Brussels' ruling on PCP unlikely to shift UK line on import ban

The European Commission has allowed Germany to maintain restrictions on the supply of the preservative pentachlorophenol (PCP) even though they go further than EC rules. But the decision appears unlikely to persuade the UK Government to accept demands by the textile industry to ban imports of PCP-treated cloth.

The Commission's verdict on the German rules appears to have been the first test of provisions in Article 100 of the Single European Act allowing Member States to maintain laws which are stricter than EC legislation if the goal is to protect the environment.

The German rules on PCP were introduced in 1989. They are more restrictive than an EC Directive which was proposed in 1988 (ENDS Report 160, p 24) but not adopted until 1991.


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