EU declares NR a ‘critical’ raw material

BRUSSELS — The European Union (EU) has declared natural rubber (NR) a “critical raw material,” meaning the EU recognizes the need “to ensure the secure, sustainable and affordable supply [of NR] for the EU manufacturing industry.” NR was the only biotic raw material among the 27 out of 61 candidate materials to pass the EU listing assessment, according to the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA). “Natural rubber will receive proper political attention and consequent support when dealing with issues related to the supply of natural rubber,” Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of the ETRMA, said. Inclusion of NR on the list, she said, could help strengthen the competitiveness of the rubber industry and stimulate the production of natural rubber, including beyond traditional producing countries. Moreover, Ms. Cinaralp said, the “critical status” could “increase awareness of potential raw material supply risks and support the efforts of [the] European Commission when negotiating trade agreements, in order to challenge potential trade distortion measures”. (read more)