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September 2000

Public procurement - Commission letter to Swedish authorities


The European Commission has sent an initial letter of complaint to the Swedish public purchasing authority Statskontoret regarding ongoing public tenders for personal computers and for laptops. The letter follows concerns expressed by EBFRIP and other industries affected. The tender documents propose mandatory criteria excluding the use of a wide range of brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in computer parts above 25g. Eco-labels and public procurement criteria go beyond the scope of EU public tender requirements and the Statskontoret has not justified these mandatory criteria. BFRs are used in computer housings to ensure high levels of fire safety are achieved. Recent studies have shown that recycling plastics with BFRs met fully criteria for fire safety and worker health and safety.