Socio-Economic Impact Assessment

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) published in June 2012 a report on the Socio-Economic Impact of EU Nickel Compounds Classification on APEC Economies.

The study, which was undertaken by the Russian Federation with the assistance of the Nickel Institute quantifies the socio-economic impact on selected APEC economies of a 2009 European Commission decision to classify as hazardous 138 nickel containing compounds (1st ATP of EU Classification, Labelling and Packaging Regulation). The assessment involved extensive data gathering, analysis and modelling based on identified impact scenarios.

The study revealed that nickel is highly important for APEC economies. Some 71% of the world’s mined nickel is produced by APEC economies, led by the Russian Federation, Indonesia, Australia, the Philippines and Canada, with China also notable as the eighth larger producer. The proportions of global primary nickel production (69%) and first usage (71%) attributed to APEC members are similar to APEC member’s mining share, and highlight the significant impact and socio-economic contribution that the nickel industry has within the APEC region.

Econometric modelling using defined scenarios identified a spectrum of likely and possible impacts for the selected APEC economies. A limited negative impact was identified if the classification decision is purely confined to the EU. If the classification decision of the European Union is followed elsewhere, more severe impacts appeared, threatening a number of applications, and, by extension, the sustainability of nickel producing and consuming operations in the target APEC economies. The negative impact on aggregate GDP for the target APEC economies was quantified as a possible US$ 71 billion over the period to 2025 if the European hazard classifications of the 138 nickel chemicals were to be generally adopted.