News HSE Committee Update

During the last meeting at the end of May, the HSE committee took note of the changes on REACH in light of the “sustainable and safe by design strategy” (CSS) and reviewed the outcome of the conference call they had with EU representatives on the EU chemicals strategy in March. These changes and the new strategy will severely affect the European chemical industry. The impact on the Regulation on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixture (the CLP Regulation) review is still not clear. The EU has introduced on a local level an extension of the Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) GHS. ECHA also proposes the introduction of new hazard classes such as “endocrine disruptors”, “persistence”, and others, which may further burden formulators and importers. Together with other industry associations, HSE aims to learn more about this initiative and provide input to the authorities. A challenge for grease manufacturers is the envisaged classification of Lithium Hydroxide as carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic for reproduction, category 1A. As a result, the handling of this key additive for Li-based greases becomes more challenging for the blenders and a subsequent labelling of greases as “CMR” would lead to tremendous changes in the product portfolio.

Aside from these legislative issues, the shortage on raw materials, a review of the ISO 1817 (elastomer compatibility) and papers on lubricant handling (disposal, storage etc.) were on the agenda.

Technical & Competition Committees’ Update The Technical and Competition Committees’ latest meeting was held on the 26th of May, during which they discussed the ongoing work on the legal cases currently open.

On the advocacy side, the Committees kept monitoring and liaising with the European institutions regarding the evaluation of the Motor Vehicle


Block Exemption Regulation and the adoption of the draft Delegated Regulation amending Annex X of Regulation 2018/858 (on approval and market surveillance of motor vehicles and their trailers). The key upcoming milestones include the release of the evaluation report on MVBER by the European Commission and the publication of the final draft Delegated Regulation which will be sent for scrutiny to the European Parliament and Council.

Taxation Taskforce Update The European Commission is currently reviewing the Energy Taxation Directive which was withdrawn by the European Commission in 2015 with a revised Energy Taxation Directive being published most likely in June 2021.

Related to UEIL’s objective to prevent the inclusion of lubes under Excise Movement and Control System, certain EU Member States are concerned about increased fraud with lubes across Europe and are once again increasing the pressure to include lubes under EMCS. UEIL will continue its outreach to EU Member States and the European Commission in the coming weeks to express its concern and will discuss with the European Commission the option of a definition of ‘light lubes’ that may be included under EMCS in the near future, as the European Commission is reflecting on appropriate legislation to address fraud on lubes in Q3/Q4 2021.

The European Commission has also decided to extend the quota on GP II of 400 tonnes annually until 30 June 2021. For 2022 a quota of 150K on GP II is foreseen. UEIL is lobbying for a higher quota and a longer transition phase as the demand is higher than the supply in Europe on GP II and for lubricant blenders it is very difficult to change from one producer to another.


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