Long reach of Europe's chemical trade law

Thai manufacturers are being urged to pay close attention to Europe's REACH agreement if they want to avoid a sharp fall in exports.

According to a report in the Bangkok Post this week respected academic Prof Varapan Danutra, head of Thailand's National Research Centre for Environmental & Hazardous Waste Management, has told industrialists they need to prepare now so they are ready when the agreement comes into force.

''The directive will have an impact on local manufacturers, particularly medium- and small-scale companies, since production costs will rise and the use of some chemicals are expected to disappear,'' Varapan is quoted as saying in the Post.

Many industries in Thailand will be affected, including manufacturers of textiles, sports footwear, furniture, paints and plastics.

According to Varapan these industries use about 1,000 of the 30,000 chemicals listed in REACH.

The Thai Government has to set up a committee to study the impact of REACH and state funding is expected to support laboratory testing required by the agreement.

The situation in Thailand is mirrored in Europe's other trading partners around the world, demonstrating that the agreement will have impacts well beyond the boundaries of the EU.

By Sam Bond



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