments in Africa, Asia and beyond to encourage them to source responsibly and eliminate alternative markets for conflict minerals.” The Council of the EU adopted the rule on April 3, 2017. The final step is for the rule to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union, which could occur in three to six weeks.

RAC And SEAC Agree On Restriction Proposal On Four Phthalates And Several Authorization Applications: ECHA announced on March 21, 2017, that the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and the Socio-Economic Analysis Committee (SEAC) agreed on a restriction proposal on four phthalates in articles and on 3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,8-tridecafluorooctyl)silanetriol and any of its mono-, di-, or tri-o-(alkyl) derivatives (TDFA) in sprays used by the general public. RAC and SEAC also agreed on 19 draft opinions on specific uses of chromium (VI) substances, 1,2-dichloroethane (EDC), and bis(2-methoxyethyl) ether (diglyme). The draft opinions will be sent to the applicants for comment before final adoption. RAC and SEAC completed their work on three further applications for authorization by adopting opinions on the industrial use of arsenic acid and chromium trioxide for the treatment of copper foil used in the manufacture of printed circuit board, and on the use of chromium trioxide in plating on plastics for automotive applications. More information is available in ECHA’s March 21, 2017, press release, “Restriction proposal on four phthalates and several authorisation applications agreed by RAC and SEAC.”

ECHA Adopts Final CoRAP For 2017-2019: ECHA announced on March 21, 2017, that it adopted the updated Community Rolling Action Plan (CoRAP) for 2017-2019. From the date of adoption, the Member States have 12 months to evaluate the 22 substances specified for 2017. If needed, the evaluating Member State will prepare a proposal for an ECHA decision to request further information from registrants to clarify the suspected risks. ECHA states that the substances were selected for substance evaluation to clarify the concerns related to their exposure and suspected serious hazard properties (persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT), CMR, or endocrine disruptors in combination with wide dispersive consumer use). ECHA notes that other concerns may be identified during evaluation. ECHA encourages registrants of the listed substances to coordinate their actions and contact the evaluating Member State. ECHA urges registrants to communicate the up-to-date use and exposure scenarios of their substances. Registrants will have an opportunity to comment before any decision to request further information is taken. Such draft decisions will be reviewed by the other Member States and ECHA before the final decision is issued. ECHA notes that the number of substances to be evaluated in 2017 is lower than in previous plans and several evaluations have been postponed to 2018 and 2019. According to ECHA, this is to allow a compliance check to be done first to address possible gaps in standard information and to confirm that the substance is a priority for substance evaluation. Once the compliance check is concluded, the postponed substances will be reviewed to see if there are remaining concerns warranting substance evaluation. More information is available in ECHA’s March 21, 2017, press release, “Member States to evaluate 22 substances in 2017.”

ECHA Publishes Data On 15,000 Chemicals: ECHA announced on March 23, 2017, that it published on its website information on approximately 15,000 chemical substances registered under REACH. ECHA states that the information covers the intrinsic properties of each substance and the substances’ impact on human health and the environment. ECHA notes that the data come “directly from companies who make or import the substances and have registered them with ECHA.” In respect of the ownership rights of companies who submitted the data, the downloadable data includes only the results from studies conducted by companies, but not the full summary. In addition, the material does not include the data companies have claimed confidential in their registrations. ECHA suggests that researchers and regulators could use the data to develop new ways of determining the toxicity of chemicals, minimizing the need for animal testing. Companies can use the data to improve the way in which they use chemicals, for example, by improving their safety data sheets (SDS) and the classification and labeling of their substances and products. The data may be used only after agreeing to the terms and conditions, and not for registration under REACH. More information is available in ECHA’s March 23 2017, press release, “Data on 15 000 chemicals now available to use.”

ECHA Will Soon Send Information Requests On 27 Substance Evaluation Draft Decisions: On March 28, 2017, ECHA announced that beginning the last week of April 2017, it intends to send draft decisions on 27 substances to registrants. Registrants will have 30 days to review the draft decisions and submit comments. ECHA recommends that one representative, the registrants’ contact point, send consolidated comments on the draft decision on behalf of all addressed registrants of a substance. Registrants who have submitted a registration that is not yet completed in the submission pipeline will also receive the substance evaluation draft decisions for comments. In 2016, the Member States evaluated 39 substances listed in the CoRAP. In 27 cases, the Member States determined that further information was needed to assess the safety of the substance and prepared a draft decision to request this data. For 11 substances, the evaluating Member State concluded that no further data was needed. ECHA states that it will publish these conclusion documents on its website “in due course.” Currently, according to ECHA, no further actions are expected from the registrants of those substances. In one case, the evaluating Member State could not conclude the evaluation as key standard information related to substance identity was missing. ECHA states that consequently the substance evaluation is suspended and will resume once the necessary information is submitted. More information is available in ECHA’s March 28, 2017, press release, “Registrants should get ready to comment on 2016 substance evaluation draft decisions.”

EC Publishes European Council Statement And Q&A On UK Article 50 Notification: On March 29, 2017, the EC announced that the European Council received a letter from the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, notifying the United Kingdom’s (UK) intention to leave the EU. The notification follows the June 23, 2016, referendum and begins the withdrawal process under Article 50 of the Treaty. The announcement states: “We regret that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, but we are ready for the process that we now will have to follow.” For the EU, the first step will be the adoption of guidelines for the negotiations by the European Council. These guidelines will set out the overall positions and principles in light of which the EU, represented by the EC, will negotiate with the UK.

The EC published questions and answers (Q&A) regarding the Article 50 notification. According to the Q&As, the negotiations will last approximately 18 months, from early June 2017 to October/November 2018. The EU Treaties will cease to apply to the UK from the date of entry into force of the agreement, or within two years of the notification of withdrawal if no agreement is reached. A country that has withdrawn from the EU may apply to re-join. It would be required to go through the accession procedure.

On April 5, 2017, the EP announced that an “overwhelming majority” adopted a resolution officially laying down the EP’s key principles and conditions for its approval of the UK’s withdrawal agreement. The EP notes that the UK remains an EU member until its official departure, and that this entails rights but also obligations, including financial commitments that may run beyond the withdrawal date. The resolution “warns against any trade-off between security and the future EU-UK economic relationship, opposes any sort of cherry picking or a piecemeal economic relationship based on sector-specific deals, and reiterates the indivisibility of the four freedoms of the single market -- free movement of goods, capital, services, and people.” According to the resolution, only when “substantial progress” has been made in negotiations on how the UK is to leave can discussions begin on possible transitional arrangements. These arrangements must not last longer than three years, while an agreement on a future relationship can be concluded only after the UK has left the EU.

Both the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) and the Chemical Industries Association (CIA) issued press releases on March 29, 2017. CEFIC “calls for certainty for continued EU-UK trade.” CEFIC urges both the EU and the UK “to take a pragmatic approach to negotiations.” According to CEFIC, manufacturers in the EU and UK have benefitted from the single market and open borders for decades. CIA “urges [an] ambitious approach to Brexit.” CIA states that “[o]ne of Britain’s top manufacturing exporters, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, has urged the Prime Minister to secure a wide-ranging agreement as she kicks off the negotiations leading to the UK’s exit from the European Union.”

Stakeholders’ Day Presentations Available: ECHA’s April 4-5, 2017, Stakeholders’ Day conference offered registrants advice, guidance, and case studies to help them register successfully for the REACH 2018 deadline. The April 4, 2017, program featured a workshop, “From zero to registration,” presenting the REACH 2018 registration phases with new practical examples and key advice for each phase. Participants also got an overview of the Chemical Safety Assessment and Reporting tool, Chesar, and the new version of the Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship (QSAR) Toolbox. The afternoon continued with training on IUCLID and the REACH-IT applications, used for preparing registrations. ECHA intended the training for anyone preparing to register for the REACH 2018 registration deadline. The April 5, 2017, program featured three main topics: REACH 2018 -- one year to go; case studies for successful registration; and using chemicals safer in Europe. Presentations are available on ECHA’s website, and a video recording of both the plenary and training sessions will follow “shortly.”

ECHA Prompts Market Newcomers To Pre-Register: ECHA issued an April 5, 2017, press release to prompt companies that if they recently started to manufacture or import a non-CMR phase-in substance in amounts of 1 to 100 tonnes a year, they should pre-register it within six months after beginning the activity. The last opportunity is May 31, 2017. Pre-registration allows companies to continue supplying low-volume chemicals legally on the EU/European Economic Area (EEA) market until the May 31, 2018, REACH registration deadline. Companies that do not have a valid pre-registration or registration for their substances after May 31, 2017, will need to submit an inquiry to ECHA and register their substances before manufacture or import. ECHA states that preparing an inquiry with IUCLID will take more time than pre-registering through REACH-IT, will require more information, and will take more time for ECHA to process. ECHA cautions companies to consider this when planning access to market to avoid delays. Companies that manufacture or import a substance for research and development and make it available only to a limited group of customers may benefit from a specific Product and Process Orientated Research and Development (PPORD) exemption. In this case, they do not need to register or pre-register the substance. More information is available in ECHA’s April 5, 2017, press release, “Newcomer to the market? Act by 31 May to get one more year to prepare your registration.”

EC Begins Public Consultation On EU-OSHA And Three Sister Agencies: The EC announced on April 10, 2017, that it launched a public consultation in the context of the evaluation of the four EU agencies under the remit of Directorate-General (DG) Employment. The four agencies are:

  • The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound);
     
  • The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop);
     
  • The European Training Foundation (ETF); and
     
  • The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).
     

The consultation process aims to collect information and opinions from the general public and stakeholders on the work of the agencies. The EC states that the public consultation aims at gathering new ideas for the future of the agencies, including governance issues and comparing alternative policy options. The consultation also seeks to assess the usefulness of the agencies with regards to relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, coherence, and added value. The EC states that it particularly seeks contributions from stakeholders of Eurofound, Cedefop, and EU-OSHA during the period 2011-2016. Comments are due July 5, 2017.

VIETNAM

Vietnam Updates Draft Existing Chemicals Inventory: The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced on March 13, 2017, the availability of an updated draft existing chemicals inventory. The draft inventory includes 4,927 substances, an increase from the 3,300 on the draft inventory published in September 2016. Once a final inventory is published, substances not listed will be considered new chemicals. According to the announcement, Vietnam continues to accept comments and nominations of additional chemicals.


 
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