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MR-117 / E-commerce with the EU
This report will address the range of regulatory issues that should be taken into account by US companies wanting to do business with EU customers over the Internet. It consists of a series of paragraphs addressing various aspects of EU law that affects e-commerce. Of necessity, this report is a high-level summary. In all cases, links are provided to Web addresses that provide more complete information. The summary below is intended as an aid only. E-commerce is one of the most lightly regulated areas of the EU economy. The legal framework is relatively consistent across the EU; as a result, it should be a major motor of transatlantic trade.
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 Labeling 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.
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.
This report sets out the status quo in a number of key areas such as numbering and emergency calls and addresses possible future developments. It is highly recommended to read this report in conjunction with more detailed materials published by the EC and the European NRAs (see bibliographic information below). It is also essential that companies seeking to enter the market in an EU country make a full investigation of the regulatory situation in that country, since EU rules, while setting the framework for national rules, are implemented differently in different countries. There may also be issues relevant to VoIP that are simply not addressed by EU rules, but where the local NRA has a policy in place.