EU regulatory round-up: June 2023

12 June 2023

Keith Nuthall reports on the EU’s latest regulatory updates, including how EU paint manufacturers face new labelling and classification rules

Paint and coatings manufacturers and suppliers in the European Union (EU) will face another set of detailed sustainability rules, through the passage into law of a revised EU classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) regulation. EU Chemical Industry Association, CEFIC, is one body that has warned that supply chain problems could follow, with the availability of chemicals and chemical products being restricted or blocked should producers and importers not comply with the new controls. Also, manufacturers may withdraw products if they expect to be labelled as hazardous under five new hazard classes introduced by the law, for which finishing chemicals must be assessed and, if relevant, labelled, CEFIC has warned. 


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The new CLP hazard classes are endocrine disruptors (ED) for human health or the environment; persistent, bio-accumulative and toxic (PBT); very persistent and very bio-accumulative (vPvB); persistent, mobile and toxic (PMT); and very persistent and very mobile (vPvM). These are added to existing classes comprising physical hazards, health hazards and environmental hazards.  

This regulation 2023/707 ‘amending (EC) No 1272/2008 was initially proposed last December (2023). But following a review by EU ministers and the European Parliament is now in force (from April 20). (1)  

New chemical substances – one-compound ingredients – must be assessed and labelled as per the new hazard classes by May 1, 2025. New chemical mixtures must be assessed and labelled from May 1, 2026. All substances – including existing ones – must be assessed and labelled from November 1, 2026. And all mixtures from May 1, 2028. (2)  

The European Parliament has backed a new EU directive banning greenwashing, which will cover the paint and coatings sector. Under the proposals supported by MEPs, general, unsubstantiated environmental claims about products would be banned. The EU Council of Ministers has also supported the law and will now negotiate a final text with the parliament and European Commission. (3) 

The European Commission has also launched a public consultation on whether additional laws and policies are needed to ensure that polluting industries cover the cost of the environmental problems that they cause. It wants opinions by August 4 (2023). (4)  

The Commission has launched a public consultation, in which paint and coatings companies can participate, on whether, and if so how, to block the export of hazardous chemicals whose use is already banned in the EU. (5) 


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