The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries have finally published the regulations to phase-out the use, production, distribution, sale, import and export of persistent organic pollutants (POP).

These regulations have been in draft form since 2017 and are a crucial requirement in terms of South Africa’s commitments under the international Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants which was ratified in 2002.

The POP Phase-Out Regulations apply to certain listed chemical substances which need to be completely phased-out by 31 December 2020, barring limited exceptions by 31 December 2021.

All users, producers, distributors, sellers, importers and exporters of listed POPs must notify the Director-General of the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries within 30 days of the POP Phase-Out Regulations coming into force, meaning by 10 October 2019.

Producers, importers and exporters of the listed POPs must develop a phase-out plan for listed substance(s), and submit the same to the Director-General for approval within 12 months, by 10 September 2020.

Lastly, annual reporting against approved phase-out plans will be required. Penalties and fines for non-compliance apply.

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