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The Minamata Convention enters into force on August 16, 2017

On May 18, 2017, the number of Parties to the Minamata Convention on Mercury reached 50, including Japan. As this number satisfied the requirement for the Minamata Convention on Mercury to enter into force, the Convention is to be enforced on August 16, 2017.

Japan established the Act on Preventing Environmental Pollution of Mercury (hereinafter referred to as the “Mercury Pollution Prevention Act”) in June 2015, as a domestic act to secure the national implementation of the Convention and take additional necessary measures, and in line with this, it also revised related laws and regulations. In response to the entry into force of the convention, the Mercury Pollution Prevention Act and related laws and regulations will be effective on August 16, 2017, excluding some provisions.

1. Entry into force of the Convention

  1. Requirement for the enforcement of the Convention: The Convention will enter into force on the 90th day after the date when the 50 Parties have ratified the Convention.
    (On May 18, 2017, the number of Parties to the Convention reached 50.)
  2. Date of entry into force: August 16, 2017

2. Domestic measures for implementing the Convention (major METI-related measures)

1) Regulations on the manufacturing of specified mercury-added products pursuant to Article 6 of the Mercury Pollution Prevention Act and other provisions

  • Effective date of the regulations: January 1, 2018, or December 31, 2020, depending on target products
    Note: Acceptance of application for manufacturing permissions, etc. will start on the date before six months from the effective date of the regulations, i.e., July 1, 2017, or July 1, 2020.
  • For detailed information on the procedures for filling such application or notifications of such products under the regulations, which are under the jurisdiction of the METI Minister as a Competent Minister, visit the METI website to access the operational guidelines.

2) Imports and exports of specified mercury, mercury compounds and mercury-added products, etc.

  • Effective date of the regulations:
    August 16, 2017 for specified mercury and mercury compounds
    January 1, 2018, or December 31, 2020 for specified mercury-added products, etc.; depending on target products
  • For detailed information on the contact office accepting applications, procedures for filing an application for approval, and how to fill in the application documents, visit the METI website.

Regarding the Minamata Convention on Mercury

  1. The Minamata Convention on Mercury, a global treaty, aims to protect human health and the environment from anthropogenic emissions or releases of mercury and its compounds, comprehensively controlling the entire life-cycle of mercury consisting of mining, trading, use, emission, release, disposal and other processes. On October 10, 2013, it was adopted at a Diplomatic Conference (the Conference of Plenipotentiaries), held in Kumamoto, Japan. Japan signed the Convention on the same date.
  2. On May 22, 2015, Japan approved the ratification of the Convention at the 189th ordinary session of the Diet. In addition, it also approved and established the Mercury Pollution Prevention Act and the Act of Partial Revision of the Air Pollution Control Act, which are the laws necessary for the implementation of the Convention, at the same ordinary session.
  3. On February 2, 2016, Japan deposited its instrument of ratification to the UN Secretary General, which made Japan the 23rd Party to the Convention.

Release date

May 19, 2017

Division in Charge

Chemical Management Policy Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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