The memorandum of understanding signed on Saturday by NIFT-TEA College of Knitwear Fashion with Global Sustainable Management, Germany, to popularise REACH (registration, evaluation, authorization and restriction of chemicals) norms set by European Union, looks to catapult the apparel industry here to higher levels.

Safety assessment

The EU had formulated the REACH regulatory network with an aim to improve the protection of human health and environment through better identification of properties of chemical substances used in the manufacturing chain in sectors like apparels.

Under this system, the apparels imported into EU would have to undergo chemical safety assessment before getting accepted.

The REACH standards, according to industry sources, will become mandatory by 2011, which by then would replace around 40 existing regulations.

Significance

In this scenario, the MoU signed between the Tirupur institute and the German consultant, has attained greater significance as about 55 per cent of the knitwear exports from Tirupur is headed for buyers in EU countries.

Norms

NIFT-TEA institute chairman Raja M. Shanmugam told The Hindu that as per the agreement, the experts from GSM, Germany, would teach the REACH norms to faculty in the institute who in turn would disseminate it to the garment and allied industries in Tirupur knitwear cluster.

New methods

“The tie-up will also help us to evolve new methods for ensuring production of apparels without using any hazardous chemicals,” he said.

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