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ICT claims growing confusion over leather chemicals

Led by the presidents of the International Council of Tanners (ICT), the International Council of Hides, Skins and Leather Traders’ Associations (ICHSLTA), and the International Union of Leather Technologists’ and Chemists’ Societies (IULTCS), the Global Leather Coordinating Committee (GLCC) met in Hong Kong on Monday 30th March – the first day of the Asia Pacific Leather Fair (APLF).

The GLCC considered various global regulations that restrict the use of chemical substances, most notably the Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC), Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) and the implementation of EU regulations relating to chromium VI, which will affect leather and leather products sold or imported into the EU by May 2015. A draft EN/ISO standard on the testing of critical chemical substances in leather is still under review by the IULTCS, ISO and CEN members, and a final version is expected in early 2016.

The ICT expressed concern on chemical management issues and particularly on chrome use, and said there is ‘growing confusion among clients’. It is claimed that some chemical producers, laboratories and consultants sometimes ‘take advantage of the lack of related know-how’ in brand companies, in order to try to sell easy solutions without involving tanners on the feasibility.

In reviewing leather standards and legislation, the ICT reported that the revised European (CEN) standard for leather terminology was due to be published in April, and that this would prohibit the use of the term ‘leather’ for any materials that did not meet the strict definition of leather.

Any members with questions about the definition of leather, leather products in Europe and European legislation for leather products are asked to email for assistance.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 6 of the June 2015 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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