EU round up – MEPs call for maintenance of titanium dioxide duties under TTIP deal

15 June 2015

The European Parliament’s industry, research and energy committee has called for the maintenance of tariffs protecting energy intensive industries in the European Union (EU), such as the manufacture of key paint ingredient titanium dioxide (TiO2), following trade deal talks with the USA.

This committee is one of 14 that will be giving detailed opinions in the coming weeks on the negotiations to force a Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement between the EU and USA. These talks are being handled for the EU by the European Commission.

The EU currently imposes 5.5% duties on US-made TiO2.

The committee said these duties should stay in place under a TTIP deal or if they are negotiated away, they are phased out slowly. The concern is that EU production of the chemical would be undercut by American exporters who have significantly lower energy costs than those paid in the EU.

Jerzy Buzek, the centre-right Polish MEP who chairs the committee said: "We are calling for safeguarding the competitive position of our energy-intensive industries, by providing adequate transition periods on the elimination of tariffs in such sectors after TTIP enters into force.

"It is important given the huge differences in gas prices, as well as per capita CO2 emissions, which exist between the EU and USA,” Mr Buzek explained.

• Meanwhile, the European Commission has broken ground with a ruling under the 2012 biocidal products regulation, by ordering that, while a certain active ingredient alone cannot be considered and sold as a biocide, paints incorporating this ingredient can. Brussels refused a bid by The Netherlands to declare as an EU-approved biocidal product the paint ingredient cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds. A Commission note said: "The products themselves do not have an antimicrobial activity. The company sells those products to paint manufacturers, who then mix them with other polymers used for paint manufacturing and a hardener, thereby, cross-linking all polymers. The cross-linked polymers form a cationic surface in the dried paint, which exerts the antimicrobial effect.” As a result, only "paints, in which the cationic polymeric binders with quaternary ammonium compounds are incorporated by paint manufacturers with a view to confer to those paints a biocidal function, shall be considered biocidal products

< Previous article

Michelman India opens new business and technology centre

Next article >

The BCF launches PaintCare to make better use of leftover decorative paint