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EU Regulatory, Competition and Trade

With seven partners assisted by 13 professionals in Brussels, the Fieldfisher EU Regulatory, Competition and Trade Group is the largest fully dedicated EU Regulatory team and a recognised market leader. Having the largest such group directly benefits our clients, who can receive flexible, timely and high-quality advice from experts who truly have their fingers on the EU pulse.

The Brussels regulatory team also has expertise in the following sub-sectors:

  • Agrochemicals, Fertilizers and Biostimulants
  • Biocides
  • Chemicals (REACH)
  • EU Litigation
  • Food
  • Food security and marketing
  • Product safety

Recent deals and highlights

Agrochemicals

  • We set up and acted as trustee and legal secretary to complex Task Forces for plant protection products, biopesticides and biostimulants for the past 20 years.
  • We successfully represented clients on appeals against decisions from the Commission and EFSA. For example, the team has obtained the suspension of a non-approval decision (napropamide) and of EFSA’s report through an interim relief Order from the EU Court.
  • We assisted a client in the defence of his products and in particular against requests for access to documents from NGOs.
  • We assisted several clients against unauthorised use of their registrations and data by third parties following termination of distribution agreements. This involved both legal and regulatory aspects with local authorities.


Biocides

  • We have several cases pending before the European Courts on complex issues like data sharing, data protection, inclusion on the list of authorised suppliers and competition issues. We represent members of the Alcohol Task Force in these litigations.
  • We are actively involved in the establishment and running of several biocidal product consortia for biocidal products containing permethrin, sodium hypochlorite, salt, peracetic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The consortia involve competing companies coming together to share costs in the development of biocidal products dossiers, and membership numbers typically range from 4-35 companies. In drafting the consortium agreement and running the consortia, our team has to pay particular attention to avoid commercially sensitive information exchange, while at the same time addressing the varying perspectives of individual member companies.
  • We manage and serve as legal secretary several biocide task forces, among which is the EU Silver Task Force. The silver dossier is commonly known as the most complex dossier in the EU review programme, comprising 8 different silver forms and 13 participating companies.
  • Through lobbying and legal consultancy, we succeeded in having the European Commission change the dossier submission deadlines for several active substance/ product type combinations in the review programme to the great relief of its clients. One example is the active substance Terbutryn.
  • We were involved, with ECHA and the European Commission, in the drafting of guidance documents for SME’s on data sharing, letters of access and consortia formation for product authorisation purposes.

Chemicals (REACH)

  • We manage about 40 REACH consortia as financial trustee and legal secretary.
  • We prevailed in complex data sharing disputes against third parties, resulting in favorable ECHA decisions.   
  • We set up the REACH consortium for lime substances (approximately 300 members) and acted as trustee and legal secretary to a large consortium of chemical companies in relation to the REACH regulation (EU Lime Consortium).
  • We filed ground-breaking annulment actions before the European General Court against Commission Regulations adopted under REACH (for clients such as PPG EEIG or the International Cadmium Association).

Brexit and EU Regulatory law

  • We advised on the consequences of Brexit on EU regulatory law and the preparations companies require to take. Peter Sellar, Partner, is a recognised expert in the area.