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European Commission decision on chemical classification annulled by General Court

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European Commission decision on chemical classification annulled by General Court


07 October 2015

On 7 October 2015, the General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg annulled a decision of the European Commission classifying the chemical Coal Tar Pitch High Temperature (CTPHT) under the EU’s chemicals classification Regulation.  The classification, had it been allowed to stand, would have had far reaching consequences for the CTPHT manufacturing industry and for its users. CTPHT is used mainly to produce electrode binders for the aluminium and steel industry.

The General Court decided that the Commission had committed a manifest error of assessment. Despite the fact that the Commission enjoys wide discretion in this technically and scientifically complex area, the General Court was persuaded that a critical assumption that the Commission had made in coming to its classification was not founded in any scientific fact; indeed, the science pointed to the opposite of that assumption. 

The judgment can be found via the link to the curia website at: http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf?text=&docid=169267&pageIndex=0&doclang=en&mode=req&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=322530

Peter Sellar of Axiom was instructed by FieldFisher in Brussels. Peter was involved throughout the written pleading stage and led at the oral hearing.