A preservative commonly used in paints, adhesives and a wide range of other household applications looks set to be subject to new labelling requirements following a draft regulation published by the European Commission earlier this month. The draft piece of legislation – which is currently subject to the Agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (the TBT Agreement) – would see the substance have a number of labelling obligations placed upon it when used as an in-can preservative.
Technical Barriers To Trade
The TBT Agreement is a multilateral agreement administered by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) which aims to ensure that technical regulations, standards and conformity assessment procedures are non-discriminatory and do not create unnecessary obstacles to trade. The agreement also intends to prevent protectionist measures, encourage global harmonisation, and enhance transparency.
A benefit of the TBT Agreement is that it allows organisations to gain advance knowledge of new regulations proposed by other countries before they are adopted. This is implemented through a process called the notification procedure.
What is the notification procedure?
To ensure that potential trade barriers are avoided, regulations which could potentially contain technical barriers to trade must be drafted, made public, and put out for comment before they are formally enacted. This allows WTO Members to assess the impact of the regulation, and identify any provisions which may be in breach of the TBT Agreement.
Once a proposed legislative measure has been made public, there is usually a period of at least 60 days during which written comments can be submitted on the proposed measure. For companies operating within the EU, more information on how you can submit comments can be found here.
Which preservative is subject to the draft regulation?
The draft regulation published by the European Commission concerns 2-methyl-1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one [CAS No: 2527-66-4]. This substance, known as MBIT, is commonly used as a preservation agent in paints, plasters, adhesives, latex emulsions and household products, as well as in many other technical, water-based products.
Subject to the regulation being passed, MBIT will have a number of labelling requirements placed upon it when used as an in-can preservative (product-type 6) – for example, when it is used in a water-based paint.
What are the potential labelling requirements?
The Annex to the proposed regulation details how treated articles (substances, mixtures or articles that have been treated with or intentionally incorporate biocidal substances) will become subject to the labelling obligations specified in Article 58(3) of the Biocidal Products Regulation (EU 528/2012).
If the proposal is passed, information such as (but not limited to) the following will be required to appear on the label of treated articles containing MBIT when used as an in-can preservative:
- A statement that the treated article incorporates biocidal products
- The biocidal property attributed to the treated article
- The name of all active substances contained in the biocidal products
The proposal, along with its accompanying Annex, can be viewed in full here.
The draft regulation was made public on September 4th 2017, and the deadline for comments is November 3rd 2017, after which the comments will be reviewed and the legislation will either be modified or passed.
If you wish to submit a comment before the deadline, you can do so by following the steps outlined here.
If you or your company supply this substance, it is important to be aware of this proposed regulation and the potential legal implications for your business. At UL Safeware Quasar we have a dedicated team of expert Regulatory Consultants who have a comprehensive understanding of chemical regulations across the globe, and are constantly monitoring the regulations to help hundreds of companies sustain chemical compliance.
If you need any help understanding the chemical regulations impacting your business, contact us.
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