China: Implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury, Announcement No. 38, 2017

China’s implementation of the 2013 Minamata ban on mercury mining, production, import, and export as of August 2017 follows the ratification of the UN binding convention, based on recent surpassing of needed 50 nations support. This obligation will remove one of the last places mercury will likely be used in product manufacture, as its phase-out in switches and displays for autos, and other uses in consumer products has been on-going for over a decade.

On 15 August 2017, China’s MEP with other Ministries jointly published the Announcement on Implementing the Minamata Convention on Mercury, to take effect on 16 August 2017.

From 16 August 2017 manufacturers, importers and exporters shall comply with the Minamata Convention and national requirements on importing and exporting hazardous chemicals. The Announcement imposes the following bans, effective from 16 August 2017:

Ban on raw mercury mining;

Ban on production of chlor-alkalie using mercury or mercury compounds;

Ban on production of switches and relays containing mercury;

Ban on production of mercury compounds (highly toxic pesticide products);

Ban on manufacture of mercury batteries;

The Ministry of Commerce will add the products containing mercury to the Catalogue of Products Prohibited from Import and Export. Per the Convention, phase out of the manufacture, import or export of mercury-added products listed in the Annex.

Products containing mercury are listed in the Annex, including:


Switches and Relays

Lighting equipment – compact fluorescent lamps, straight tube fluorescent lamps, high pressure mercury lamps,

Cold cathode fluorescent lamps, and external electrode flourescent lamp


Pesticides, bio-pesticides, and local antibacterial agent

Non-electronic measuring equipment