News 2017 / February

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Court rules in ECHA’s favour over its decision to release confidential chemical information to NGOs

ECHA was right in its decision to release previously undisclosed information connected to a DEHP authorisation application to environmental NGOs ClientEarth and the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Chemical watch writes.

The application for authorisation by Czech chemicals manufacturer, Deza, contained two parts – one confidential and the other non-confidential. The two NGOs argued that access to parts of the confidential material was crucial in order to correctly scrutinize the chemical safety and analysis of alternatives. When ECHA agreed to release the confidential parts Deza took the matter to court in 2014 – but now the courts ruling have gone against them. In its judgment, the court rejected Deza’s arguments to have ECHA’s decision annulled.

ChemSec’s Policy Advisor Frida Hök is pleased with the courts decision.

“I expect confidentially claims to be very few in future authorisation applications”, she says.

Ms. Hök stresses the importance of transparency in the authorisation process in order to make it possible for providers of safe alternatives to bring forward relevant information in the public consultations.

“Companies that want to continue to use substances of very high concern must realise their whole applications needs to be opened up for scrutiny. It’s of great interest for both stakeholders and the rest of industry to make sure that authorisation is not given when alternatives, chemical or technical, are available”, she concludes.