International Issues

Lynn L. Bergeson, Richard E. Engler, Ph.D., et al, "Compilation Memorandum regarding the GCSE Plastics Reports: France and the United States: Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste," Global Council for Science and the Environment, May 15, 2022.

In February 2022, France and the United States announced their commitment to protect our shared environment for future generations against the harm resulting plastic pollution.Both nations stated their united recognition of the transboundary impacts of plastic pollution and the importance of mitigating plastic waste at its source. On March 2, 2022, as reported by the 5th UN Environment Assembly (UNAE-5.2) in Nairobi, both France and the United States, along with 173 other nations, adopted a Resolution to End Plastic Pollution with an international legally binding agreement by 2024, with discussions beginning in 2022. Significantly, the Resolution to End Plastic Pollution defines “plastic waste” to include “microplastic.” Building upon the historic collaboration between France and the United States regarding plastic waste and learning from the contrasts in their governmental structures and approaches to environmental regulation, this French and United States Comparative Law Analysis and Recommendations Regarding Plastic Waste is offered for use by policy makers in the upcoming negotiations regarding the global plastic waste treaty.

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F Baron, MSPH, "How might EU proposals on harmonised classification and prioritisation of chemicals for classification impact industry?," Chemical Watch, April 14, 2022.

The Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability, adopted by the European Commission in October 2020, calls on the Commission to ensure that Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures (CLP Regulation) is the central legislation for hazard classification and allows the Commission to initiate harmonised classifications. This article examines the effect of possible CLP amendments.

Carla N. Hutton and Karin F. Baron, MSPH, "Expert Briefing: What could the European Commission’s plan to strengthen CLP mean for industry?," Chemical Watch, August 2, 2021.

To help achieve the ambitious goals of the European Green Deal, the European Commission adopted the chemicals strategy for sustainability in October 2020. The strategy suggests that the Commission can address pressing human health and environmental concerns by reinforcing Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures – one of the EU’s cornerstones for regulating chemicals.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Don’t Ignore Game-Changing EU Environmental Initiatives," Bloomberg Law Insights, April 21, 2021.

Two developments in the European Union in 2020 involving chemical regulations will almost certainly impact U.S. chemical stakeholders, according to Lynn L. Bergeson, managing partner of Bergeson & Campbell P.C. One initiative restricts certain chemicals in order to comply with the European Green Deal, while the other amends chemical disclosure requirements, she explains.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "OECD Will Hold Webinar on Assessing the Dispersion Stability and Dissolution of Nanomaterials in the Environment," Nanotechnology Now, February 2, 2021.

On February 25, 2021, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) will hold a webinar on "Assessing the dispersion stability and dissolution (rate) of nanomaterials in the environment" to discuss the scope, content, and use of Test Guideline No. 318: Dispersion Stability of Nanomaterials in Simulated Environmental Media and its accompanying guidance document. 

Lynn L. Bergeson and Lara A. Hall, "M&A activity in the analytical services sector: points to consider," Financier Worldwide, January 2021.

There has been remarkable consolidation in the analytical services sector in the US and elsewhere globally over the past few years. Make no mistake; the need for analytical and related testing services is growing significantly. Because of the legal and regulatory frameworks that demand such services, however, there is considerable need for attendant technical expertise to staff these laboratories, and the need for specialised expertise is also growing exponentially. This article summarises mergers and acquisitions (M&A) trends and explains why skilled help is essential to avoid liability. A PDF of this article can be downloaded here

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The growing spectre of chemical product cancellations, and what to do about it," Financier Worldwide, February 2020.

Effective 1 January 2022, household cleaning, cosmetic and personal care products containing quantities of 1,4-dioxane over specified trivial levels will be prohibited from sale in the state of New York. The law imposing these restrictions, signed by governor Andrew M. Cuomo on 9 December 2019, is intended to protect drinking water supplies from contamination by the chemical. This product ban falls on the heels of the 15 March 2019 final rule issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banning the manufacture, import, processing and distribution, including e-commerce, of methylene chloride for consumer paint and coating removal. The EPA’s determination that the use of methylene chloride in consumer paint and coating removal presents an ‘unreasonable risk’ of injury to health prompted this decision. These commercial bans are not anomalies; they are the new normal. This article explains why, and the reasons corporate leaders, brand managers, investors and others in this commercial space need to understand this trend and plan accordingly.

J. Brian Xu, Jane S. Vergnes, and Carla N. Hutton, "China Drafts Changes to Chemical Registration Rules," Bloomberg Environment Insights, July 29, 2019.

Manufacturers and importers should weigh in on China’s planned changes to registration requirements for new chemical substances, write Brian Xu and Jane Vergnes of The Acta Group, and Carla Hutton of Bergeson & Campbell.

Zameer Qureshi, "EU REACH: how’s life after the Registration deadlines?," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest,, Spring 2019.

The registration deadlines for pre-registered “phase-in” chemical substances under the European Union’s (EU) Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) regulation presented for the chemicals industry a wide range of demanding tasks requiring substantial expertise from scientists, consultants, lawyers, and others. The transitional phase of REACH ended on 31 May 2018, and companies of all shapes and sizes are now engaged in a wide range of ongoing compliance activities. This column addresses certain important REACH-related activities being undertaken by numerous entitites in the ongoing post-deadline era, and provides comments on their significance. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Get Ready for South Korean Deadline," Chemical Processing, May 17, 2019.

Global chemical substance notification deadlines continue to populate the regulatory horizon. For companies active in worldwide markets, it’s crucial to review and meet all important notification and registration deadlines in each country. This article focuses on South Korea’s policy and explains why it’s essential to meet these deadlines.

Cheryl B. Cleveland, Carrie R. Fleming, Jason E. Johnston, Angela S. Klemens, and Bruce M. Young, "Benchmarking the Current Codex Alimentarius International Estimated Short-Term Intake Equations and the Proposed New Equations," Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, March 14, 2019.

The International Estimated Short-Term Intake IESTI equations are used during the establishment of Codex Maximum Residue Limits. A recent proposal to revise the equations sparked international debate regarding selection of residue inputs and the appropriate level of consumer protection. The 49th Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues meeting recommended benchmarking the IESTI equations against distributions of actual exposures. Using publicly available data and models, this work compares dietary exposures for strawberries, tomatoes, and apples at five levels of refinement to place these equations into context relative to real-world exposures. Case studies were based on availability of robust USDA PDP monitoring data, which is uniquely suited to refine dietary exposures for a population. Benchmarking dietary exposure involves several decision points. Alternate methodology choices are not expected to impact the large margins observed between the probabilistic estimates and the IESTI equations or to change the overall conclusion that existing IESTI equations are conservative and health-protective.

Zameer Qureshi, "Brexit: REACHing Compliance Goals Under Evolving Circumstances," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Winter 2018.

Brexit is a moving target from a political viewpoint, but many matters for regulatory compliance and product stewardship teams globally appear clearer than before. This article suggests timely REACH compliance strategies companies should adopt and implement that account for wide-ranging Brexit repercussions.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Trump Administration and global chemical issues," Elements, the Magazine of Chemicals Northwest, Summer 2018.

This article reviews the Trump Administration’s engagement, to date, in key industrial chemical matters, domestically and internationally.  Topics include the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the UN’s Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Ratification of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The New Administration and International Chemical Issues," Environmental Quality Management, Volume 27, Issue 4, Summer 2018.

As a candidate and now as president, President Trump has been uncharacteristically predictable in systematically dismantling signature environmental policies of prior administrations and ceding the United States’ leadership in combating climate change to other global powers. The administration’s industrial chemicals management policy has been less transparent and predictable, however. Some may have interpreted candidate Trump’s notable silence on the campaign trail as support for Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform, given the broad bipartisan support it enjoyed before its enactment on June 22, 2016. Others may have assumed that candidate Trump was simply unaware of the enactment of the most sweeping legislative changes to our domestic chemical management law in four decades and the significant commercial, legal, and trade implications occasioned by enactment of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act (Lautenberg). President Trump has kept his TSCA cards close to his vest, and the administration’s broader engagement in chemicals management on the world stage is similarly unclear. Some trends can be discerned, or at least inferred, as discussed in this article.

J. Brian Xu, M.D., Ph.D., DABT® and Scott J. Burya, Ph.D., "FCM regulations in China and the US - a comparison," CW+ AsiaHub, July 18, 2018.

While the intention of food contact regulations in both China and the US is to protect public health, the approaches taken, the obligations for industry and other facets of the regulations differ in notable ways. This article overviews the two regulatory systems, highlighting key similarities and differences between the emerging regulatory regime in China and the established US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) food contact regulations. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EFSA Publishes New Guidance on Nanotechnologies in Food and Feed," Nanotechnology Now, July 5, 2018.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) issued a July 4, 2018, press release announcing the availability of new guidance on how to assess the safety of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications. The guidance covers novel foods, food contact materials, food and feed additives, and pesticides, taking into account new developments that have taken place since publication of the previous guidance in 2011. 

Zameer Qureshi, "Brexit: An examination of key developments and their potential influence on European chemical laws," Environmental Law & Management, Volume 29, Issue 4, 2017.

On 23 June 2016, more than 30 million people voted in a referendum to decide whether the United Kingdom (UK) should ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’ in the European Union (EU). The referendum turnout was 71.8 per cent and the Leave campaign won by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, making ‘Brexit’ an important and imminent probability, with potentially substantial implications for a range of stakeholders, including the chemicals industry.

Between then and now, there have been significant developments in case law and statute, culminating in the triggering of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and the issuing of a White Paper setting out the UK’s strategy for repealing the European Communities Act 1972 (ECA 1972) and ending the supremacy of EU law. The Brexit process and potential outcomes, including ‘knowns and unknowns’, are subject to change and are evolving at an exceptionally rapid pace, and will likely continue to do so. Terminology utilised for important documents and events has changed since the start of the Brexit story in June 2016. Many Brexit-related issues depend significantly or entirely on outcomes of political negotiations, and making any predictions has become a challenging endeavour. The global chemicals industry is well advised, as part of an effort to support regulatory and legal compliance, to monitor regularly news and consultations regarding Brexit

Lynn L. Bergeson, "The Montreal Protocol is Amended and Strengthened," Environmental Quality Management, Spring 2017.

Climate change watchers know that October, 15, 2016, was a historic day for international climate action. On that day, nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to phase down use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. The meeting to discuss the Amendment took place from July 15-23, 2016. This seemingly impossible alignment of international interests reflects years of effort. This column summarizes this historic event and its implications.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "EC Publishes Final Report of Nanocomput Project," Nanotechnology Now, July 27, 2017.

In July 2017, the European Commission's (EC) Joint Research Center (JRC) published a report entitled Evaluation of the availability and applicability of computational approaches in the safety assessment of nanomaterials: Final report of the Nanocomput project.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Years in the Making," Manufacturing Today, July 26, 2017.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made available on May 16, 2017, and requested comment on a draft guidance document, “Guidance on EPA’s Section 8(a) Information Gathering Rule on Nanomaterials in Commerce.” This column discusses the draft guidance.

Lynn L. Bergeson, Daniel B. González, Anabela Aldaz, and Christopher J. McNevin, "Mini-Roundtable: Environmental Disputes," Corporate Disputes, July-September, 2017.

A major change, brought about by the November elections, is the uptick in citizen suit litigation, and lawsuits brought by third parties against the government. Given the current administration’s position on climate change, environmental regulation generally, and the perception that regulations impede economic growth and job development, there has been a significant slowdown in regulatory and administrative activity and the initiation of enforcement actions. NGOs and third-party activists will continue to fill this void by private lawsuits as citizen litigants.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "OECD Publishes Report on Alternative Testing Strategies in Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials," Nanotechnology Now, February 1, 2017.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) published a report entitled Alternative Testing Strategies in Risk Assessment of Manufactured Nanomaterials: Current State of Knowledge and Research Needs to Advance Their Use.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Australian Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals Addresses Nanomaterials," Nanotechnology Now, December 1, 2016.

On November 24, 2016, the Australian Department of the Environment and Energy began a public consultation on the Draft National Standard for the Environmental Risk Management of Industrial Chemicals and a supporting Draft Explanatory Document. See http://www.environment.gov.au/protection/chemicals-management/national-standard/draft-national-standard-environmental-risk-management-industrial-chemicals  According to the Department, the primary purpose of the papers is to outline the design and operation of the National Standard. 

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Chemical Compliance: Montreal Protocol Addresses HFCs," Chemical Processing, November 28, 2016.

October 15, 2016, was a historic day for international climate action: nearly 200 countries reached an agreement to phase out use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) at the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol in Kigali, Rwanda. This column summarizes this historic event and its implications.

The Montreal Protocol is the international treaty designed to protect the earth’s ozone layer by requiring the phasing out of production and use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), substances believed to contribute to ozone depletion, many of which also contribute to greenhouse gas (GHG) production. By many accounts, the Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful international agreements ever implemented.

Lynn L. Bergeson, "Two Workshops Will Be Held Before October 2016 OpenTox Euro Conference," Nanotechnology Now, August 11, 2016.

Two workshops, a European Union (EU)-U.S. Nano Environmental and Health Safety (NanoEHS) workshop and a nano modeling workshop, will be held in advance of the October 2016 OpenTox Euro Conference.

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