21 Feb 2019
Argentina Adopts Ban on Mercury-added Products
Argentina will prohibit from 1 January 2020 the importation, exportation and production of the following mercury-added products in an effort to comply with the provisions of the Minamata Convention on Mercury:
- batteries, except for silver oxide and zinc-air button cell batteries with a mercury content of less than two percent;
- switches and relays, except for high-precision capacitance and loss measuring bridges and high-frequency radio frequency switches and relays used to monitor and control instruments with a maximum mercury content of 20 milligrams per bridge, switch or relay;
- compact fluorescent lamps for general lighting purposes, with a power of 30 watts or lower and a mercury content greater than 5 mg per lamp burner;
- the following linear fluorescent lamps for general lighting purposes: tri-band phosphor with a power of less than 60 watts and a mercury content greater than 5 mg per lamp, and phosphor in halophosphate with a power of 40 watts or less and a mercury content greater than 10 mg per lamp;
- high-pressure mercury vapour lamps for general lighting applications;
- mercury in cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps for electronic displays of short length (no greater than 500 mm) with a mercury content greater than 3.5 mg per lamp, of medium length (greater than 500 mm but no greater than 1,500 mm) with a mercury content greater than 5 mg per lamp, or of long length (greater than 1,500 mm) with a mercury content greater than 13 mg per lamp;
- pesticides, biocides and antiseptics for topical use; and
- the following non-electronic measuring devices, except for non-electronic measuring devices installed in large-scale equipment or those used for high-precision measurements, when a suitable mercury-free alternative is not available: barometers, hygrometers, pressure gauges and thermometers.
Excluded from this prohibition are (i) products that obtain an exemption as provided under article 6 of the Minamata Convention; (ii) essential products for military and civil protection purposes; (iii) products for research, instrument calibration and use as a reference standard; (iv) spare parts, switches and relays, cold cathode fluorescent lamps and external electrode fluorescent lamps for electronic displays, and measuring devices, in instances where a viable mercury-free alternative is not available; (v) products used in traditional or religious practices; and (vi) vaccines containing thimerosal as a preservative.