The EU's chief environmental toxicology committee has rejected claims by the Dutch government that copper-based anti-fouling paints on pleasure boats pose a sufficient risk to the environment to warrant their prohibition. It supports instead an industry-led voluntary risk assessment initiative. The European Commission is now almost certain to formally challenge a Dutch ban on the paints.
The Cstee's report was prompted by a Commission complaint against the Dutch government. Though there are no harmonised EU marketing rules on copper-based antifoulants that prevent the government taking measures, the Commission said the move could violate general import restriction rules in the EU treaty.
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