September 2012

Commentary

A Global Industry?

This month, Commentary is provided by guest editorialist, Alain D’haese,
Secretary General of the European Aerosol Federation (FEA).

The first edition of the UN Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was published in 2003. Since then, the GHS has been updated, revised and improved every two years as needs arise and experience is gained in its implementation.

Alain DhaeseThe fourth and last revised edition of the GHS (GHS Rev.4) includes, among other things, a new hazard category for non-flammable aerosols. The European Union will adopt these new classification and labeling provisions early next year, but many countries in the world are currently in the process of implementing “only” the third revised edition. So discrepancies will still remain for a certain time.

Today, if innovation emerges somewhere in the world, it should offer  pportunities everywhere else. The places where an idea appears and where the innovation is used on the market can be totally disconnected. In this context, it is of utmost importance that the aerosol industry continues its broad dialogue about which provisions could be (or not be) globally implemented and when.

If global provisions and standards definitely facilitate the development of the industry, it is, however, not always favorable to implement new provisions too quickly or at an inappropriate moment. For example, it has been agreed within the industry not to harmonize the content labeling of aerosols in weight or in volume, but to let all regions continue with their existing requirements. This message has been passed on to authorities and still needs to be secured at the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML) level.

In this global spirit, a limited number of aerosol industry representatives and national aerosol association staff meet once a year as the International Liaison Committee. The goal is to exchange experience and views in order to avoid threats to the aerosol industry and to foster opportunities.

The next meeting will be hosted by the Aerosol Promotion Council (APC) in
November 2012 in Mumbai, India. The next FEA International Aerosol Congress & Exhibition will be hosted by the Asociación Española De Aerosoles (AEDA) and will take place Sept. 24-26, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. AEDA has already organized previous editions in Barcelona in 1981 and Seville in 1993.

The relevance of our industry requires an event featuring concepts such as internationalization, globalization and innovation, and thus is reflected in the Congress slogan: “Where the aerosol becomes global”. As usual, this event is designed for a large worldwide aerosol audience and is definitely the place to be! For more information, please visit www.aerosolmadrid2013.com.

I hope to meet you at these events.