In Case C‑471/18 P in which Tanchev AG Opined last month, Germany is asking the CJEU to set aside judgment in T‑283/15 Esso Raffinage v ECHA by which the General Court annulled entitled a European Chemical Agency (‘ECHA’) letter entitled ‘Statement of Non-Compliance following a Dossier Evaluation Decision under [REACH]’. The letter concerned the outcome of ECHA’s compliance check of Esso Raffinage’s registration dossier for a particular chemical substance. The main thrust of its appeal is that the REACH Regulation does not provide for further examination by ECHA of the conformity of the information submitted with the first compliance check decision, and that this matter falls within the competences of the Member States pursuant to the REACH enforcement provisions. In support of its position, it argues that a registrant must conduct animal testing specified in the Evaluation Decision, and cannot submit adaptations at that stage.
Esso and ECHA find themselves in an unusual alliance with animal rights activists who argue that a registrant must be able to submit adaptations in lieu of performing animal testing specified in a first compliance check decision.
The case mostly concerns the respective competences of Member States and ECHA under Reach, I highlight it here for the AG’s emphasis on the relevance of animal welfare in the Regulation: consideration of animal welfare through the reduction of animal testing is one of the objectives pursued by the REACH Regulation. At 158: ‘Viewed more broadly, as indicated by Esso Raffinage and [NGO], the promotion of animal welfare and alternative methods to animal testing in the REACH Regulation reflects Article 13 TFEU, pursuant to which, in formulating and implementing the European Union’s policies, the European Union and the Member States are to pay full regard to the welfare requirements of animals.’
Animal welfare has come a long way since Michael Rose and I submitted it in CJEU C-1/96 Compassion in World Farming.