Regulation 2017/852 - Mercury


Summary of Legislation

Use, storage and trade of mercury


Regulation (EU) 2017/852 — protecting human health and the environment from exposure to mercury and mercury compounds


It seeks to protect human health and the environment by laying down measures and conditions concerning:

  • the use and storage of and trade in mercury, mercury compounds and mixtures of mercury;
  • the production and use of and trade in mercury-added products (i.e. products to which mercury is intentionally added to perform the function for which the product is intended);
  • the management of mercury waste.


Trade, manufacture and storage of mercury

The regulation bans:

  • exports of mercury compounds and mixtures of mercury listed in Annex I as of 1 January 2018, depending on the compounds in question;
  • imports of mercury and mixtures of mercury from sources such as the chlor-alkali industry — other than for their disposal as waste;
  • the use of mercury and mercury compounds in manufacturing processes in which:
    • mercury or mercury compounds are used as catalysts* (since 1 January 2018)
    • mercury is used as an electrode* (as of 1 January 2022);
  • the export, import and production in the EU of mercury-added products from 31 December 2018 or 31 December 2020, depending on the product in question;
  • artisanal and small-scale gold mining and processing in which mercury amalgamation is used to extract gold from ore.

Dental amalgam

  • From 1 July 2018, mercury amalgam must no longer be used in fillings of milk teeth, the dental treatment of children under 15 and of breastfeeding or pregnant women.
  • EU countries must prepare a national plan on the measures they will use to phase out the use of dental amalgam.

Waste management

  • Waste facility operators may temporarily store mercury waste in liquid form if specific requirements for its storage are met and the storage is in a dedicated above-ground location that is appropriately equipped.
  • Temporary storage may not exceed 5 years (i.e. until 1 January 2023), although there is a possibility for an extension of 3 years.


The regulation introduces a system to ensure traceability throughout the length of the mercury waste management chain. Waste producers and mercury waste facility operators must keep an information register.

Minamata Convention

The regulation enables the EU and EU countries to approve, ratify and implement the 2013 Minamata Convention on mercury signed by the EU and EU countries, and ensures that EU law is in line with the convention.

National law

EU countries may apply stricter requirements than those laid down in this regulation.


The European Commission must report by 30 June 2020 on the outcome of the phasing out of dental amalgam. By 2024, it will prepare a report on the implementation and possible review of this regulation.


The regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008 with effect from 1 January 2018.


It has applied since 13 June 2017 except for point (d) of Part I of Annex III (relating to chlor-alkali production in which mercury is used as an electrode) which has applied since 11 December 2017.


For more information, see:

  • Mercury(European Commission).


Catalyst: a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without itself undergoing any permanent chemical change.

Electrode: a conductor through which an electric current enters or leaves an object, substance, or region.


Regulation (EU) 2017/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 on mercury, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008 (OJ L 137, 24.5.2017, pp. 1-21)

last update 21.06.2018

This summary has been adopted from EUR-Lex.


Legislative text

Regulation (EU) 2017/852 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017 on mercury, and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1102/2008 (Text with EEA relevance. )