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BSEF objects to ban on halogenated flame retardants in EU Ecodesign requirements for electronic displays

BSEF PRESS STATEMENT, 1st October 2019

BSEF, The International Bromine Council, strongly opposes the arbitrary and discriminatory ban on halogenated flame retardants contained within the Lot 5 of the Ecodesign requirements for electronic displays[1] including televisions, monitors and digital signage adopted today.

From 1 March 2021, the Regulation (Annex II) will prohibit the use of Halogenated Flame Retardant (HFRs) in the enclosures and stands of electronic displays, as defined.  The primary impact of this ban is expected to be on TV and monitor display enclosures.

BSEF believes this restriction is unjustified, discriminatory and procedurally flawed. Together with its members, BSEF will assess its options with respect to this ban, through all available channels.

The ban imposed was not formally notified to the WTO TBT to provide impacted third countries and their manufacturers an opportunity to comment. It was in fact inserted after the closure of the formal notification period, thus disenfranchising WTO members of their right to comment.

This ban is now an effective regulatory precedent with the major concern that the Ecodesign Directive[2] is being used as a vehicle to bypass the EU’s well-established legislative provisions restricting the use of chemicals in articles, electrical and electronic equipment – the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive and the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH).

Assuming the power to restrict substances under the Ecodesign Directive risks creating legal uncertainty in the market and goes against the Commissions’ own Better Regulation principles.

Contact

Dr Kevin Bradley, Secretary General
T: +32 2 436 9600 | E:
kbradley@bsef.org 

 

Nuno Bacharel, Communications Manager

T: +32 470 91 07 19 | E: nbacharel@bsef.org

 

About BSEF

BSEF – the International Bromine Council, is the global representative body for bromine producers and producers of bromine technologies. Originally founded in 1997, BSEF works to foster knowledge on the societal benefits of bromine and its applications. The members of BSEF are Albemarle Corporation, ICL Industrial Products, Lanxess and Tosoh.

Further information: Visit www.bsef.org to learn more and follow BSEF on Twitter @BromineInfo for the latest news and information.

This statement is based on the Press Release “New rules make household appliances more sustainable Brussels, 1 October 2019” and is without prejudice to the final version of the Regulation on eco-design for electronic displays to be published in the Official Journal. BSEF reserves to right to revise its position, if necessary, in light of the final version to be published in the Official Journal.

[1] COMMISSION REGULATION (EU) …/… laying down ecodesign requirements for electronic displays pursuant to Directive 2009/125/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending Commission Regulation (EC) No 1275/2008 and repealing Commission Regulation (EC) 642/2009. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/DOC/?uri=PI_COM:Ares(2018)5173952&from=EN

[2] First adopted in 2005, the Eco-Design Directive is intended to establish rules for all energy-related products put on the EU market and to help meet the EU’s 2020 energy efficiency objectives. These requirements focus mostly on minimum requirements for energy-efficiency and ensuring that the environmental impacts of new products are considered during their initial conception to minimise the number of actions required at their end-of-life (e.g. sorting, recycling).