EU round up – New EU biocide regulation reforms come into force

16 June 2014

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has announced that reforms to the European Union’s (EU) new biocidal products regulation have come into force, clarifying difficulties discovered in the original legislation.

This amending regulation (334/2014) includes a new definition of biocidal product families, which sub-categorises products within the same grouping according to their levels of risk and efficacy. It also confirms that new biocide-treated articles can be sold in the EU if an application for approval of an active substance or product type used is made by September 1, 2016. Another change clarifies how formulators of biocides using different active ingredients are covered by the new regulation, which came into force last September (2013). And the reforms extend the mandatory sharing of data on active substances under review in certain cases to include information on the overall environmental impact of chemicals as well as their toxicology and ecotoxicology. There will also be clear data protection periods for information submitted about biocidal products under the regulation’s simplified authorisation system.

And ECHA’s secretariat will now have an expanded role in supporting member states’ control and enforcement of the law. "Companies are invited to take note and comply with the relevant new provisions,” said an ECHA note. See

• Meanwhile, the European Commission has included the paints and coatings sector among energy intensive industries that could receive public support to deal with additional electricity expenses for power from renewable sources.

In new guidance on energy subsidies that can be paid in the EU, Brussels said bill reductions and fixed annual compensation could be paid to manufacturers of dyes, pigments and other inorganic and organic basic chemicals.

The Commission is concerned that the growth in renewable energy in Europe could help make EU energy intensive industries uncompetitive internationally, because such power is costly to produce. See /competition/sectors/energy/eeag_en.pdf

• Finally, a Commission report on the results of an EU-funded project AppliCMA claims scientists developed techniques to treat factory tools with special coatings that extend service life. One was based on aluminium magnesium boride (AlMgB14), which the Brussels note said is "nearly as hard as diamond, the material is more slippery than Teflon.”
Researchers also successfully applied a protective coating made of aluminium, copper, iron and boron. "Furthermore, the project team developed methods to apply materials previously considered too brittle to be used as coatings,” said the Commission. Austria-based Aerospace & Advanced Composites co-ordinated the €4.7M project. "What we accomplished is a new way to coat these tools in order to tackle these problems,” said a company spokesperson. applicma/

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