Today, the European Commission has published twelve delegated acts ending a broad range of existing exemptions for the use of mercury in lamps, as mercury-free alternatives are widely available. The new rules aim to increase the protection of citizens’ and workers’ health and the environment from this hazardous substance, and will boost innovation and promote cleaner products.
In December 2021, the Commission adopted a package of twelve draft delegated directives on the use of mercury in these lamps and adapting these exemptions to scientific and technical progress. The delegated directives were submitted for scrutiny to the European Parliament and the Council. The delegated acts have been published today, as the Commission did not receive any objections or extension requests during the scrutiny period. They will enter into force on the twentieth day following the publication and EU Member States will have six months to transpose the provisions of the delegated acts into their national legislation.
Under EU rules restricting the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (RoHS Directive), electronics that contain mercury cannot be placed on the market, except if time-limited and application-specific exemptions are granted by the Commission. Most of these exemptions for general lighting will be discontinued as assessments conducted by the Commission since 2016 concluded that safe, mercury-free alternatives are widely available for fluorescent lamps.
For more detailed information on the new rules, see the Press release on Commission adoption of the delegated acts
- Publication date
- 24 February 2022
- Directorate-General for Environment