by Thuy Dang
On November 20, 2019, the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2019-20: Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Mercury and Mercury compounds revising DAO 1997-38: CCO for Mercury and Mercury Compounds. This DAO strictly prohibits using Mercury, Mercury compounds and Mercury-added products for artisan and small-scale gold mining and other mining activities (as regulated in Executive Order 79).
Some uses of Mercury will still be allowed. Consult Section 5 of the CCO for those details. Mercury and Mercury compounds are allowed for laboratory and research uses. Mercury-added products and Mercury used in processes are allowed in civil protection and military uses, research, several electronic devices when no Mercury-free alternatives are available and vaccines containing Thiomersal as a preservative.
The DAO regulates the phase-out schedules for Mercury, Mercury compounds and Mercury-added products in Annex 1 and 2 with deadlines ranging from 2018 to 2025 depending on the specific use.
Importers, manufacturers, distributors, transporters, allowed users of Mercury, Mercury compounds and Mercury-added products and those who treat, handle, transport, store or disposed of Mercury-bearing or Mercury-contaminated wastes must register with the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB).
The registration and import clearance application must include the following:
- Completed and notarized Registration Form (Annex 3 of the DAO)
- Copy of approved importation clearance form (Annex 4 of the DAO; importers only)
- Copy of Environmental Permits such as Hazardous Waste Generator’s ID, Valid Discharge Permit, Valid Permit to Operate, Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC)
- Copy of registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
- Copy of Business Permit
- Copy of SDS from manufacturer (in accordance with GHS requirements)
- Mercury Management Plan (as outlined in Annex 3 of the DAO)
- Contingency Plan
- Photo of the storage facilities
- Notarized Certificate of Liabilities to compensate damages
- Copy of Pollution Control Officer (PCO) Accreditation Certificate
The DAO also regulates requirements for reports, records, labeling, handling, storage, transport and disposal of Mercury and its compounds.
Mercury-added products is defined as “a product or product components that contain Mercury or a Mercury compound that was intentionally added”.
The EMB recently developed and published a new Tool for PICCS Validation and RA 6969 Requirement (PICCS Tool) to help navigate importers, distributors, users and manufacturers to the appropriate permits required. The tool is accessible at the Online Permitting and Monitoring System website (after registering and log-in with an account).
The Philippines DENR and the EMB currently have several draft regulations available for pubic consultation:
- 3rd Revised Priority Chemical List (on hold)
- Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds
- Draft EMB Memorandum Circular (MC) for Inclusion of Distributors and Users on PCL Requirements
- Draft EMB MC on Philippines Inventory of Chemicals and Chemical Substances (PICCS) Certificate
- Chemical Control Order for Chromium VI and Chromium VI Compounds
- Guidelines on the implementation of GHS Classification and Labelling Requirements for chemicals under IATA and IMDG
- Draft 2018 PICCS
- Clarification of Scope of PCL
Comments on the regulations can be submitted to the Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) via phone at (02)928-8892 or via e-mail at email@example.com
DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2019-20 Revising the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for Mercury and Mercury compounds: http://chemical.emb.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/DAO201920MERCURY.pdf
Online Permitting and Monitoring System website: https://opms.emb.gov.ph/accounts/login/
DENR and EMB draft regulations: http://chemical.emb.gov.ph/
DENR, Philippines, Mercury, Mercury Compounds, CCO
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