VCI comments the new BUND publication on TTIP

No lowering of safety standards in the chemical industry through TTIP

24. June 2015 | Pressemitteilung

Long version of this document

The VCI’s director-general Utz Tillmann clarifies that the TTIP negotiations do not put at stake the European protection standard for chemicals. According to Tillmann, mutual recognition is not possible for the different chemicals regimes in the USA and in Europe. But duplication could be avoided and trade obstacles could be eliminated without impairing the protection level. Furthermore, by no means can the existing precautionary principle in the EU be “abolished” by an international law agreement like TTIP.

The German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) clarifies that the TTIP negotiations do not put at stake the European protection standard for chemicals. This impression is wrongly given in a new publication by the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND, Friends of the Earth Germany). The VCI strongly opposes the allegation made by the BUND of chemical companies striving for a lower protection of the population against chemicals harmful to health.

The VCI’s director-general Utz Tillmann emphasizes: „The German chemical industry is committed to the European chemicals regulation REACH. By no means will TTIP weaken the standards in chemicals safety. The regimes relevant to chemicals – TSCA in the USA and REACH in Europe – are too different from each other. Therefore, mutual recognition is not possible. “ But from the VCI’s viewpoint, duplication could be avoided and obstacles to trade could be eliminated without impairing the safety standard.

In this context, Tillmann points to the textual proposal for a legal text on regulatory cooperation in TTIP that was published by the European Commission in early May 2015: “The Commission makes quite clear that negotiations on any approximation of rules can take place only if no standards are lowered and if both sides really want such regulatory cooperation.”

Delayed regulation due to problems in scientific definitions and borderlines

The BUND’s statement of regulation on nanomaterials and hormonally active substances being delayed due to pressure from industry is not correct, either. Tillmann: “Delays in the forthcoming regulation on nanomaterials and endocrine disruptors are caused by problems in scientific definitions and borderlines at the expert level. Moreover, the impact assessment by the EU Commission is still ongoing for the relevant pieces of legislation.”

The precautionary principle cannot be abandoned through TTIP

Morever, the BUND gives rise to the impression of TTIP putting into question the existing precautionary principle in the EU. This is utterly unfounded. Tillmann: “The precautionary principle is part of the Lisbon Treaty and thus of the fundamental EU treaties. Therefore, it cannot be abolished by an international law agreement like TTIP. As we see things, it would be more constructive if the BUND tried to engage in a dialogue with us on such issues – instead of making untenable assertions.”


The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2014 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 190 billion euros and employed 444,800 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de
Please note: VCI news about the chemical industry is also available via Twitter: http://twitter.com/chemieverband


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