The Chemical Importer
To start with, it is very important to know what a chemical importer actually
is. Very simply put, a chemical importer is a person who imports finished or raw chemical products which
are then used for manufacturing a finished product. More specifically, this definition could imply the fact that
such an importer deals with the actual component chemicals of the finished product or with any chemicals used for
the manufacturing of a finished product. Also, this category includes any cleaning chemicals or solvents necessary
for that process.
Between the European borders, each and every chemical importer or
manufacturer of a chemical is obliged to prepare a CSA, the Chemical Safety Assessment. The purpose of this
assessment is to put in balance the risks that a certain chemical exposes a consumer to, the degree of safety
it assures if it is worked around or worked with. In a more specific way, this assessment does not show the
results of the tests the chemicals are subject to, but the ways in which these results were found.
The CSA is necessary in the case of importers who bring a quantity of more than 10 tons of a
certain chemical in a year’s time and eases the job of the companies which have to protect their workers against
the possible negative effects of exposure to that particular chemical. This way, they become aware of the
measures they have to take in case unwished for incidents occur. This report or assessment has proved to be very
useful, considerably diminishing the illness rates and the accident rates which may lead even to the death of the
In the case of US exports, there is the US BIS, which maintains the DPL (the Denied Party List).
As far as imports are concerned, there is a Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), whose section eight imposes on
chemical manufacturers, distributors, processors and chemical importers to inform EPA (the US Environment
Protection Agency) with thirty days in advance whether there are any unpublished or new pieces of information
regarding their chemicals which may place the cargo under the suspicion of presenting any risks towards the
consumers’ health or towards that of the environment. In some cases, shipments need to present a certification
stating that there are no the chemicals do not present any violations of the regulations provisioned in the Toxic
Substance Control Act.
At present, the US president, Barrack Obama, is looking to modify the regulations of
chemicals used in US products or at work, this initiative being supported by chemical representatives all over the
USA. In this direction, the Toxic Substance Control Act will be updated and chemical importers will
be obliged to present a bigger amount of information regarding their products or different innovations. This way,
the number of illegal imports will register lower rates, consumers will be less exposed to all kinds of risks
distributors or importers may ignore in order to gain more profit and better fit in the market mechanism.