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Australia Restricts the Import and Export of Mercury for Industrial Use

Australia requires importers/exporters of mercury for industrial use to submit an application and obtain the approval prior to relevant activities.

The Minamata Convention of Mercury is a global treaty that aims to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of using mercury. To be in line with the convention, the authority proposed on August 27, 2021 to tighten the regulation on mercury by amending the Industrial Chemicals (General) Rules 2019. On March 7, 2022, the proposal was adopted and new rules were announced for the import/export of mercury in Australia with immediate effect.

Main obligations stipulated in the new rules

  • Importers and exporters shall submit an application to the AICIS Business Services website and receive the receipt before they can import and export mercury for industrial use.

  • Importing and exporting mercury without approval is an offence subject to penalties under the Industrial Chemical Act 2019.

Who shall comply with?

Importers and exporters who operate the following chemicals for industrial use:

  • Elemental mercury (CAS No 7439-97-6); and

  • Mixtures of mercury (including alloys of mercury) with a mercury concentration of at least 95% by weight.

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