Intersessional work and Submissions for COP4

At its third meeting, the Conference of the Parties agreed on a number of action items to effectively implement the Minamata Convention and prepare for the fourth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, to be held in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia from 31 October to 5 November 2021. In some areas, submissions are invited by parties and other stakeholders, while in other areas submissions are expected through the members of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties. The details of calls for information can be found in the Executive Secretary’s letter dated 13 December 2019 and its attachment. In view of the coronavirus pandemic situation, some of the deadlines have been extended as explained below.


Review of annexes A and B

COP3 decided to establish an ad hoc group of experts on the review of annexes A and B to the Convention, to prepare a document in which it will enrich and organize the information on the uses of mercury and on non-mercury alternatives referred to in the submissions from the Parties.

  1. Nomination of experts

Parties were invited to nominate members of the ad hoc group of experts through the Bureau members by 31 March 2020. Bureau members have been informed that the Secretariat will wait for the nominations until 15 April. The Secretariat will arrange the first teleconference of the nominated experts after this date, unless Bureau members inform the Secretariat that they need more time for coordination.

  1. Information on the uses of mercury and on non-mercury alternatives

Parties were invited to submit information on the uses of mercury and on non-mercury alternatives as set out in (a) and (b) below by 31 March 2020.

(a) Information on mercury-added products and on the availability, technical and economic feasibility, and environmental and health risks and benefits of non-mercury alternatives to mercury-added products, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 4 of the Convention;

(b) Information on processes that use mercury or mercury compounds and, on the availability, technical and economic feasibility and environmental and health risks and benefits of mercury-free alternatives to manufacturing processes in which mercury or mercury compounds are used, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 5.

The following submissions have been received. Submissions received by 15 April will also be posted below. Parties that need more time for submission are invited to contact the Secretariat.

Non-parties and others were invited to provide further information on the use of mercury and on non-mercury alternatives referred to in the submissions by the Parties by 30 April 2020. In view of the extended deadline for submission from Parties above, this deadline is extended to 15 May 2020.

  1. Measures or strategies implemented by Parties

Parties that notified the Secretariat at the time of their becoming a Party to the Convention that they would implement various measures or strategies to address products listed in part I of Annex A to the Convention are to report on the measures or strategies they have implemented, including a quantification of the reductions achieved by 30 June 2020.


Dental amalgam

COP3 encouraged Parties to take more than the two required measures in accordance with part II of Annex A to the Convention to phase down the use of dental amalgam, and requested the Secretariat to collect information on the implementation of any such additional measures taken by Parties.

In addition, it requested the Secretariat to collect from Parties and others information pursuant to paragraph 7, Article 4 of the Convention, i.e. information including that related to the availability, technical and economic feasibility and environmental and health risks and benefits of the non-mercury alternatives to the product.

  1. Information on the implementation of any additional measures taken by Parties

Parties are invited to provide information on the implementation of any additional measures taken in accordance with part II of Annex A to the Convention by 31 January 2021.

  1. Information on non-mercury alternatives to dental amalgam

Parties and others are invited to provide information including that related to the availability, technical and economic feasibility and environmental and health risks and benefits of the non-mercury alternatives to dental amalgam by 1 July 2020. The following submission has been received.


Customs codes

COP3 requested the Secretariat to continue its work in collaboration with the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Mercury in Products Partnership area and involving relevant experts to;

(a) Draft a guidance document that includes:

(i) For the mercury-added products listed in Annex A to the Convention, a list of possible customs nomenclature codes of more than six digits that could be used by Parties;

(ii) For mercury-added products not listed in Annex A to the Convention, a compilation of examples provided by national experts of customs nomenclature codes of more than six digits currently in use by Parties; and

(iii) Examples of good practice where the use of customs nomenclature codes at the national level has been supplemented by the use of other control tools for the purpose of implementing trade provisions, such as those found in Article 4 to the Convention.

(b) Provide an assessment of whether the subsequent development of six-digit harmonized codes would be a useful complement to the outcome of the work undertaken under (a) (i) above for the mercury-added products listed in Annex A or under (a) (ii) above for mercury-added products not listed in Annex A. The assessment shall, where possible, include several examples of the use of such codes for both listed and unlisted mercury-added products, taking into account experience concerning such codes under other international environmental conventions.

Parties, non-parties and other stakeholders including relevant organisations were invited to identify experts familiar with the use of national customs codes to participate in the open-ended process by 29 February 2020. One nomination was received by the deadline.

Identified experts were invited to submit information relevant for the work related to (a) (i)-(iii) above by 31 March 2020. The following submissions have been received from nominated experts. Nominations and submissions received by 15 April will also be posted below. Parties and stakeholders that need more time for nomination and submission are invited to contact the Secretariat.


Releases of mercury

COP3 requested the group of technical experts to continue to work by electronic means, with the possibility of one face-to-face meeting, in line with the road map set out in annex II to document UNEP/MC/COP.3/6, to produce a report including draft guidance on the methodology for preparing inventories of releases, the proposed categories of point sources of releases and a road map for the development of guidance on best available techniques and best environmental practices.

Parties were invited to confirm the current members of the group of technical experts, nominate new members or replace members as appropriate, through the Bureau members by 31 March 2020. Bureau members have been informed that the Secretariat will wait for the nominations until 15 April. The Secretariat will arrange the first teleconference of the nominated experts after this date, unless Bureau members inform the Secretariat that they need more time for coordination.

Parties and other stakeholders were invited to submit existing information on the calculation of releases and on other methodologies for the estimation of releases from the source categories identified in UNEP/MC/COP.3/6. The following submissions have been received. Submissions received by 15 April will also be posted below. Parties that need more time for submission are invited to contact the Secretariat.


Mercury waste thresholds

COP3 requested the group of technical experts to work further on thresholds for mercury wastes falling under subparagraph 2(c) of Article 11. It also requested the Secretariat, in cooperation with the ASGM partnership area, to seek comments from Parties and other stakeholders to improve the guidance on the preparation of national action plans for ASGM regarding management of tailings from such mining, with a view to presenting a revised version of the guidance for consideration and possible adoption by COP4.

Parties were invited to confirm the current members of the group of technical experts, nominate new members or replace members as appropriate, through the Bureau members by 31 March 2020. Bureau members have been informed that the Secretariat will wait for the nominations until 15 April. The Secretariat will arrange the first teleconference of the nominated experts after this date, unless Bureau members inform the Secretariat that they need more time for coordination.

Parties and other stakeholders are invited to provide comments to improve the guidance on the preparation of national action plans for ASGM regarding management of tailings from such mining by 1 November 2020.

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