Brazil Delays Promulgation of Final Industrial Chemicals Regulation
In our June 29, 2016 memorandum, “Brazil Moves Closer to National Chemical Inventory,” we discussed Brazil’s pending Industrial Chemicals Regulation (Regulação de Substâncias Químicas Industriais, or Regulação), predicting its imminent publication in the Brazilian Official Gazette, the Diário Oficial. On July 5, 2016, we released a memorandum entitled “A Critical Review of Brazil's Just-Published Industrial Chemicals Regulation (Regulação de Substâncias Químicas Industriais),” which dissected the Regulação, and provided a roadmap of sorts for navigating the new Regulação.
Readers of these memoranda may recall that Article 6 of the Regulação provides for a three-year transition period, while Article 15 directs the Executive Branch to “regulate” (promulgate) the law within 180 days of the date of its publication. This was originally estimated to be December 27, 2016, and consequently full compliance was expected to be required as of December 27, 2019.
The Ministry of the Environment (Ministério do Meio Ambiente (MMA)), which will manage the Regulação, initially opened a 45-day public comment period. Due to the high volume of comments received from industry, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), trade associations, and the public, however, the period was further extended to September 28, 2016. In all, the MMA received in excess of 250 comments on the draft Regulação, which it is presently reviewing and categorizing.
On November 17, 2016, the MMA plans to hold an open meeting with interested parties to discuss the comments received, and to respond as appropriate. This will be an opportunity for the public to engage in the development of the final Regulação.
As a result of the substantial number of comments received, and the attendant consultation meetings to be arranged, the Regulação will not be issued in its final form as initially expected at the close of 2016. Rather, it will be presented to the Congress some time in early 2017, with a likely target of March 2017, based on the plenary meeting dates of the legislature. It is unclear, however, when the Congress will take a vote on the Regulação, as there are multiple competing legislative priorities in the queue. As such, it is conceivable that the final Regulação may not be published until as late as 2018, and potentially even later, due to changes in the Brazilian government. Irrespective of the foregoing, the MMA remains committed to a three-year implementation period upon publication of the Regulação.