Europe And Africa
The European continent goes from the Arctic Circle to the Mediterranean and
from the Atlantic to the Ural mountains. There are some 800 million Europeans
of which nearly 500 million live in the European Union. Of the nearly 50
European countries, 25 are member of the European Union. It is not surprising
that the European Union policy and legislation provides a common framework for
many issues, amongst which environmental, health and safety issues.
The way chemicals are classified, how waste is defined, car exhaust
restrictions, etc. are almost identical throughout the European Union. But at
the same time, when do you need an operating permit, what you need to do to get
or keep it, is very different from country to country. Most of the European
countries have a complex set of unconsolidated EHS Regulations. If you are in
charge of ensuring EHS compliance for corporate operations or product management
on the European continent, you will be facing one of the most difficult tasks.
In terms of enforcement no two countries are the same. Only very few
European countries have tough penalties for non-compliance (and even those are
only a fraction of the fines imposed in North America), but the public
authorities have other systems and tools to make private operators comply with
the law. With a bad reputation it may become very cumbersome to obtain a permit
renewal and an order to halt production is not impossible. Making the polluter
pay is also increasingly popular. Not to forget the increasing amount of data
that are being made public, and a public that has it say in the permitting
Another feature which is typical of the European scene is the development of
regulations focussed on products: Extended Producer Responsibility. It starts
with the packaging of the product that needs to meet certain essential
requirements and shall not contain certain chemicals. But also the product
design itself is subject to environmental and safety design requirements,
chemical restrictions, energy-efficiency requirements, etc. When bringing the
product to the market, it may need to be labelled and registered. The
distributor may need to be registered and submit an annual report. And
ultimately you may also need to take care of the product at end of life and
ensure proper reuse and recycling for all the products you have put in the
One of the things that makes it complex to operate in Europe, is the
diversity of languages. ENHESA has developed its services to accommodate all
possible languages and regulatory systems. We will help you understand what is
required from you now and in the future, and what you need to do to ensure
ongoing compliance. Each company being different in its way of handling issues
and regulatory compliance risk, Enhesa will help you identify what is the most
appropriate system, given your particular circumstances.
The countries in the Middle East are very diverse in their regulatory
approaches and systems. The petroleum exploration and the related industrial
development have come at different moments and with different degrees of
success. The EHS regulatory complexity often reflects this. Another issue to
pay particular attention to is the scarcity of water resources.
The African continent has one of the greatest diversities in EHS
Regulations. In some countries the EHS legislative framework is almost non
existent, while in other countries it is very well developed and enforced.
Particular elements to keep in mind are the impact of armed conflicts and the
infrastructure weakness in many regions.