The Impact on Industry and Competitiveness
Chapter 8: The Tanning Industry in Western Europe
This chapter provides country-specific analyses of the contraction of the tanning industry in Germany, Italy, Portugal and Scandinavia. The main focus is the impact of environmental requirements on the contraction that has taken place in Western Europe and how environmental requirements affect competitiveness in the industry at present. REGULATORY PRESSURE IN THE EU There are differences in environmental regulations and enforcement in the tanning industry in the EU. Tanners in Spain and Italy are subject to stricter regulations on discharge of salt in the wastewater, whereas tanners in Germany have bigger problems with the disposal of sludge and solid waste. Effluent discharge limits on chrome to surface water and sewerage are stricter in Germany than in Italy and Portugal. Limits on emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOC) are stricter in Germany than Italy, and the Italians negotiate for more lenient VOC emission standards in the EU than current German levels. There is also a difference in timing. Germany was the first country to impose stricter regulations and enforcement in the tanning industry. Italy has followed, but in Portugal the process has only just started. Germany In 1989 tanning ranked fourth in environmental protection costs among German manufacturers. The authors claim that environmental protection costs have further increased in the 1989 to 1993 period, when regulations became stricter. At present, Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie (VDL) holds that environmental protection costs of the tanning industry in Germany are between 3 percent and 5 percent of the total cost of production. One of...
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