EU exports and imports less PIC chemicals in 2019

Europe

ECHA’s latest annual report on the exports and imports under the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation shows ethylene dichloride as the most exported and benzene as the most imported PIC chemicals in 2019.

Helsinki, 15 December 2020 – Ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane) was the EU’s most exported PIC chemical in 2019. Ethylene dichloride is predominantly used to produce polyvinyl chloride or as a solvent and the 178 000 tonnes exported represents an increase of more than 30 % compared to 2018.

The next most exported chemicals were chlorate and benzene. The quantity of exported chlorate remained steady compared to previous years, at about 121 000 tonnes. While benzene exports decreased by almost 60 % compared to 2018, where it was the most exported PIC chemical.

Overall, the total amount of exported PIC chemicals has decreased for the second year in a row by around 13 %, from 708 000 tonnes in 2018 to 619 000 tonnes in 2019.

Three most exported PIC chemicals in 2019

Substance Quantity in 2019 (tonnes) / Variation vs. 2018
Ethylene dichloride 177 889 (+31 %)
Chlorate 121 055 (+2 %)
Benzene 93 434 (-59 %)

 

Despite an 11 % decrease compared to 2018, the 397 000 tonnes of benzene imported into the EU in 2019 keeps it as the most imported PIC chemical – counting for almost 80 % of all PIC chemicals imported into the EU. Benzene is used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibres, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides.

As in 2018, ethylene dichloride was the second most imported PIC chemical, however, imports significantly rose by 41 % in 2019, to reach almost
89 000 tonnes. There was also a steep rise in the import of lead compounds making these the third most imported PIC chemical in 2019.

In 2019, the total amount of PIC chemicals imported into the EU was 502 000 tonnes – a decrease of more than 8 % compared to 2018.

 

Three most imported PIC chemicals in 2019

Substance Quantity in 2019 (tonnes) / Variation vs. 2018
Benzene 396 588 (- 11%)
Ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane) 88 610 (+ 41%)
Lead compounds 6 630 (+ 5 007%)

 

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