For a new substance to be included under the POPs Regulation , it needs to be listed under the Stockholm Convention or the Aarhus Protocol. Any party to the Stockholm Convention, including the EU, can submit a proposal to the European Commission to add a new persistent organic pollutant to the annexes of the Convention.

Below is a scheme representing the different steps and the actors involved to include a new substance in the POPs Regulation.


Party to the POPs Convention, including the EU (i.e. State or regional economic integration organisation that has consented to be bound by this Convention, and for which the Convention is in force)

Secretariat of the POPs Convention, it is mainly in charge of administrative tasks.

The Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee POPRC (composed of specialists and tasked with reviewing proposals to add new substances to the Convention)

Working Group of the POPs Review Committee for the substance

The Conference of the Parties COP is composed of all Parties to the Convention and, where appropriate, observers. It sets the rules for the implementation procedures and is responsible for the main decisions

The European Commission

* The risk profile and risk management evaluation are prepared during the intersessional period between POPRC meetings, which take place once a year (September/October). 

** The meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP) take place once every two years in April/May.

*** Amendments to the Annexes to the Convention enter into force one year after the date of communication of their adoption by the depositary. The depositary notifications (CNs) are usually issued about 6 months after the amendments have been adopted by the COP.

Step 1

Development and submission of the proposal

submits a proposal to list a new chemical in Annexes A, B and/or C of the POPs Convention (Art. 8 POPs Convention).

Note : the proposal must contain the identity of the substance as well as evidence of its persistence, bioaccumulation, potential for long-range environmental transport and adverse effects (Annex D POPs Convention)

verifies that the proposal is in compliance with Annex D of the POPs Convention before sending it to the 

Step 2

Evaluation of new proposals

examines the proposals.

Step 3

Developing the risk profile

If concludes that the selection criteria have been met, initiates the collection of information on other hazards, risks, uses and exposures at the global level.

Step 4

Adoption of the risk profile

 uses the information collected to establish a risk profile as defined in Annex E of the POPs Convention.

Step 5

Development of the risk management assessment

decides whether the chemical is likely to cause significant adverse effects on human health and/or the environment, so that global action is warranted

If decides to proceed with the proposal, all should provide relevant information on potential risk management solutions, alternatives, socio-economic considerations and existing risk management measures.

Step 6

Adoption of the risk management assessment

uses information on risk management options, alternatives, etc. to prepare the risk management evaluation defined in Annex F of the POPs Convention.

Step 7

Recommendation concerning the inclusion of the substance in the lists of the convention

evaluates the information and makes a recommendation to on the inclusion of the substance in the POPs Convention.

Step 8

Decision on the inclusion of the substance in Annexes A, B and/or C of the Convention

Step 9

Amendment of Annexes I, II, III and/or IV of the Regulation to bring them into line with the Convention

amends the Annexes of the POPs Regulation each time a substance is introduced into the Annexes of the Convention or the POPs Protocol.