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26 February 2015

On 12th February 2015, the European General Court in Luxembourg conducted an oral hearing of Case t-360/13. The case was brought against the European Commission by VECCO, supported by a number of Trade Associations and end users of surface engineering components.

Introduction

On 12th February 2015, the European General Court in Luxembourg conducted an oral hearing of Case t-360/13.  The case was brought against the European Commission by VECCO (essentially a German consortium of surface engineering companies with an interest in the continued use of chromium trioxide in our sector), supported by a number of Trade Associations and end users of surface engineered components.

Background

On 8th July 2013, VECCO lodged its case with the European Court and was subsequently supported by a number of” interveners” who lodged their statement
on 24th April 2014. VECCO and its supporters asked the Court to:

  • Declare the application admissible and well founded (this has already been agreed upon)
     
  • Declare that the contested measure is partially unlawful in that it is based on a manifest error of assessment and infringes Article 58(2) of REACH, the principle of proportionality and the rights of the defence (including the principles of sound administration and excellence of scientific advice)
     
  • Partially annul the contested measure in so far as it does not contain an exemption for the continued use of chromium trioxide for use in surface engineering applications 

So, in other words, the European Commission should have granted an exemption for the continued use of chromium trioxide in surface engineering applications because the data submitted to ECHA and the European Commission indicated that exposures were well controlled and that authorisation was not a proportionate legislative measure to address any remaining risks. 

The full report can be accessed here:    SEA at European Court
 

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