Russian Asbestos Ban?
In mid-June, 2011, a technical regulation was drafted by the Russian Federal State Unitary Enterprise (NAMI) which proposed a ban on the use of asbestos in friction material. The asbestos prohibition, included in the draft entitled The Safety of Wheeled Vehicles, would be enforceable throughout the Eurasian Economic Community, members of which include Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Belarus.
News of this development was met with outrage from asbestos lobbyists who predicted that the policy change would result in the closure of six Russian companies. Exposing the industry hyperbole, NAMI Deputy General pointed out that vehicles manufactured in and imported to Russia no longer contain asbestos-containing friction products. Furthermore, he added, for more than a decade, asbestos friction material has only been permitted for aftermarket sales, or as replacements for original automotive parts. Should the draft ban become law, car owners and drivers would not experience difficulties in obtaining replacement parts as asbestos-free products are readily available.
Although it usually takes a year for a draft regulation to become law within the Eurasian Economic Community, pressure from the powerful asbestos lobby could impede the progress of this bill.
July 6, 2011