FME, Koninklijke Metaalunie and Association ION (Dutch Surface Treatment Association) are very concerned that the decision of the European Commission regarding Chromium (VI) compounds will lead to considerable economic damage and job losses in the Netherlands. European REACH legislation requires companies that work with Chromium (VI) compounds to request authorization. The European Commission must decide by 2016 whether it will still be allowed in the next four, seven or twelve years. For the technology industry Chromium (VI) compounds are indispensable. Companies want long-term security for continuity of supply and will postpone or move investments to countries outside the European Union due to short authorization periods. FME, Koninklijke Metaalunie and Association ION have engaged Panteia for economic research.

Robert van Beek, FME: "If the industry cannot perform the chemical treatment using Chromium (VI) in Europe, the work will move to other countries. This is possible because imports of finished products (such as a chrome bathroom faucet) will remain. This report should give the European Commission and the Dutch Government a factual picture of the economic impact, if the industry is facing very short authorization periods".

The three branches have identified several groups of companies that are threatened by the European REACH regulations. These are: the surface treatment industry, companies that make products with the use of Chromium (VI) and companies that make products where Chromium (VI) compounds have been used. They are: machinery (abrasion) and products in the automotive, electronics, aviation, aerospace and defence industries.

Jos van de Werken, Metaalunie: "Often companies do not know how dependent they are on Chromium (VI). During processing, Chromium (VI) converts chemically to Chromium (III) or metallic Chromium which is no longer harmful. Chrome is not just used for a bell on a bike, but it is also used in many parts and components in high-tech products".

Egbert Stremmelaar, Association ION: "I already see several cases of companies who postpone investments or make investments in other countries. A review period of only four years is a pacifier. The application takes two years and the decision 18 months. Customers do not like uncertainty. We have the view that Chromium (VI) should be replaced as soon as possible when a good working alternative is available, but that authorization should be granted in situations where no alternative is available".

The branches aim to complete the investigation in June 2016 in order to be ready in time for European decision-making: "The industry has exchanged nearly all technical arguments over the years and shared with the European Chemicals Agency and others. It is now time to also bring the arguments of economic damage and loss of employment to the attention".

More information:
Vereniging ION (Dutch Association for Surface Engineering Companies))
T: +31 (0)30 - 630 03 90

Voor de Nederlandse versie ga naar: