Switzerland Updates POP Chemicals Legislation

Switzerland has revised it national legislation on persistent organic pollutants (POPs) with the transposing of three ‘Decisions’ from the Stockholm Convention on POP chemicals.

Signed in 2001 and effective in 2004, the Stockholm Convention is an international environmental treaty that aims to eliminate or restrict the production and use of POPs. The goal is to protect human health and the environment from chemicals that persist in the environment for long periods.

RO 2020/3916 under Official Collection 121 of October 6, 2020 (POP Convention, RS 0.814.03) was published in October 2020. It transposes the following three ‘Decisions’:

• Decision SC-9/4 ‘Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF)’
• Decision SC-9/11 ‘Listing of dicofol’
• Decision SC-9/12 ‘Listing of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds

These will change Annexes A and B of the POP Convention, RS 0.814.03, in several ways, including:

• Dicofol added to Part I of Annex A (‘Elimination’) with no specific exemptions for its production and use
• PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds added to Part I on Annex A (‘Elimination’) with certain specific exemptions for their production and use
• Entry for PFOS, its salts and PFOSF in Part I to Annex B (‘Restriction’) replaced with information on acceptable purposes and specific exemptions for their production and use

The revisions are expected to come into effect on December 3, 2020.

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