Metallic Mercury

Mention should also be made of Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008 on the banning of exports of metallic mercury and certain mercury compounds and mixtures and the safe storage of metallic mercury^9 It prohibits the export from the EU of metallic mercury, cinnabar ore, mercury chloride, mercury oxide, and mixtures of metallic mercury with other substances, with a mercury concentration of at least 95 per cent weight by weight. In order to prevent the mercury thus prevented from leaving the EU from re-entering the market, the Regulation also seeks to ensure the safe storage within the EU of this mercury. To this end, metallic mercury that is no longer used in the chlor-alkali industry, that has been gained from the cleaning of natural gas or from non-ferrous mining and smelting operations, or that has been extracted from cinnabar ore in the EU is to be considered as waste and be disposed of in accordance with EU waste legislation in a way that is safe for human health and the environment. The Regulation is based on the EU’s environmental competence except for Article 1 setting out the export prohibition, which is based on the treaty provision on the common commercial policy.

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