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Environment/Energy Sectors

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MR-149 / EU Energy Stimulus Funding Opportunities

In order to deal with the global financial crisis and help achieve the European Union's ambitious climate change goals, the EU has set out €5 billion for the European Energy Program for Recovery for 2009-10. The European Investment Bank has also increased loans on energy efficiency by 30% to €15billion. And the EU Cohesion Fund will advance payments on environment/transport to €11billion. In addition, many of the 27 Member States are setting aside national spending for Economic Recovery.

The EU will also encourage its member states to develop innovative financing models, reprogram funding, reduce VAT rates for green products and services aimed at improving energy efficiency of buildings.

The European Economic Recovery Plan will dedicate new funds to large infrastructure projects and will also accelerate and redirect funds to research, implementation of projects and commercialization of products to market. This report summarizes the major sources of EU financial assistance that can be used to finance energy projects.

MR-148 / Green Public Procurement

The 2004 EU Public Procurement Directive allows public contracting authorities in the EU Member States to include environmental considerations into their procurement procedure for public works, services and supplies contracts. The Directive specifically mentions the possibilities for adopting environmental considerations in technical specifications, award criteria and contract performance clauses. With this legislation, the European Commission hopes to encourage green purchasing, thereby encouraging green production and help environmentally friendly technologies conquer the market. Moreover, in the framework of the promotion of "green" public contracts (to have less impact on the environment), the Competitiveness Council, in September 2008, concluded that 50% of public procurement contracts in the EU should be awarded with ecological considerations. This supports the European Commission’s initiative to strengthen the greening of public procurement; the Council has then welcomed the definition of joint arrangements for greening public procurement, such as selection criteria, technical specifications, award criteria and performance clauses. It will then be up to the Member States to set their own objectives for each sector in order to be able to reach the overall 50% target. U.S. companies are advised to become aware of a growing trend for green products in the European Union market; this report aims to help them be well prepared to respond successfully to tenders for such products.

MR-125 / The EU's Globally Harmonized System of the Classification & Labeling of Chemicals

For companies involved in global trade, complying with different labeling requirements can be expensive, tricky, and often inefficient.

To address this problem, the United Nations adopted the “Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals” (GHS) as a non-binding resolution. Recently, the European Commission proposed to implement the United Nation’s GHS system into law.

The Commission aims to time the GHS's entry into force as closely as possible to REACH to allow consistency of transitional arrangements of GHS and REACH. 

Our latest Market Research Report explains the European Union's Globally Harmonised System and provides advice on how companies can comply with the GHS's requirements.

MR-124 / WEEE/RoHS: Requirements for Recycling Waste of Electronic and Electrical Equipment

Companies selling a broad range of electrical goods in Europe are required to comply with the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) and the Restriction of the Use of Certain hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive, which bans the use of lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium and some polybrominated flame-retardants (PBBs and PBDEs) in electrical and electronic equipment (EEE).

The WEEE Directive aims to reduce the amount of EEE waste entering landfills for final disposal, while the RoHS Directive aims to limit the amount of potentially hazardous substances contained in EEE. The Directives represent a shift in EU environmental legislation from a sole focus on the environmental impacts of production processes to an additional focus on reducing the environmental impacts of the disposal of the products themselves. They are also among the first to implement the producer responsibility principle.

Manufacturers of EEE, their material and component suppliers and assemblers as well as electronics remanufacturers and WEEE recovery, treatment and recycling companies are all affected by these sister Directives.

This report outlines the implementation status, scope and producer requirements of the WEEE and RoHS Directives and provides links to additional information resources.

MR-116 / European Union: The EU Chemical Safety Regulation- REACH

This report outlines the new EU chemicals policy known as REACH. Adopted in December 2006, REACH stands for the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of chemicals (Regulation 1907/2006 - December 18, 2006). With REACH, some 30,000 chemicals will need a registration for the EU market, and for the most dangerous ones, an authorization must be obtained. Obligations under REACH will apply not only to chemicals companies but to any business which uses chemicals and sells to the EU. Electronics, automotive, cosmetics and textiles are only a few examples of sectors that will be affected by REACH.

REACH will enter into force on June 1, 2007 in the twenty-seven EU member states. The first business-relevant deadlines will apply one year later in June 2008. Until the new procedures on registering and authorizing chemicals become operational in 2008, the current system will remain in place.

This report has been drafted for U.S. exporters to Europe, in particular for small and medium sized enterprises, to inform them about this major new piece of legislation and to help them prepare for REACH. It gives an introduction to the main requirements of the legislation and deadlines for REACH compliance. The report provides links to more comprehensive sources of information.


MR-108 / European Union: The New Battery Directive

New EU battery rules came into force on 26 September 2006 following the publication of the Directive on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators (Directive 2006/66) in the EU’s Official Journal. This new Directive replaces the original Battery Directive of 1991 (Directive 91/157). The new Battery directive applies to all batteries and accumulators put on the EU market including automotive, industrial and portable batteries. It aims to protect the environment by restricting the sale of batteries and accumulators that contain mercury or cadmium (with some exceptions) and by promoting a high level of collection and recycling.

It places the responsibility on producers to finance the costs associated with the collection, treatment and recycling of used batteries and accumulators. The directive also includes provisions on the labeling of batteries and their removability from equipment. EU Member States must implement the directive into their national law by September 26, 2008. This report summarizes the main requirements of the Battery Directive. It is aimed at U.S. exporters to the EU that produce and use batteries and accumulators and those involved in the collection, treatment and recycling of batteries and accumulators.

MR 106/ EU - The packaging and packaging waste Directive

The Directive harmonizes EU Member States national measures regarding the design of packaging and the management of packaging waste. Its aim is to prevent and reduce the environmental impact of packaging.

The directive contain provisions on the prevention, re-use of packaging and on the recovery and recycling of packaging waste.

The directive covers all types of packaging (household, industrial and commercial), regardless of the packaging material used (paper, board, glass, plastic and metals).

MR-91 / End-of-life-vehicles: EU legislation

The report details requirements under the EU directive on end-of-life vehicles, including the obligation for auto manufacturers to take back old cars and recycle them.

MR-71 / Urban Waste Water Treatment

Urban waste water coming from homes and industry is the primary cause of damage to the aquatic environment in the European Union. Untreated, it allows vegetation to grow in rivers and seas to become "slicks" which consume oxygen and threaten life in water. To address the problem of transnational pollution, the EU adopted legislation harmonizing the collection, treatment and discharge of urban waste water and the treatment and discharge of waste water from certain industrial sectors. While the EU directive 91/271/EEC (amended by 98/15/EC) went into force on June 30, 1993, member states have until December 2005 to set up municipal collection systems. With the accession of several new countries to the EU since 2004, treatment of urban waste water has become a priority for compliance in the new EU members. Unlike the EU-15 countries, their transition period for implementation varies, offering an excellent opportunity to export U.S. waste water technology in the coming years.

MR-70 / Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) Directive: Pertaining to paints, varnishes, and vehicle refinishing products

VOCs, volatile organic compounds, are organic solvents used in a broad range of industrial processes and are often found in the final products from those activities e.g. paints, adhesives, and inks. A high accumulation of ozone gas in the lower atmosphere can be harmful to people, animals, crops, and other materials. In reaction to this issue, the EU adopted Directive 2001/81/EC establishing national emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants, including VOCs. Additionally, the EU has recently adopted Directive 2004/42/CE, on the limitation of emissions of volatile organic compounds due to the use of organic solvents in certain paints, varnishes, and vehicle refinishing products. The recent directive (amending Directive 1999/13/EC) aims to harmonize limit values for the content of VOCs in the products (paints, varnishes, vehicle refinishing products) to ensure that the limits do not restrict the free movement of these products in the market. The directive went into force on April 30, 2004, and Member States must transpose the directive into national law by October 30, 2005.

MR-68 / The EU Eco-label

The European eco-label distinguishes environmentally friendly products and services. It is a voluntary scheme. Its symbol is a green flower. The flower can be found throughout the EU and Norway, Liechtenstein, and Iceland. The aim of the eco-label scheme is to encourage manufacturers to design products that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from manufacturing to disposal. It also aims to provide consumers with better information on the environmental performance of products and encourage them to buy green products.

MR-59 / Placing products on the EU market: The case of Chemicals, Pesticides, Biocides, Pharmaceutic

This report gives an overview of EU chemicals legislation and specific rules on products containing chemicals such as pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. It is comparing at one glance the different pieces of legislation, their definition of the product and their procedures for getting the product on the EU market.

This is particularly useful for borderline cases, as this is often the case with pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. For some products, it may be difficult to determine the classification under EU law: is a mosquito repellant suntan lotion or a shampoo that controls dandruff a biocide, a pharmaceutical or a cosmetic under EU legislation? This will depend on the purpose and use of the product, its marketing and ingredients. It is up to manufacturers to determine the classification of their product and it is important that they make informed decision, not only to avoid penalties but simply because product approval procedures are different: no pre-market approval for cosmetics but pre-market authorization for pharmaceuticals, biocides and pesticides.

It is important to note that, for all the products described in this report, no CE mark is required for the EU market.

MR-58 / EU Legislation Shaping the European Market for Remediation of Contaminated Sites

Throughout the EU, thousands of sites have been contaminated by previous industrial use, landfills, pesticides or other sources of pollution. Whereas air and water pollution are heavily regulated in the EU, the issue of soil pollution has not been the subject of comprehensive EU action so far. However, the European Commission has recently acknowledged that soil pollution in the EU is a major issue and soil is now one of the top priorities of EU environmental policy. This report outlines EU plans for legislation on soil, in particular relating to contaminated sites, and looks at commercial opportunities for U.S. exporters of soil remediation technologies and services.

MR-34 / Quality of electricity problems in the European Union cause concern for industry

Serious problems with product liability could arise with electrical products in the European Union (EU) as a result of power surges allowed by European Union standard EN 50160:2000, Voltage Characteristics of Electricity Supplied by Public Distribution Systems. There is a mismatch between the allowed 6 kV voltage surge specified in the EU standard and the 2.5kV surge allowed by IEC standard 60664-1, used as the basis for the safety of consumer electronics, telecommunication and IT electrical equipment.

MR-22 / EU Air Quality Legislation: An Overview

Reducing air pollution is high on the EU’s priority list when it comes to protecting the environment and improving the health of its citizens. EU policy in this area aims to control emissions at their source, improve fuel quality, and promote environmental protection requirements within the transportation and energy sectors. This document provides U.S. exporters with an overview of current EU policy, and primary areas of targeted legislation.

MR-2 / U.S. Energy Star Logo to be Introduced in Europe

The Energy Star logo has recognition both in the United States and in the EU as an identifier of energy-efficient products.

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