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Mercury: Council ready to start talks with Parliament to completely phase out mercury in the EU

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The Council adopted its negotiating mandate for talks with the European Parliament on a proposal to phase out the use of dental amalgam and prohibit the manufacturing, import and export of a number of mercury-added products, including certain lamps. The proposal addresses the residual remaining uses of mercury in products in the EU, with a view to establishing a mercury-free Europe.

The negotiating mandate, which was agreed at Coreper level, sets out the Council’s position for the start of negotiations (‘trilogues’) with the Parliament to shape the final text of the legislation.

While current rules already forbid the use of dental amalgam for treating teeth in children under 15 years old and pregnant or breastfeeding women, the amendments extend the prohibition to everybody in the EU. The Council maintained the Commission’s proposed date for the total phase-out in the EU, 1 January 2025, except when the use of dental amalgam is deemed strictly necessary by the dental practitioner to address specific medical needs of the patient. However, it introduced a two-year derogation for those member states where low-income individuals would otherwise be socio-economically disproportionally affected by a phase-out date of 1 January 2025. Those member states will have to well justify their use of the derogation and notify the Commission of the measures they intend to implement to achieve the phase-out by 1 January 2027.


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