1. Home
  2. News Releases
  3. Back Issues
  4. May FY2019
  5. Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (COP9) Held

Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Stockholm Convention (COP9) Held

May 14, 2019

Joint press release with the Ministry of the Environment

From April 29 to May 10, 2019, the ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP-9) to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs Convention) was held in Geneva, Switzerland. Member countries determined the new listing of dicofol, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds in Annex A (elimination) to the Stockholm Convention text. Accordingly, in the global-level collaboration under the Convention, member countries will engage in efforts for eliminating the manufacturing and use of the chemicals newly listed in Annex A. Furthermore, they reviewed the acceptable purposes and specific exemptions for perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctanesulfonyl fluoride (PFOSF) and held discussions on evaluation of the effectiveness of the POPs Convention.

1. Major results of COP-9

(1) Newly listed chemicals to be controlled under the POPs Convention

In response to the discussion results of the 13th meeting in October 2017 and 14th meeting in September 2018 of the Persistent Organic Pollutants Review Committee (POPRC) under the Conference of the Parties, member countries focused on the two groups of chemicals, i.e., dicofol, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and PFOA-related compounds, about which the POPRC had submitted an additional recommendation to COP-9 to list these chemicals in Annex A (elimination) to the Stockholm Convention text, and they held discussions on necessity for specific exemptions for these chemicals, the scope of PFOA-related compounds and other issues. Finally, they decided on the new listing of these chemicals in Annex A (elimination) as shown in the list below. In the global-level collaboration under the Convention, member countries will engage in efforts for eliminating the manufacturing and use of the chemicals newly listed in Annex A (elimination).

 

The amendment of this Annex was decided at COP-9, and the amended Annex will come into force when one year passes from the time the United Nations Secretariat sends a notification of the new listing of these chemicals in the Annex to each Party. By the enforcement date of the amended Annex, Japan will take necessary measures for securing control of the listed chemicals under the control measures stipulated in the Convention.

Name of chemicals Major use Details of the controlled chemicals according to the decision
Dicofol Pesticides Prohibition of manufacturing and use (no provisions are stipulated for exempting specific use.)
PFOA, its salts and PFOA-related compounds Assistants for fluoropolymer processing, surfactants, etc. Prohibition of manufacturing and use (some provisions are stipulated for exempting the following uses.*)
- Photolithography or etching processes in manufacturing semiconductors;
- Photographic coating applied to films;
- Oil- or water-repellent fiber products for protecting workers;
- Invasive and implantable medical equipment;
- Foam-type fire extinguishing agent used in systems for curbing steam generating from liquid fuels and extinguishing fire caused by liquid fuels, including both mobile systems and fixed systems;
- Use of perfluorooctane iodide (PFOI) for manufacturing perfluorooctane bromide (PFOB) for the purpose of manufacturing pharmaceuticals;
- Manufacturing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) for using them in the following products:
  • Highly-functional, anti-corrosive gas filter membranes, membranes for water treatments and membranes used for medical fibers;
  • Industrial waste-heat exchangers;
  • Industrial sealing materials that enable preventing volatile organic compounds and PM 2.5 fine particles from leaking;
- Manufacturing of polyfluoroethylene propylene (FEP) for manufacturing high-voltage wires and cables for power transmission; and
- Manufacturing of fluoroelastomers for manufacturing plastic ornaments that are used for O-rings, V-belts and car interiors.

Notes:
*1. Under the provisions for specific exemptions, such exemptions shall cease to have effect when five years pass since the enforcement date of the provisions. Out of these specific exemptions, member countries decided that exemption of the “use of perfluorooctane iodide (PFOI) for manufacturing perfluorooctane bromide (PFOB) for the purpose of manufacturing pharmaceuticals” should be effective up to 2036 and that member countries will evaluate the necessity of this exemption at every other COP meeting or every four years after COP13 in 2027. Japan will internally discuss whether or not it will exempt use of controlled PFOI.
2. The table above shows omitted or simplified information. For details of the controlled chemicals, visit the following website run by the Secretariat of the Convention and find meeting documents.
POPs Convention website:

(2) Review of specific exemptions of already-listed chemicals in the Annexes

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOS), its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid fluoride, mainly used for surfactants and foam-type fire extinguishing agent, have already been listed in Annex B (restriction) based on the determination at COP4 in 2009 and the amended Annex has came into force. Certain acceptable purposes and specific exemptions concerning some uses of these chemicals are stipulated in the provisions of the Convention. At COP-9, member countries reviewed these specific exemptions to determine whether or not the exemptions should maintain. In the review, they took into consideration the current situations of alternative products and other elements, and as a result, they decided to limit the acceptable purpose of the chemicals to “insect repellents used for controlling leaf-cutting ants” and limit specific exemptions of them to “metal plating only for recycling purposes (hard metal plating)” and “foam-type fire extinguishing agent used in systems for curbing steam generating from liquid fuels and extinguishing fire caused by liquid fuels, including both mobile systems and fixed systems.”

(3) Effectiveness evaluation of the Convention

Member countries held discussions on the framework of effectiveness evaluation of the Convention, which had been revised by the Secretariat in response to the results of COP-8 in 2017, and adopted the framework. Accordingly, they will conduct the next effectiveness evaluation of the Convention along the lines of both the adopted framework and the monitoring plan.

Japan will continue to contribute to these international efforts through submission of accurate national reports, provision of data that Japan has acquired from environmental monitoring research, activities under the Network for POPS in East Asian Countries, and other efforts.

2. Outline of COP-9

(1) Venue and period of the meeting

Venue: Geneva, Switzerland
Period of the meeting: From April 29 (Mon.) to May 10 (Fri.), 2019
COP-9 was held as part of the simultaneous extraordinary meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.

(2) Major agenda

 

(3) Attendees

COP-9 was held under the chairmanship of H.E. Mr. Mohammed Khashashneh (Jordan). As representatives of the government of Japan, a mission of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and the Ministry of the Environment attended the meeting.

Reference: Outline of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs Convention)
The POPs Convention aims to control persistent organic pollutants (POPs), e.g., polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) and DDT, that are persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate, and highly toxic to human beings and living organisms and that are concerned to be transported over long distances far from their places of release. Concerning the controlled chemicals, it stipulates the provisions concerning the elimination and limitation of manufacturing and use, reduction of emissions, appropriate treatment of related waste materials, including such controlled chemicals, and other measures.

Target chemicals to be controlled are discussed by the POPRC and then determined at the COP meetings.

Upon the determination of new listing of chemicals at these meetings, Japan and other member countries under the Convention shall secure the provisions of the Convention by controlling the manufacturing, use or other treatment of these listed chemicals under the domestic laws.

Related information on the METI website:
POPs Convention website (in English):
List of member countries under the POPs Convention (in English) (see the column titled “Ratification” showing countries’ ratification dates):

Division in Charge

Chemical Management Policy Division, Manufacturing Industries Bureau