The importance of unimpeded access to natural rubber has been acknowledged by the European Union, which has added the raw material to its Critical Raw Material List. the decision was made with the support of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA), which contributed to the process of revising the List. The association has since welcomed the inclusion of natural rubber in the 2017 List, which is valid for three years.
The 2017 criticality assessment was carried out for 61 candidate materials (58 individual materials and three material groups for a total of 78 materials). Natural rubber was the only biotic raw material to be included in the 27 raw materials that passed the assessment.
“This is an important step for our sector. Natural rubber will receive proper political attention and consequent support when dealing with issues related to the supply of natural rubber,” said Fazilet Cinaralp, secretary general of ETRMA.
The new Critical Raw Material List was adopted by the College of Commissioners on 13 September and communicated as part of the EU industrial strategy on 18 September as an essential element “to help ensure the secure, sustainable and affordable supply for the EU manufacturing industry.”
“Indeed,” Cinaralp continued, “it is our hope that the inclusion of natural rubber on the list will strengthen the competitiveness of the rubber industry, stimulate the production of natural rubber also beyond traditional producing countries, increase awareness of potential raw material supply risks and support the efforts of European Commission when negotiating trade agreements, in order to challenge potential trade distortion measures”