EGMF, together with 30 other industry organisations, acknowledges the proposal on essential uses in the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability (CSS) and welcomes the policy debate that has arisen regarding the Essential Use Concept (EUC). It is encouraging to see that suggestions in the ensuing policy debate point to creating a framework for applying the EUC, rather than simply a black and white listing of uses, and that its application will require a case-by-case assessment. However, even with such a framework and case-by-case approach, we have concerns that introducing the EUC could adversely affect regulatory efficiency and negatively impact safe uses of articles and overall sustainability. In this paper, we outline our thinking about a scope of application of the EUC that would account for some concerns.
The clarification of the scope of application is especially important as the Montreal Protocol, which inspired the ongoing policy debate, has a much narrower scope and addressed unacceptable risks (not simply hazard). The initial proposal of the Commission in the CSS was to apply the EUC purely on a hazard-basis, i.e. to all ‘most harmful chemicals’ and to ban their consumer (and professional) uses, except essential ones, regardless of whether they present a risk.
To read our recommendations in full, please download the document.