In the POPs Regulation, Article 3 sets out the modalities for controlling the manufacture, placing on the market and use of POP substances. Thus, unless derogations are granted (Article 4), the manufacture, placing on the market and use of substances included in:
- Annex I (Substances listed in the Convention and in the Protocol as well as substances listed only in the Convention) are prohibited;
- Annex II (List of substances subject to restrictions) are restricted.
Article 5 of the POPs Regulation sets out the provisions for managing the holding of stocks consisting of or containing POP substances listed in Annex I or Annex II of the POPs Regulation. This aims to avoid the indiscriminate management of stocks that could cause a danger to human health and the environment, in particular through contamination of soil and water.
According to Article 5 of the POPs Regulation :
- If POP substances contained in stockpiles are banned or for which no use is allowed, these stockpiles must be managed as waste in accordance with Article 7 of the POPs Regulation.
- If the stocks consist of POP substances whose manufacture or use is still authorised, then the holding of these stocks must be notified to the competent authorities. In particular, if the stock consisting of or containing POP substances whose use is authorised is more than 50 kg, the holder of the stock must notify the competent authority of the Member State in which the stock is located with information on its nature and volume. The notified stockpiles must subsequently be adequately monitored by the competent authorities.
In general, stock holders must ensure safe, effective and environmentally sound management in accordance with the thresholds and requirements laid down in Directive 2012/18/EU, while taking the necessary precautions to ensure the protection of human health and the environment. In Luxembourg, this directive has been transposed by the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 27 August 2014 concerning the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances and the Law of 28 April 2017 concerning the control of major-accident hazards involving dangerous substances.
Article 6 of the POPs Regulation lays down release reduction provisions for the substances listed in Annex III (List of substances subject to release reduction provisions). This provision is put in place in order to be able to identify, reduce and possibly eliminate releases of POP substances in unintentional by-products.
The promotion of the use of best available techniques and best environmental practices is required when considering proposals for the construction of new facilities or the modification of existing facilities using processes that result in releases of chemicals listed in Annex III of the POPs Regulation (Article 6.3). In accordance with Article 5 and Annex C of the POPs Convention, new or existing facilities must use materials, products or processes that prevent the formation and release of unintentional by-products of POPs.
Member States must report in their action plans on the measures taken to identify, characterise and, where possible, eliminate discharges of POP substances subject to environmental emission control provisions into the environment. As a result, Member States must draw up inventories of the substances in Annex III of the POPs Regulation that are released to air, water and land. The inventories must be kept up to date (Article 6.1 of the POPs Regulation).
They include measures to encourage the development of alternatives and require the use of modified or alternative substances, mixtures, articles and processes to prevent the formation and release of these substances.
Member States must also exchange information with the European Commission, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) and other Member States on their action plans.
For better waste management, Article 7.1 of the POPs Regulation states that producers and holders of waste must endeavour to avoid the contamination of waste by substances listed in Annex IV (List of substances subject to waste management provisions) of the same Regulation.
Waste that consists of or is contaminated by substances listed in Annex IV of the POPs Regulation must be disposed of or recovered without undue delay and in accordance with Annex V, Part 1 of the POPs Regulation. Disposal or recovery must be carried out in such a way that the POP substances in the waste are destroyed or irreversibly transformed so that the remaining waste and releases no longer exhibit the characteristics of a POP (Article 7.2).
It should be noted that the isolation of a substance listed in Annex IV of the POPs Regulation is permitted during the waste disposal or recovery process provided that the substance is subsequently disposed of. However, Article 7.3 of the POPs Regulation specifies that the recycling, recovery and reuse of these POP substances is prohibited.
Article 7.4 of the POPs Regulation states that waste containing or contaminated by substances listed in Schedule IV of the POPs Regulation may be disposed of or recovered in a manner other than as described in Schedule V, Part 1, provided that the content of these substances in the waste is below the concentration limits set out in Schedule IV of the POPs Regulation.
According to Article 7.6, Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure the effective control and traceability of waste containing or contaminated by a substance listed in Annex IV of the POPs Regulation, in accordance with Article 17 of Directive 2008/98/EC (amended by Directive (EU) 2018/851) on waste. This directive has been transposed in Luxembourg by the Law of 21 March 2012 relating to waste management and the Grand-Ducal Regulation of 21 March 2012 amending 1. the amended Grand-Ducal Regulation of 31 October 1998 relating to packaging and packaging waste 2. the amended Grand-Ducal Regulation of 18 January 2005 relating to waste electrical and electronic equipment and the restriction of the use of certain hazardous components thereof.