10 February 2016

The European Union (EU) and the USA are preparing to debate harmonising the classification and labelling of chemical products within their talks to forge a Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade deal – paints and coatings and their ingredients could be a target.

These talks are to take place in February in Brussels and follow a range of pilot projects between EU and US regulators looking to identify priority chemicals for such simplification schemes. The TTIP is to be a modern trade deal that goes far beyond the traditional scope of scrapping tariffs and restrictive quotas and seeks to promote regulatory harmonisation and mutual recognition to reduce the red tape involved in trading across the Atlantic.

In a paper released by the European Commission in November, following the latest 11th round of talks in October, it said: "progress with the pilot projects on priority chemicals and classification and labelling of substances was reviewed.” It said that regarding the pilot projects, "technical experts are finding the experience useful”.

• Meanwhile, paints and coatings companies can now investigate the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement that will reduce barriers to trade between 12 Pacific Rim countries. The USA, Canada Australia, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Peru, Chile and Brunei have signed the deal, covering all paint and coatings manufacturers with bases in these countries. As with TTIP, the agreement also goes far beyond the usual tariff-reduction goals of traditional trade deals.

Additional measures include greater transparency and liberalisation in foreign investment rules. This includes provision for neutral and transparent international arbitration of investment disputes. Full details including detailed country-by-country tariff liberalisation schedules have now been published. See

• The European Commission has hailed progress within the EU-funded €11.2M 2014-17 SEAFRONT project, launched in 2014, for trialling new processes and methods designed to increase the scientific understanding of exactly how biofouling occurs and how it can be tackled with innovative new coatings. SEAFRONT project co-ordinator Dr Arie Brouwer, from the Stichting Dutch Polymer Institute, The Netherlands, said the project aims to develop coatings producing a 50% improvement in biofouling deterrence and biofouling release, using new test methodologies. "Coatings will also be developed that achieve significantly reduced hydrodynamic drag, leading to improved operational efficiencies,” he said in a Commission note. All such solutions will be environmentally benign, sustainable and scalable, limiting the use of biocides, hydrocarbons and heavy metals in coatings, he claimed. See

< Previous article

Q-Lab’s Doug Grossman receives ASTM G03 Warren Ketola Memorial Award

Next article >

DuPont and Dow announce merger