India will soon publish its first national policy for the chemicals sectors, according to Chemical Watch. A “final draft” of the policy was circulated in January, and the document is expected to be finalized by the government in April or May, before the general election. The policy aims to improve the competitiveness and growth of India’s chemical sector by rationalizing regulations and creating a “robust framework for promoting safety and security of chemical facilities across the value chain.”
The final draft of the policy does not specifically address whether India will adopt REACH-like legislation, as was suggested in a 2012 draft, instead tasking the new National Chemical Centre with making recommendations for a “chemicals management framework.” The final draft does maintain the country’s commitment to developing its first national chemical inventory. This inventory is currently under production by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry-appointed chemical export council, Chemexcil, and will include data on production, consumption, imports, exports, toxicology, and classifications similar to the Globally Harmonized System (GHS) for hazard classification and labelling. Chemical Watch previously quoted a government official’s estimate that the inventory contained approximately 5,000 chemicals and would resemble inventories by other countries, such as Canada, Korea, and Japan.
Under the policy, the National Chemical Centre (NCC) will assume responsibility for the inventory after its completion. The NCC’s duties will also include establishing measures for phasing out and replacing hazardous chemicals and setting standards for test methods like high-throughput screening and alternative methods independent of animal testing.