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Mercury: Aligning EU legislation with Minamata [EU Legislation in Progress]

Written by Didier Bourguignon (6th edition),

© natros / Fotolia

The United Nations’ Minamata Convention on mercury was agreed in 2013 with a view to protecting human health and the environment from the adverse effects of mercury. Although mercury use has declined significantly in recent decades, mercury released into the air, water and land remains a serious threat to human health and the environment.

EU policy banned exports of mercury, provided for the storage of mercury waste, restricted the use of mercury in various products and sought to address pollution caused by it. However, there were some regulatory gaps between EU legislation and the Minamata Convention. In February 2016, the European Commission submitted a legislative proposal aiming to align this legislation with the Convention in view of its ratification.

After completion of the legislative procedure at first reading in the European Parliament and the Council, the presidents of the co-legislators signed the final act on 17 May 2017. The regulation will apply from 1 January 2018.




Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on mercury, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008
Committee responsible:


Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI)

Stefan Eck (GUE/NGL, Germany)

COM(2015) 39 of 02.02.2016

procedure ref.:2016/0023(COD)

Ordinary legislative procedure

Procedure completed Regulation (EU) 2017/852
OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, p. 1

Mercury emissions by sector in EU-28 (2013)
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