16 July 2018

Burges Salmon’s environment and product stewardship team has saved a global consortium of chemical companies hundreds of thousands of Euros and prevented unnecessary animal testing after a successful challenge of a decision of the European Chemicals Agency in Helsinki.

Under the EU-wide REACH Regulation on the registration, evaluation, authorisation and restriction of chemicals, the European Chemicals Agency can require those who place substances on the EU internal market to test those substances for hazardous properties. The client consortium on the receiving end of the decision believed it was too onerous and that it did not take into account the potential for ‘reading across’ from the results from other similar substances to avoid unnecessary testing. Burges Salmon represented the consortium in its appeal to the Board of Appeal, also in Helsinki, and brought together the technical and legal arguments into a single persuasive submission.

Partner Simon Tilling says: “The European Chemicals Agency does not always get things right, and this appeal proves the value of standing your ground and asking for decisions to be reviewed by the Board of Appeal. I am pleased we managed to achieve an outcome that avoided the client being forced to engage in unnecessary testing, which is a success on both animal welfare and costs grounds. I am also pleased that the Agency took a pragmatic approach and worked with our client once it had seen the power of the arguments we were making.”

The Burges Salmon team was Simon Tilling, Owen Jones and Andrew Rabet.

Key contact

Michael Barlow

Michael Barlow Partner

  • Head of Environment
  • Head of Water
  • Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

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