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Summary of the Second Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury

19-23 November, 2018, Geneva, Switzerland.

The Zero Mercury Working Group (ZMWG) closely followed the Second Conference of the Parties for the Minamata Convention on Mercury (COP2) in Geneva, Switzerland, 19-23 November 2018, and intervened as appropriate Our main priorities for COP2 were waste thresholds, interim storage guidelines, and effectiveness evaluation. We also closely followed matters for future action, including the review process of annexes A and B; and harmonized custom codes to distinguish mercury-added products.

Waste Thresholds

Decision MC2/2 established a process to develop mercury waste thresholds. As advocated by ZMWG, an expert group will focus its efforts on establishing mercury content thresholds for “waste contaminated with mercury”.  The group will also develop lists of wastes falling under three definitional categories: “consisting of mercury,” “containing mercury” and “contaminated with mercury.”

Effectiveness Evaluation

Decision MC 2/10 amended the effectiveness evaluation roadmap set forth in COP 1, modifying the experts mandate and composition of its membership while agreeing on an outline of work.  The group will review the outcome indicators developed previously as part of the EE framework, and further elaborate on sources of information and baselines for those indicators. It will consider how to integrate monitoring data into the framework. In addition, the group will identify those categories of monitoring data most effective in providing information on global trends, what data could be used to assess the impact on levels and trends of mercury, and data limitations. Importantly, as advocated by ZMWG, the group will also assess the information, identify gaps and outline options to enhance the quality of the information.

Interim storage 

Decision MC 2/6 adopted the interim mercury storage guidelines which included a number of key elements to facilitate environmentally sound management.  We were pleased to see many of the important elements that ZMWG had proposed during the intersessional period are included in the guidelines, including provisions on financial assurances related to closure of the sites.


Decision MC 2/3 established an intersessional process to identify relevant point source categories of releases of mercury and mercury compound to land and water, including the establishment of a group of technical experts.

Contaminated sites

Decision MC 2/8 invites parties and other stakeholders to submit additional comments and information to complement and further improve the draft guidance, calling in particular for information and comments to make the guidance more practicable.

Review of Annex A and B

No specific decision was taken by the COP to start reviewing annexes A and B. However, a call for relevant information was launched by the Secretariat to prepare for COP3.

This is an important area for ZMWG; given the technological and political developments around the world since Annex A and B were adopted in 2013, we will be seeking to further strengthen the Convention.

HS Codes for mercury-added products

The Decision requests the Secretariat to suggest approaches for modifying customs codes to allow countries to distinguish mercury-added products from those products that do not contain mercury, including approaches for possible harmonization among countries. This is an important success for ZMWG, in support of the Global Mercury Partnership, recognizing the critical need for Parties to identify the production, import and export of mercury-added products to comply with Article 4.

Other issues

Other issues included a request for further information on capacity building, technical assistance and technology transfer; as well as on the SIP; a small modification to the rules of procedure of the Implementation and Compliance Committee; and a decision that the secretariat of the MC will be autonomous and based in Geneva, with special arrangements with the BRS Secretariat. Finally, a new president, David Kapindula (Zambia), was elected for COP 3, along with new Bureau members.

ZMWG looks forward to a productive third meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Geneva 25-29 November 2019.   

Home Event details

EEB/ZMWG/HCWH Conference 'EU mercury phase out in measuring and control equipment'

Events organized by EEB/ZMWG on mercury

Additional Information

Invitation for Public Registration 4 Public Invitation for NGOs Registration 4 NGOs

Thursday 18 June 2009
Brussels, Belgium
VENUE: Goethe Institut, rue Belliard 58, 1040, Brussels, Belgium
(how to reach the venue, Brussels Metro map)

For General Public:   Invitation,     Registration form,
For NGOs:                      NGO Invitation, NGO Registration form

The conference is open to the public and will take place in English.

Draft agenda (as per 12/06/2009)

Time schedule

Title of presentation






Welcome - Short introduction to the morning session



EU restrictions of mercury use in measuring and control equipment – EC proposal

Sotiris Kiokias, EC DG Enterprise


Industry’s view on mercury in measuring devices

David Osborn, Philips/COCIR


NGO position on mercury in measuring devices

Anna Lind, EEB

The transition to a mercury free health care


Is the Healthcare sector ready for the transition?

Study: 'Turning up the pressure: Phasing out mercury sphygmomanometers for professional use'


Peter Maxson, Concorde East/West


Coffee break



Experiences from EU Mercury-free Hospitals

Experiences from a UK Hospital

Experiences from a Latvian Hospital



- Paul Williams, Facilities Health And Safety Advisor, Heart Of England NHS Foundation Trust, UK

-Mrs. Jelena Stepule, Rezekne Hospital, Latvia

- Hospital Virgen de las Nieves, Granada, Spain (invited)

Global developments and mercury in measuring devices

Desiree Narvaez, UNEP


WHO policy and partnerships

Peter Orris, MD, University of Illinois, WHO Collaborating Center in Occupational and Environmental Health

Global experiences from hospitals – US/Global South

Anja Leetz, Health Care Without Harm


Discussion (Q&A) Morning session



Lunch Break



Welcome back - Short introduction to the afternoon session





Member States views – (National experiences in phasing out mercury from the healthcare sector)

Polish position

Swedish position

UK position/comments


- Dr Agnieszka Dudra, (PhD)
, Specialist
Bureau for Chemical Substances and Preparations, Poland

- Ulla Falk, KEMI, Sweden



Coffee Break








Panel Discussion:

Are Hg sphygmomanometers needed for calibration? Are there special cases were Hg sphygmos are still needed? Are non-mercury devices validated?

- Experiences from a mercury free hospital (Karolinska)

- Experiences/views from a manufacturer (W-A)

- Experiences from an MD

- Experiences from a validation expert (UoA, Sotiria)



Discussion (Q&A) - afternoon session




  • Heikki Terio, R&D Manager, Karolinska University Hospital

  • Thomas Grant, Director, Regional Category Management , Welch Allyn

  • Peter Orris, MD, University of Illinois, WHO Collaborating Center in Occupational and Environmental Health

  • Mr. George Stergiou, MD, Associate Professor of MedicineHypertension Center, Third University Department of Medicine, Sotiria Hospital, Athens

Other measuring devices and export







Which other mercury containing devices such as porosimeters, etc shall be considered to be phased out?

Current polarographic
instrumentation and important application in industry and research

Views from a Member state (Denmark)

Discussion (Q&A)


Peter Maxson, Concord East/West.

Uwe Loyall, Manager, Competent Center Voltammetry, CVS and Stability Measuring Instruments, Metrohm International Headq.

Frank Jensen, Special Advisor, Danish EPA


Overall conclusion – End of conference