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EU exported almost 830 000 tonnes of PIC chemicals in 2017


ECHA’s report on the exports and imports that took place in 2017 under the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation shows ethylene dichloride as the most exported and benzene as the most imported PIC chemicals.

Helsinki, 17 December 2018 – The latest report on exports and imports under PIC lists ethylene dichloride as the EU’s most exported chemical in 2017. This was also the case in the previous report, however the amounts exported were 20 000 tonnes lower than in 2016. Ethylene dichloride is mainly used to produce vinyl chloride, which is used to make PVC.

More than 230 000 tonnes of benzene were imported into the EU in 2017, making it the most imported chemical that year. The majority was imported to Belgium, Italy and Poland. Benzene is predominantly used to make plastics, resins, synthetic fibres, rubber lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs and pesticides.

Three most exported PIC chemicals:

Substance Quantity in 2017 (tonnes)
Ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane) 346 197
Benzene 139 918
Chlorate 120 171

Three most imported PIC chemicals:

Substance Quantity in 2017 (tonnes)
Benzene 231 799
Benzene and ethylene dichloride (1,2-dichloroethane) 38 158
Creosote and creosote-related substances 12 304

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.

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


Article 10 of the PIC Regulation requires exporters and importers to give information about trade in Annex I chemicals in 2017 to their designated national authorities (DNAs) by 31 March 2018. Each EU Member State then has to provide the aggregated information to ECHA so that it can be summarised at Union level and so non-confidential information can be made publicly available.

473 companies from 20 Member States provided data to ECHA on exports of PIC chemicals from the EU in 2016; eight Member States declared that they had no PIC exports.

142 companies from 20 Member States provided data on imports of PIC chemicals into the EU; eight Member States declared that they had no PIC imports.

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