BELGIUM: Creation of a national register of nanomaterials

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Belgium is the second EU country, after France in 2013, to adopt specific regulations establishing a framework for placing nanomaterials on the market.

As of 1 January 2016, the producers of substances and mixtures containing nanomaterials will have to register these products, before they are placed on the market, with the competent ministerial authority, the Federal Public Health Service. The aim is to ensure the traceability of nanomaterials.

The establishment of the register will make it possible:

  • for health authorities to act rapidly if a type of nanomaterial proved hazardous for public health; and
  • to forward the relevant information to the authorities in charge of workers’ safety.

At the European level, several EU Member States have declared themselves in favour of establishing a European register which would make it possible to keep a trace of the numerous nanomaterials and the products containing them. Belgium, France and Denmark have made proposals with a view to establishing a system of compulsory declaration of nanomaterials. Italy, for its part, has declared itself in favour of voluntary declaration.

Furthermore, in May 2014, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the measures to be taken to improve the transparency of the placing of nanomaterials on the European market. The results of the consultation will help the Commission to assess the impact of any legislative proposal.

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