APEAL is disappointed by chromium trioxide resolution

APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, has said it is disappointed by the resolution, voted by the Environment Committee of the European Parliament (ENVI), calling on the European Commission (EC) to refuse to grant authorisation for continued uses of chromium trioxide.

This resolution, tabled by the ENVI committee and brought forward by Bas Eickhout MEP and Martin Häusling MEP, has been opposed by major political groups within the European Parliament (EP). Nevertheless, it was adopted by the ENVI committee with 20 votes to 16 and 3 abstentions. It will now move forward for a vote at the EP Plenary meeting which is scheduled for next week.

In February, the EC’s REACH committee had agreed to the authorisation for continued uses of chromium trioxide in many industries, including the automotive, aerospace, defence, as well as for the passivation of tinplated steel (ETP) and Tin-Free Steel / Electrolytic Chromium Coated Steel (ECCS).

APEAL members are conforming to all regulatory obligations, including REACH, and says the sector is planning to phase out these uses in the coming years once the alternatives that APEAL members themselves are developing have been qualified by the supply chain to ensure continued product and consumer safety.

In preparation of the vote in the EP plenary, APEAL has called upon MEP’s to consider the consequences and to vote for supporting the EC in moving forward and granting authorisation for continued uses of chromium trioxide.

If APEAL members are no longer in a position to use hexavalent chrome substances like chromium trioxide in their processes before the qualification of these alternatives can be completed, it is estimated that between 4,000 and 7,500 jobs in Europe would be directly threatened within APEAL member companies, in addition to wider economic impacts of the supply chains not being able to source steel for packaging in Europe.

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