Trade Bloc Passes Delayed Eurasian Chemicals Safety Regulation

Trade Bloc Passes Delayed Eurasian Chemicals Safety Regulation

Agreement paves way for single regional registry of chemical substances.

After a delay of almost three years, the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has adopted a technical regulation on the safety of chemical products.

The regulation, which was signed on 4 March, will set uniform requirements for all chemical products manufactured in the Union, which comprises Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia, reports with reference to CW Research.

It will also set “single rules and assessment criteria” for identification, terminology, labelling and use of substances, Valerij Koreshkov, minister of technical regulation at the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC), a governing body of the Union, said.

A single registry of chemical materials and substances, manufactured and used in the EEU countries, will also be established. Substances on this will receive a state registration certificate approving their use.

The registry will list hazards under 13 categories including: explosive, self-decomposing (materials and substances), self-heating (materials and substances), chemical products and hazardous in contact with water.

The regulation is expected to come into force by 2 June 2021.

Postponed signing

In September 2014, it was reported that the EEC postponed signing of the regulation “at the last minute”, even though it said it had “adopted” the regulation in May of that year, pending agreement on the implementation details.

And in April last year, the EEU said it was abandoning efforts to reach an agreement following further talks.

Each party had sought to “prioritise its own interests at certain times”, an EEC spokesperson told Chemical Watch, after the March signing. A “persisting disagreement” took place on the timing of the legislation’s enactment, he said, with Kazakhstan asking for more time.

Initially the country had also called for the safety of chemical products legislation to be regulated solely by the EEC’s technical regulation on construction safety. It then argued that a single regulation (on chemical safety) was not sufficient and it wanted two distinct laws: one on the safety of chemical products and substances and the other on safety of construction materials containing chemicals.

Following the passing of the chemicals safety regulation, Union parties are expected to “hasten” the passing of two other related regulations – safety of paints and lacquers and of synthetic detergents, the EEC spokesperson said.

In October 2016, Russia passed its own regulation, which will come into effect on 1 July 2021. It had planned to pass it at the same time as the EEU’s but following the stalemate acted on its own, arguing that urgent national legislation was needed to tackle poorly controlled imports of foreign chemical products.