Australia has informed the WTO of its intention to ban four POP chemicals. If approved, these will be implemented in phases from July 2024.
In August 2023, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced a proposal from Australia’s Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW) to regulate four persistent organic pollutants (POP).
The proposed four POP chemicals are:
- Pentachlorobenzene (PeCB)
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds
- Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts, perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOS-F) and PFOS-related compounds
- Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts and PFHxS-related compounds
These four chemicals, and products containing these chemicals, will be assigned to Schedule 7 of the Industrial Chemicals Environmental Management Standard (IChEMS) Register. This will prohibit their import, manufacture, use and export, with limited derogations for unintentional trace contamination (UTC), disposal, and for articles (products) in use prior to the effective date of the decision.
Highlights of the WTO notification are summarized in Table 1
WTO Document Number 23-5815, G/TBT/N/AUS/160, August 30, 2023
|Substance||Scope||Requirement as a UTC||Proposed Effective Date|
|PeCB||Substances, mixtures and articles||Level at which the chemical cannot be meaningfully used||July 1, 20241|
|PFOA and its salts||Class B firefighting foams when already installed in both mobile and fixed systems||≤ 0.8 mg/kg||July 1, 20252|
|PFOA and its salts||Substances, mixtures and articles||≤ 0.025 mg/kg||July 1, 20251|
|PFOA-related compounds||≤ 1 mg/kg (individually and sum)|
|PFOS and its salts||Class B firefighting foams when already installed in both mobile and fixed systems||≤ 0.8 mg/kg||July 1, 20252|
|PFOS and its salts||Substances, mixtures and articles||≤ 0.025 mg/kg||July 1, 20251|
|PFOS-related compounds||≤ 1 mg/kg (individually and sum)|
|PFHxS and their salts||Class B firefighting foams when already installed in both mobile and fixed systems||≤ 0.1 mg/kg||July 1, 20252|
|PFHxS and their salts||Substances, mixtures and articles||≤ 0.025 mg/kg||July 1, 20251|
|PFHxS-related compounds||≤ 1 mg/kg (individually and sum)|
1 Import, manufacture, use and export
2 Import, manufacture and use
Per the WTO notification, these are proposed to be adopted on December 31, 2023.
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