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Textiles industry needs to prepare for compliance with REACH regulations
31
Jul '09
FICCI and AEPC jointly organised Workshop on 'Implications of EU's REACH Legislation on Indian Textiles Industry' in which experts emphasized the need for Indian textiles industry to prepare itself for compliance with REACH regulations of EU. REACH, the new chemicals policy of EU which came into effect from 1st June 2007 is going to be one of the serious challenges facing Indian textiles and apparel manufacturing industry, experts noted.

Mr Sudhir Sekhri, Chairman, Export Promotion Committee of AEPC, Mr Vimal Kirti Singh, Secretary General, AEPC and Mr Shanmugasundaram from TUV Rhineland addressed the delegates in the workshop on the importance of REACH for Indian textile industry and practical steps needed to implement the REACH regulations in the textile and apparel industry. REACH is a European Community Regulation on Chemicals which deals with the Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemical substances.

The objective of this regulation is protection of human health and environment from the hazards of chemicals. The processors and manufacturers in textile industry use a number of chemical substances like solvents, pigments, dyestuffs etc, which need to undergo a process of registration, evaluation and authorization under the REACH legislation.

Mr Shanmugasundaram from TUV (provider of texting services) said that the apparel and apparel chemical exporters to EU will have to comply with substantial number of obligations under REACH. Suppliers from India need to have the capability to provide their buyers in EU with all the information required by the REACH regulation concerning the substances used in the manufacturing of textiles and apparels.

And exporters which are not able to provide such information would experience a reduced market share. Under REACH, the presence of certain hazardous substances (chemicals) in apparels and textiles needs to be notified to the EU if they are present beyond certain threshold limit. At present the suppliers from India have to make sure that their products are free of 15 SVHCs (Substances of very high concern) as given in the REACH authorization list.

The immediate issue of concern, as pointed-out by textile industry in FICCI-AEPC workshop was that most of the chemical suppliers within the country are not REACH compliant, hence making it difficult for the downstream producers to comply with such regulations. Also, industry pointed-out that Government needs to create adequate infrastructure for the testing requirements of REACH for the exporters. At present very few labs in the country would be able to provide certificate for REACH compliance for our exporters. Further, exporters pointed-out that the testing charges for analyzing each SVHC substance could be high for Indian exporter for each sample.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry

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