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EU Environment Council agrees new refinish VOC limits

The EU Environment Council has agreed the EC's proposed new limits for the emissions of volatile organic compounds in paints, varnishes and vehicle refinishing products.

In January 2003, the Commission presented a new proposal to reduce the content of VOCs in decorative paints and varnishes by about 50% per year. These limits would be introduced in two phases: the first from 1 January 2007, the second from 2010.

The Environment Council has now adopted the proposal, but the Commission is to prepare a report by the end of 2008 that will examine the possible introduction of a further reduction of VOC limits for vehicle finishing products.

The Council will formally adopt this agreement as a common position after having taken into account the Parliament's first reading. The proposal will then start its second round in the European Parliament.

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