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We received 27 responses to this consultation.
The sale and use of asbestos has been restricted in the UK and the EU for many years. Under the EU Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) Regulation, the scope of the restriction was unintentionally extended to cover the sale and use of second-hand articles containing asbestos. They now must have the asbestos content removed if placed on the market - creating potential health risks from disturbing otherwise secure asbestos. Alternatively they may be disposed of before the end of their useful life. This imposes unnecessary costs on business and others.
Derogation under EU law is now available which allows for Member States to provide for exemptions so that second-hand articles containing asbestos can still be placed on the market, subject to conditions to ensure a high level of protection of human health.
The UK proposes to adopt this by making changes to the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008, depending on the outcome of this consultation. It is anticipated that this change will save business £29m per year.
We would welcome views on changes to the REACH Enforcement Regulations 2008, to adopt a derogation allowing the sale of second-hand articles containing asbestos.