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January 2, 2013

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HSE consults on ‘seven into one’ chemicals consolidation

The HSE is seeking views on proposals to streamline chemicals regulations by amalgamating seven existing sets of legislation into one statutory instrument.

The regulatory measures contained in the consultation support EU regulations on: biocidal products; the export and import of hazardous chemicals (commonly known as the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation); and the classification, labelling and packaging (CLP) of substances and mixtures.

No changes are proposed to the main duties for biocides, PIC and CLP, which are, or will be, established at EU level through directly applicable regulations.

The proposals implement a recommendation by Professor Löfstedt for the HSE to identify and carry out sector-specific regulatory consolidation programmes, in order to help businesses understand and comply with the law. They also meet EU requirements to establish competent authorities and enforcement arrangements. The overall effect of the plans will be the revocation of seven statutory instruments, which will be replaced by one single instrument (known as the ‘7 into 1’ package).

Deborah Traynor, HSE’s consultation manager, said: “Simplifying and consolidating the regulatory requirements concerning biocides, CLP and PIC will make it more straightforward for businesses in the chemical industry to understand and comply with their responsibilities.

“The proposed statutory instrument will update and largely mirror existing regulatory provisions for biocides, PIC and CLP. There will be no reduction in the protection from hazardous substances for workers, the public, or environment.”

The seven sets of legislation will be repealed on 1 September this year, on which date the new consolidated statutory instrument will come into force. This will be in precise line with the replacement of the European Biocidal Products Directive with the new EU Regulation.

New regulations are also planned to enable the HSE to charge for the work it carries out under the new Biocides Regulation. These will be covered in a separate consultation on the proposed fees regime.

The consultation, which remains open until 31 January, can be found at: Responses can be e-mailed to: [email protected]

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