European Commission Directive 2004/4/EC on previous cargoes - assistance required

When the European Commission introduced Directive 2004/4/EC of 15 January 2004, a statement was included in the 'Whereas:' preamble that certain substances continued to be considered as 'provisionally acceptable':

(5) In the case of iso-decanol, iso-nonanol, iso-octanol, montan wax, paraffin wax and white mineral oils the information available was inadequate to carry out a complete valuation. However, according to the opinion of the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF), these substances may be considered as provisionally acceptable as previous cargoes considering their unlikely genotoxic potential, their easy removal by tank cleaning procedures and the very low residues expected as a result of these factors and their likely dilution.

(6) These provisionally acceptable substances should be reassessed on the basis of new scientific data and the Annex reviewed as appropriate within an adequate period of time. The data needed for the above evaluation should be provided, in particular, by relevant food business operators. The Commission has stated that it plans to update the List after a three-year period, i.e. in early 2007. This means that any new data to support the continuation of these products on the EU Acceptable List must be submitted to the SCF by early 2006. If no further relevant data is submitted, then it is probable that these substances will be removed from the EU List of Acceptable Previous Cargoes.

FOSFA have thus contacted us, as FOSFA members within the shipping industry, to firstly remind us of the Commission’s requirement for further data, but mainly to request our help in approaching companies which are producing these substances to provide you/FOSFA with any biological or toxicological data which they may have. It is hoped that the manufacturers will readily provide FOSFA with this data in the interests of maintaining the current level of flexibility, beneficial to both the shipping industry and the trade.

Click here to download a copy of the full FOSFA letter, which includes a description of the type of data that is required to allow a toxicological evaluation to be made.

INTERTANKO members are therefore asked to assist wherever possible in their daily dealings to request this information. Any received may be passed to the INTERTANKO secretariat and we will ensure this is forwarded accordingly.

Contact: Howard Snaith