EPL was incorporated on February 27, 1981 as an international association in accordance with the Belgian Law of October 25, 1919 (as amended on December 6, 1954), by Mr. Jossi Landesman.

As stated in article 2 of its statutes, the purpose of E.P.L. is to contribute to the exchange of ideas and the dissemination of information about the petrochemical industry and its related activities, notably, by holding conferences and organizing debates, publishing brochures, writing and disseminating comparative studies of a scientific or technical nature, and encouraging works dealing with the problems and achievements of the industry.

The term "petrochemical industry" means activities connected with the processing of raw materials extracted from petroleum, coal tar, and oil shales, as well as their derivatives.