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New regulatory developments in the industry

Nynas’s Karin Hennung, who works with Product HSE in Business Development, recently gave presentations at two conferences – in the Netherlands and the US – about the regulatory developments impacting the industrial lubricants industry

What did you discuss at The ICIS & ELGI Industrial Lubricants Conference in the Netherlands?

I mainly gave a background on REACH, the EU’s regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, and an update on what is coming in the next phases of implementing REACH.

I also discussed the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of the Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). GHS will harmonize how we classify and label chemicals around the world. It is not mandatory, but it is spreading, which is a good development. It will enable trade around the world by harmonizing labelling standards for what is hazardous and what is not.

The EU implementation of GHS is coming to a final stage, and by June 2015 mixtures will also have to be classified and labelled according to the new criteria defined in the regulation on Classification, Labelling and Packaging of Chemicals (CLP).

How will the industry be affected by REACH in the near future?

We have passed the first two deadlines for registration in REACH, which means everyone but low tonnage companies should registered by now. The remaining deadline for manufacturers producing between 1-100 tonnes will be in 2018. The important point is that companies who have registered might feel they are done with REACH, but we know now this is not the case. As the other phases are being implemented, they are requiring more evaluations and data – and this will continue for a long time. The information in the supply chain, such as Safety Data Sheets, is becoming more complicated and prescriptive.

How is the situation different in the US, where you presented at the 10th ICIS Pan American Base Oils & Lubricants Conference?

In the US, I gave a more basic update about what REACH is, and what implications it could have for American companies. Although they have no formal REACH obligations, if they are selling into Europe this might require some actions if they want to help their customers.

In 2012, the US adopted GHS, and by June 2015 chemicals should be classified and labelled according to the US version of GHS.

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