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The European Food Safety Authority recently issued its preliminary assessment on a controversial French study which, for the first time in history, provides evidence confirming fears of the long-term toxicity of certain types of genetically modified organism (GMOs). Much criticism has been voiced against the existing regulation of GMOs by both member states and the general public.
The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on the proposed revision of the EU Batteries Directive. The amendment relates to the exemption contained in the directive concerning the use of cadmium in batteries intended for use in cordless power tools. While broadly welcoming the proposed revision, the committee has voiced doubts about certain elements of the proposal.
A study on the potential for reducing mercury pollution from batteries, prepared by an independent consultancy for the European Commission, has recommended the phasing-out of mercury use in button cell batteries within two years of adoption of the relevant legislation. The overall objective of a ban would be to reduce the environmental impacts of mercury.
The Council of the European Union has formally approved the recast of the EU Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive. The directive aims to increase the collection, reuse and recycling of used electronic and electrical equipment and to reduce electronic and electrical waste. Among other things, the directive promotes the 'producer responsibility' principle.
The Official Journal recently published EU Regulation 392/2012 on the energy labelling of household tumble dryers. The regulation is part of the implementing measures called for by the EU Energy Labelling Directive. The directive is aimed at providing consumers with the relevant information to enable them to choose appliances on the basis of their energy and resource efficiency.
Eight new substances have been added to the authorisation list included in Annex XIV of the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals Regulation. Once a substance has been included on the list, its placing on the market and use within the European Union is prohibited after a 'sunset date'. A company wishing to use the substance after that date must apply for specific authorisation.
The EU Council recently made available an early draft of a regulation on the capacity labelling of portable, secondary (rechargeable) and automotive batteries and accumulators. This draft regulation will be of interest to manufacturers and importers of batteries, accumulators and battery-operated goods, as they will need time to adapt their processes to any new capacity labelling requirements that are eventually introduced.
Including: Key Aspects of the New Regulatory Regime; Outstanding Regulatory Issues; Market Developments; Digital Signatures; Outlook
At the end of 2010 the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation published the new standard for the common mobile charger, which it developed following a request from the commission. The European Commission has now published a question-and-answer document to explain the issues surrounding the common mobile phone charger.
The European Court of Justice recently delivered a ruling that is of interest to enterprises exporting products either directly to or via the European Union. The court set out the specific conditions according to which goods coming from non-EU countries which are imitations or copies of goods protected within the European Union by IP rights can be detained by member states' customs authorities.
The Official Journal recently published a number of regulations concerning the classification of certain goods in the EU Combined Nomenclature. These regulations, some of which will be of particular interest to exporters to the European Union, are aimed at ensuring a uniform application of customs treatment in respect of these goods throughout the European Union.
The European Parliament's Committee on International Trade has issued a working document on proposed amendments to the European Union's Generalised System of Preferences. The document sheds light on the issues which are most likely to cause controversy in a legislative proposal that would completely exclude several developing countries' exports from the preferential trade tariffs.
A number of regulations concerning the classification of goods in the EU Combined Nomenclature have been published in the Official Journal in order to ensure the uniform application of customs treatment in respect of the goods throughout the European Union. Each of the regulations entered into force on the 20th day following their publication.
A World Trade Organisation panel has published a report in which it ruled in favour of the European Union in a challenge against export restrictions in China. The ruling could boost further EU claims against export curbs on other commodities.
The World Trade Organisation (WTO) appellate body has upheld the findings of a WTO panel which declared that the European Union's basic anti-dumping laws are partially incompatible with global trade rules. Pursuant to the ruling, the European Union must amend its laws governing anti-dumping investigations and assure fairer treatment of imports coming from, among other countries, China.