The Health and Environment Alliance welcomes the compromises reached throughout the discussions. The agreed legislative changes have the potential to make CLP a more protective and efficient piece of legislation.
A majority of members of the European Parliament supported the report proposed by the ENVI committee on the revision of the legislation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances (CLP). The reform of CLP is crucial to improve the protection of workers and citizens through more effective hazard identification, labelling and packaging of chemicals in industrial and commercial use.
The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) welcomes the outcome of the vote, which is in line with the main proposals included in the report voted through in the ENVI committee in September.
Natacha Cingotti, Programme Lead for Health and Chemicals at HEAL said: “With this vote, the European Parliament overall adopts a health-focused position towards the CLP reform and shows its commitment to improved information for citizens and workers exposed to harmful substances. We now look forward to all three institutions; Commission, Council and Parliament, to work together to keep improving the proposed treatment of substances with more than one constituents and uphold a protective approach in the final steps of the process.”
An important improvement voted through is its adaptation to the reality of the chemicals market of the 21st century – with the inclusion of rules for the use of refill stations, digital labeling, online- and bulk sales.
The European Parliament position supports:
- The proper referencing of the newly added hazard classes for endocrine disrupting-, bioaccumulating-, persistent- and mobile chemicals throughout the text;
- Allowing classifications for entire groups of chemicals, instead of one-by-one assessments;
- Making the CLP more transparent and efficient by incorporating deadlines throughout the process and supporting transparency obligations for all stakeholders involved (for example all information and the identities behind those involved in the process of notification entries should be publicly available);
- Granting the European Commission the power to initiate hazard classification;
- Granting the European Chemicals Agency the power to remove outdated classification entries;
- Introducing the right for any citizen or association to request action from authorities on hazard classification, namely: they can submit relevant scientific information to authorities, which authorities have to assess and respond to, and they can have access to justice in case of procedural failures by authorities;
- Clarified rules for packaging of products, including relating to the display of hazard icons and of information on the outside of the packaging, to enable sound purchasing choices.
One area that can still be improved in the upcoming inter-institutional negotiations relates to the treatment of substances containing more than one constituents (MOCS):
- Exemption: although the European Parliament supports aligning the addressing of MOCS with that of mixtures, it promotes an exemption for substances of “renewable botanical origin that are not chemically or genetically modified”. This will need to be carefully considered to avoid any loopholes in the future treatment of those substances.
- Further, the Parliament asks the Commission to provide a report to assess the handling of the exempted substances only after 6 years. This is longer than the 4-year review asked by the Council, which leaves the door open for a potential new legislative proposal on how to address those substances.
Next steps: following the adoption of the European Parliament position today, the trilogue negotiations with the Commission and the Council can begin under the lead of the Spanish EU presidency this autumn.
Contact: Nea Pakarinen, Senior Communications and Media Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org