European Industry Organization Denounces EU Regulation

ROSSLYN, VA, October 27, 2006-The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today offered a voice of support to one of its European counterparts, criticizing a new European Parliament environment committee proposal that would extend provisions of the controversial EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization, and Restrictions of Chemicals (REACH).

Adrian Harris, the secretary general of Orgalime, the European federation representing the interests of the European mechanical, electrical, electronic, and metal articles industries, said that the members of the European Parliament would destroy thousands of small European business jobs unless they rethink an environment committee deal on REACH. Originally scheduled for this week, a plenary debate on REACH has been postponed while Parliament members and governments try to agree on a compromise.

The European Parliament's environment committee earlier this month voted to approve several changes to REACH which would alter the deal agreed to by ministers last year. NEMA, ORGALIME, and other organizations representing the manufacturing industry are attempting to persuade members of Parliament to drop some of their more troublesome amendments before the whole Parliament votes on REACH. The groups are particularly concerned about an environment committee amendment on 'homogenous materials,' such as plastic or glass, that would make it compulsory to file a declaration for every such material when products are imported into Europe.

"It is complete nonsense to expect this from a company dealing with hundreds or thousands of materials a year," said Adrian Harris. NEMA President Evan Gaddis agrees, noting that "this amendment would result in a costly, unnecessary burden to NEMA member companies. As good as their intent might be, members of Parliament clearly have gone further than anyone in industry considers necessary or wise."

NEMA is the trade association of choice for the electrical manufacturing industry. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, D.C., its 430 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end-use of electricity. These products are used in utility, medical imaging, industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential applications. Domestic production of electrical products sold worldwide exceeds $120 billion. In addition to its headquarters in Rosslyn, Virginia, NEMA also has offices in Beijing, São Paulo, and Mexico City.

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