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Ratification of the Minamata Convention on Mercury by the EU

The EU signed the Minamata Convention on Mercury in October 2013 and thereby committed to ensure its ratification and implementation across the Union.

The Commission adopted on 2 February 2016 a ratification package that will allow the EU to ratify the Convention once the legislative process is concluded.

The package consists of two proposals:

The Regulation will amend current EU legislation by:

  • repealing Regulation (EC) 1102/2008, while maintaining its substantive provisions that ban mercury exports and regulate waste mercury disposal;
  • prohibiting within the EU any future new uses of mercury in products and industry, unless significant environmental and health benefits are demonstrated and there are no mercury-free alternatives;
  • addressing the issue of dental amalgam, by restricting its use to the encapsulated form and by demanding the use of separators by dentists;
  • bringing certain additional adjustments to current EU law, necessary to allow  the EU  to ratify the Convention;
  • simplifying certain EU law provisions on mercury.

The proposal of the Commission is accompanied by an Impact Assessment and its summary, where detailed information can be found.

Preparatory work included: