Few business sectors are as heavily regulated as chemicals. Global interest in ensuring that chemicals are safe for human health and the environment has brought about a fierce regulatory drive, such as the EU rules regulating chemicals commonly referred to as REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation & Restriction of Chemicals). Chemical substances, including products containing substances, biocides, pesticides, and gases are controlled under an array of regulatory regimes and approaches that affect the entire supply chain. The types of issues that arise are broad encompassing areas such as marketing and use restrictions, data-sharing, data protection and confidentiality, classification, packaging and labelling, product substitution, and, customs formalities. In order to ensure compliance and, in a worst-case scenario avoid their products exiting the market, companies have to submit to detailed and resource-intensive regulatory procedures, fight their corner, and, make risk choices.
In recent years we’ve helped with a wide-range of projects in the chemicals sector including:
- Dealing with REACH issues for a large Japanese chemicals company
- Managing a panel of lawyers across Europe, China, Taiwan, Canada and Brazil dealing with a wide range of legal and compliance issues for a US-based chemicals company
- Advising a leading chemicals company on its data protection issues including data security, responding to a security breach, advising on Works Council consultations and managing a program for them to join the US-EU Safe Harbor program
- Managing an internal investigation over corruption at the European subsidiary of a dual-listed global business
- Advising a UK based chemicals business on upgrading its FCPA program to take into account the requirements of the UK Bribery Act 2010
- Anti-trust advice on the disposal of a number of chemical plants by our client to a business competitor
- Managing a multijurisdictional product recall over allegations of Chromium VI infiltration into products
The Cordery chemicals and product regulatory team can assist with ensuring compliance and legal risk reduction for companies in steering their way through the chemicals regulatory thicket. One of our lawyers spent a number of years on part-time quasi-secondment to one of the world’s largest chemical companies. We work within the EU and partner with other professionals (legal and technical), including in other jurisdictions where client needs require this. Our services encompass advisory work with an understanding of your commercial objectives, hands-on dealing with regulators, and, advocacy for change.