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UK: Defra launched consultation on proposed amendments to UK POPs regulation

MARCH 2023 - ELECTRICALS AND ELECTRONICS, HARDLINES, SOFTLINES, TOYS AND CHILDREN'S PRODUCTS

The United Kingdom (UK) Department for Environmental Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) launched a public consultation1 to amend UK Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations (POPs Regulation). This is to adopt certain amendments agreed upon in the Stockholm Convention and other potential amendments following recent reviews of the POPs Regulation. The consultation will be closed on 27 April 2023. 

Here are the key elements regarding proposed options and potential amendments2 of the POPs Regulation in this consultation:

Annex I:

  • Remove specific exemptions for four POPs: PFOA; PFOS; SCCPs; DecaBDE;
  • Add unintentional trace contaminant (UTC) exemptions for at least two POPs: HCB and PCP. These may be aligned with the UTC limit under European Union (EU) POPs Regulation;
  • Remove and/or amend existing UTC exemptions for PFOA.

Annex IV and Annex V:

  • Amend Annex IV and/or Annex V to add and/or update POPs waste concentration limits for several POPs (PFOA; PFHxS; SCCPs; PBDE; PCP; dioxins and furans and dioxin-like PCBs; dicofol; HBCDD; and also UV-328, dechlorane plus, and methoxychlor if they are adopted as new POPs by the Stockholm Convention);
  • Amend Annex IV to add new toxic equivalency factor (TEF) values for dioxin-like PCBs; 
  • Amend Annex V to add or update maximum concentration limits (derogations for permanent waste storage) for several POPs.

Please note that PFHxS, dechlorane plus, methoxychlor and UV-328 have not been added to UK POPs Regulation. However, PFHxS has been already added to the Stockholm Convention in June 2022. As a Party to the Stockholm Convention, the UK is required to implement newly listed POPs into its national legislation. Meanwhile, dechlorane plus, methoxychlor and UV-328, may be newly adopted as POPs at a future Conference of the Parties of the Stockholm Convention. Stay tuned for the next meeting of the conference to be held in May 2023.

Abbreviation:

DecaBDE: Decabromodiphenyl ether
HBCDD: Hexabromocyclododecane
HCB: Hexachlorobenzene
PCBs: polychlorinated biphenyls
PCP: Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters
PFOA: Perfluorooctanoic acid, its salts and PFOA-related compounds
PFHxS: Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid, its salts and PFHxSrelated compounds
PBDE: Polybromodiphenyl ethers (inc. Tetra-, Penta-Hexa-, Hepta, and Decabromodiphenyl ether)
SCCPs: short-chain chlorinated paraffins

 

 

[1] Defra public consultation page

[2] Consultation documents


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