The European Commission has notified UNEP that it “withdraws” its exemption from the Stockholm Convention POP ban (Persistent Organic Pollutant) for recycled materials containing tetra-, penta-, hexa- or hepta-BDE. This follows adoption in June 2019 of Regulation EU 2019/2021 on POPs, which bans (art. 3) placing articles containing POPs on the market. However, there are tolerances (art. 4) where the POP is “present as an unintentional trace contaminant” (e.g., as in recycled plastics). POPs thus banned include the PBDEs cited above but also decaBDE, HBCD and short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs). Tolerance limits are fixed at 500 mg/kg in articles for the sum of all of the PBDEs cited above (including decaBDE), with some exemptions for spare parts, 100 mg/kg for HBCD and no tolerance for SCCPs in articles (except for some articles already in use). This Regulation also requires the Commission to review and adopt if appropriate, by 2021, a lowering of the limit for decaBDE in waste from 1000 to 500 mg/kg (limit above which the waste must be separated and treated).
European Commission letter of 28/11/2019 to UNEP “European Union withdrawal of the registration for certain specific exemptions for recycling of articles that contain or may contain tetra-, penta-, hexa- and/or heptabromodiphenyl ether pursuant to Annex A to the Stockholm Convention” http://chm.pops.int/Portals/0/download.aspx?d=UNEP-POPS-EXEM-NOTIF-WDRAW-Octa_PentaBDE-SE-EU.En.pdf EU Regulation 2019/2021 “on persistent organic pollutants (recast)” https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/en/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1021