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Chemicals bill would help Brazil's bid for OECD membership, says industry body

06/04/2020 | 15h20

Adopting chemicals management legislation would help Brazil in the process of joining the OECD, which could spur the government to prioritise the topic, according to the head of chemicals industry association Abiquim.


Abiquim has carried out a "detailed analysis" of the chemicals bill the country’s National Chemical Safety Commission (Conasq) published in October 2018. It found that its adoption would mean the country complies with a further ten OECD legal instruments, the association's CEO Ciro Marino told Chemical Watch.



"We shared the result of this analysis with the Brazilian government, highlighting the importance of adopting chemicals management legislation," Mr Marino said.


Brazil is currently a 'key partner' of the OECD and its government has been requesting full membership since 2017. At the time, the country adhered to 38 of the OECD's 254 legal instruments, which are "standards, best practices and policy guidelines developed by the organisation’s committees", and are legally binding on its members.


The government has since been working towards compliance with the remaining requirements. As of 14 May, it adheres to 84 of the 254 legal instruments, or 33% of them, Carlos Marcio Cozendey, Brazil's delegate to the OECD, confirmed on Twitter. This is more than any other non-OECD member country, he added.


Twenty-one of the legal instruments fall under the OECD's Chemicals Committee. According to the organisation's website, Brazil already adheres to six of these, regarding:


  • establishing pollutant release and transfer registers (PRTRs);
  • safety testing and assessment of manufactured nanomaterials;
  • information exchange related to exporting banned or severely restricted chemicals;
  • risk reduction for lead;
  • compliance with principles of good laboratory practice; and
  • mutual acceptance of data (MAD) in the assessment of chemicals.


Mr Marino said compliance with the OECD is desirable for industry because it brings a country's regulatory framework up to speed with international best practices. This also helps attract foreign investment.


"In our opinion, the implementation of chemicals management legislation can be an advantage in the Brazilian process of joining the OECD," he said.



Covid-19 delays

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro shelved the chemicals bill proposed by Conasq when he took office in January last year. In November, a Brazilian legislator acted independently to present a similar bill to congress.


This bill was set to be discussed in a series of congressional commissions this year.


However, due to the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic in Brazil — in May it became the country with the second most infections worldwide after the US, with more than 330,000 confirmed cases — all bills not directly dealing with the pandemic and its economics consequences are on hold.


In addition, Brazil is set to host municipal elections in the second half of this year, so it's not clear when congressional activities will go back to normal, Mr Marino said.


"Even so, we are working to place the chemicals management bill as a priority for the congressmen when the sanitary crisis is over," he said.

Font: Chemical Watch
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