The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has co-organized with U.S. industry a workshop to address the increasing pressure on manufacturers from emerging chemical controls and regulations from such countries as China and the European Union. The suite of issues stemming from regulatory actions in various markets, as well as global reporting and management efforts, has serious cost and market implications both for manufacturers of chemicals and for chemicals users and are potential barriers to innovation.
The workshop, "Innovation and Competitiveness: A Strategic Approach to Emerging Chemical Issues," will be held on Sept. 26-27 at the NIST laboratories in Gaithersburg, Md.
The costs of dealing with multiple chemical regulation and control requirements in different markets goes far beyond the chemical industry itself. Chemicals and chemical products contribute 16 percent of the value of material inputs in the automotive sector, 33 percent of the value of material inputs used to make semiconductors, and 30 percent of the value of medical supplies, for example. The European Union's "End-of-Life-Vehicles" (ELV) Directive affected thousands of U.S. automotive suppliers. A study conducted by the Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) found that the average cost for inputting data into the International Material Data System (IMDS), a tool for complying with the ELV requirements, was $75 per simple raw material and up to $2,500 per complex assembly. In 2002, an Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG) project team used these data and estimated that total costs to the entire U.S. supply chain for ELV compliance would be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The workshop will provide a forum to gather industry views on these issues and to develop an early consensus on how the business, scientific and technical communities can better address and prepare for new chemical-related rules and regulations world-wide that affect U.S. manufacturing.
For more information and/or to register for the workshop, go to the NIST Web site: www.nist.gov/public_affairs/confpage/060926.htm.