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Belgium publishes draft Nano Legislation

Belgium today informed the European Commission that it has published a draft of a decree that would ‘implement a register of substances manufactured at the nanoscale based on declarations of products containing such substances by the parties placing these products on the market’. Overseen by the country’s Federal Public Service for Health, Food Chain Safety, and Environment, the legislation would apply from 1 January 2015 for materials containing nanomaterials, and from 1 January 2016 for articles or complex objects containing substances in nanoparticle states.

This legislation will require ‘[…] substances manufactured at the nanoscale, and preparations containing them, be declared if more than 100 grams of these substances are placed on the market per year […]’. Types of information that will be required include:

  • ‘The characteristics of the substances
  • The quantity of substances manufactured at the nanoscale placed on the market
  • The use of the preparation of substance concerned
  • The identity of professional purchasers and users’

The definition of nanomaterial will be the one recommended by the Commission in 2011, and will also include ‘the assimilation of fullerenes, graphene flakes and carbon nanotubes’. The law will not cover all materials; exclusions include:

  • ‘Non-chemically modified natural substances
  • Substances produced accidentally
  • Substances whose fraction between one nanometre and one hundred nanometres is a by-product of human activity […]
  • Pigments, […] carbon black, synthetic amorphous silica and precipitated calcium carbonate used as fillers […]
  • Products already subject to regulations concerning nanomaterials (example: biocides, foodstuffs, etc.)

Provisions are said to have been laid down to respect data protection and confidentiality. Furthermore this decree has been created with aims including: improving transparency and traceability; ‘[..] boosting the public’s and workers’ confidence regarding these substances […]’; and ensuring ‘[…] that this innovative technology develops in tune with the interests of health and safety’.

Comments are due by 7 October 2013.


Follow this link to read the text of the draft decree. Follow this link to read NIA’s reporting on the foodstuffs regulation and biocides regulation, and on the EC’s recommended definition of nanomaterial

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