Lead in fishing tackle

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EFTTA continues to work with ECHA & EU to reduce impact of lead restrictions to the tackle trade

EFTTA has been engaged in this lead restriction process for a long time. Now the EU's chemical agency's risk assessment has agreed on a draft opinion. What remains before delivery to the European Commission early next year is the assessment of the socio-economic implications of lead restrictions, and proposals for eventual derogations. A 60-day consultation has been opened opened 29 June.

Main issues:

- Labelling of ammunition and fishing sinkers containing lead and information to consumers at point of sale: SEAC agrees with the Committee for Risk Assessment (RAC) that the same concentration threshold of 1 % weight by weight (w/w) used for restricting the use and placing on the market of lead ammunition should also apply to the labelling and information requirements. SEAC points out that the threshold in the restriction of lead gunshot in or around wetlands is also 1 % w/w.

- SEAC considers that the impacts of including some uses, for example, lead sinkers and lures >50 g and lead split shots, need to be further assessed to conclude whether a derogation would be justified on socio-economic grounds. Any information on these will be appreciated during the consultation.

EFTTA comments:

- We are having a hard time convincing the committee members that there are no prudent substitutes to the small dust-shots. 'Tungsten Putty' is no good. Maybe photos or video will convince them.

- We have asked 3% as the threshold for lead in alloys used in lures but as said above the chemical agency suggests 1% of administrative conveniency. That we will object to, again.

- Lead in lines is another unsolved issue. There is no risk involved as the lead is hidden in a sock. The chemical agency wants to provide a definition for clarification. We are looking forward to that as is seems impossible to come up with a defintion, which would ban lead in angling line but not lead used by commercial fishers. The agency already has suggested to exempt lead in commercial fishing gear as that lead is not bioavailable, the agency says.