The $35-billion Indian chemical industry that exports products to European countries may soon find the cost of doing business increasing because of new legislation adopted by the EU to regulate the end-use of chemicals. Complying with the new regime under the legislation would involve various processes including registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals [REACH].
Currently around 50,000 chemical substances are covered under the ambit of the legislation including petrochemicals and agro-chemicals, however pharmaceuticals are not covered by the latest legislation, experts say. The onus of registration of the information regarding the above of the end-products has been placed on the companies, the deadline for which is 30 November 2010.
According to R R Gokhale, secretary-general of the Indian Chemical Council, the cost would go up for Indian companies exporting to Europe, but that would depend of a case-to-case basis and it was likely that some of the companies might become uncompetitive. Gokhale said the government has agreed to refund a portion of the costs involved in the process and has already started doing so. The major cost of registration of a component was towards tests and compilation of information on various properties of the chemical to ascertain if it was fit for commercial use.
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