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News HSE Update:


Due to the covid-19 situation, the autumn HSE meeting was held once again as a web conference. The issue of submission to Poison Centres, which will come into force in 2021 for mixtures for consumer and professional use, and in 2024 for industrial use mixtures, were discussed widely.


The HSE group welcomed the opportunity for group submissions, (ICG’s) which allows for the exchange of components without a new submission.


Grease manufacturers have to extensively advise their workers who come into contact with isocyanates, which is one of the conditions the ECHA stipulates for further use of this substance.


On microplastics, members debated whether the lubricants industry will be affected by the upcoming restriction of the use of intentionally added microplastic particles to consumer or professional use products of any kind and the general consensus was that the industry will not be impacted. On paragraph 5, the opinion of the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) states that [Paragraph 1] “shall not apply to the placing on the market of: substances or mixtures containing microplastic where the microplastic is contained by technical means to prevent releases to the environment during end use”.


TC/CC Update The Technical and Competition Committees’s Chairs and their members are keeping the good work on the 21 cases currently open.


On the advocacy side, the Committees have started to prepare UEIL’s response to the public consultation launched by the European Commission on the evaluation of the Motor Vehicle Block Exemption Regulation (MVBER). The consultation, which opened on 12th October, will close on 25th January 2021. The


46 LUBE MAGAZINE NO.160 DECEMBER 2020


European Commission will then issue its evaluation report which will mark the end of the retrospective evaluation of the current regime. The second phase of the process, namely assessing options for the future and choosing between them, will then begin. The Committees are also looking forward to participating in another survey, commissioned by the European Commission and carried out by TRL, which will focus on repair and maintenance information. The next meeting of the Technical and Competition Committees will take place on 27th January 2021.


Taxation Task Force Update The European Commission is currently reviewing the Energy Taxation Directive that was withdrawn by the European Commission in 2015 (as the file was blocked in the Council) and will publish a revised Energy Taxation Directive, probably in Q2/Q3 2021.


Related to UEIL’s objective to prevent the inclusion of lubes under EMCS (Excise Movement and Control System), certain EU Member States are concerned about increased fraud with lubes in Europe and are once again increasing the pressure to include lubes under EMCS. Therefore, UEIL will continue its outreach to EU Member States in the coming months and to the German EU Presidency and upcoming Portuguese Presidency to express its concerns. The European Commission will probably propose a new definition of ‘light lubes’ under EMCS in 2021.


Finally, the European Commission has decided as of 1st January 2020 to set a quota of 400 tonnes annually for Gp II. UEIL is actively lobbying against this decision, as it will have a negative impact on the competitiveness of SMEs in Europe.


At the last technical European working group meeting, the EU Member States decided to extend the quota on Gp II to 200.00 tonnes until 30th June 2021.


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