Press Release

PR | Belgium will no longer be exporting chemicals banned on European soil!

On Friday 23 June, the Council of Ministers approved the draft proposal "export ban" put forward by Federal Environment Minister Zakia Khattabi and Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. The purpose of this Royal Decree is to ban the export of certain hazardous substances banned or strictly regulated on the European market from Belgium to non-EU countries. A measure against double standards that is firmly in line with the protection of health and environment and social justice.

Every year, the European Union exports thousands of tonnes of highly harmful substances outside its borders.

For Zakia Khattabi, this does not make sense: "If today, these products are banned from the European market, it's precisely because their use is very harmful to human, animal and environmental health. It goes without saying that what's no good for us, is no good anywhere else!" 

The Minister also highlights two other challenges: "With globalisation, a boomerang effect occurs where European consumers are actually exposed to these substances for instance in  the food on their plates. An analysis carried out by PAN Europe in 2020 revealed that 74 prohibited substances were found in 5,800 food samples analysed in the European Union. Finally, this practice leads to market distortion  and unfair competition, since European farmers can no longer use these substances."

With this decree, Belgium becomes the second country, after France, to introduce this ban. The text contains two annexes: the first lists the hazardous substances for which all uses are banned within the European Union and for which all exports will be prohibited, while the second lists the hazardous substances for which certain uses are still authorised. The Royal Decree will come into force six months after its publication. With this decree by Zakia Khattabi, Belgium is well armed to advocate an export ban at the EU level, as part of the European strategy for sustainable chemistry.