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Ethylene dichloride the most exported PIC chemical in 2016


The report on actual exports and imports that took place under the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation in 2016 shows that ethylene dichloride was the most exported PIC chemical from the EU by volume. The most common use of ethylene dichloride is in the production of vinyl chloride, which is used to make polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It is also used as an intermediate for other organic chemical compounds and as a solvent.

Helsinki, 14 December 2017 – The annual report on the actual exports and imports that took place under the PIC Regulation in 2016 lists ethylene dichloride as the most exported chemical from the EU. Around 367 000 tonnes of the chemical were exported to countries including India, Morocco, Norway and Egypt.

The most imported chemical was benzene with more than 380 000 tonnes imported from countries like Turkey, Algeria, India and Russia to many central European countries. Benzene is used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibres, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides.

Top three exported PIC chemicals in 2016:

  1. ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane), 366 987 tonnes
  2. benzene, 108 900 tonnes
  3. creosote and creosote-related substances, 103 767 tonnes.

Top three imported PIC chemicals:

  1. benzene, 382 377 tonnes
  2. creosote and creosote-related substances and ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane), 32 166 tonnes
  3. diphenylamine and 1,3-dichloropropene, 5 885 tonnes.

This is the first time the annual report is available the year following the reporting period. ECHA was able to process the trade data faster due to improvements to the IT tool ePIC and to the dedicated data aggregation tool developed by the Agency.

The report is available as a PDF, accompanied by searchable lists of the exported and imported chemicals.


Article 10 of the PIC Regulation required exporters and importers to give information about trade in Annex I chemicals in 2016 to their designated national authorities (DNAs) by 31 March 2017. Each EU Member State then provided the aggregated information to ECHA so that the Agency could summarise the data at Union level and make non-confidential information publicly available.

462 companies from 19 Member States provided data to ECHA on exports of PIC chemicals from the EU in 2016; 9 Member States declared that they had no PIC exports. 124 companies from 19 Member States provided data on imports of PIC chemicals into the EU; 9 Member States declared that they had no PIC imports.

The data on some chemicals has been merged to ensure data confidentiality for the companies involved or to ensure compliance with competition law. The merging of data is based on either the number of companies trading a chemical or on the traded volumes. For this reason, for example, diphenylamine and 1,3-dichloropropene are disclosed together.

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