Ireland has adopted new National Regulations, S.I. 533 of 2018, relating to the phasing out and safe disposal of mercury and mercury waste. These provide for the enforcement of the EU Mercury Regulations (EU) 2017/852.
The new Regulations replace and update the previous Mercury Regulations (S.I. No. 27 of 2012, EU Regulation (EC) 1102/2008) and in addition provide for:
- An import and export ban on metallic mercury and certain mercury compounds.
- A ban on the production and manufacture of specified mercury added products.
- Regulation of industries which use mercury in their processes.
- Regulation of the safe storage and treatment of mercury waste.
- Regulations on the use and environmentally sound management of dental amalgam (a material used in fillings for teeth).
Putting in place the new National Regulations will also allow Ireland to ratify the UN Minamata Convention on Mercury. The Minamata Convention provides an international regulatory framework with the aim of protecting human health and the global environment from the harmful effects of mercury.