The Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2023

Jurisdiction: Great Britain

Commencement: 16th November 2023

Amends: GB Retained: Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants

Mini Summary

The GB Retained: Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants repeals and replaces Regulation (EC) 850/2004 on persistent organic pollutants.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemical substances which stay in the environment, migrate into and accumulate in the food chain, and threaten human health and the environment. POPs can be found in pesticides, industrial chemicals (such as polychlorinated biphenyls – PCBs) and industrial by-products.

The purpose of this Regulation is the protection of the environment and human health from POPs by prohibiting, phasing out or restricting the manufacturing, placing on the market and use of substances subject to:

It also aims to minimise and eventually eliminate releases of substances containing POPs and control waste containing or contaminated by POPs.

Application in Great Britain (GB)

Following the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 incorporated all directly acting EU Regulations into UK law. Those Regulations have been subsequently amended to update various definitions, terminology, authorities, etc. to GB rather than EU references. They have also been amended so that GB bodies, rather than EU bodies, can regulate and enforce them. This entry describes the retained version of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants, which applies in England, Scotland and Wales (GB) from IP completion day.

Application in Northern Ireland

Although Northern Ireland has left the EU, under the terms of the Northern Ireland Protocol the EU version of Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants continues to apply in Northern Ireland.

The competent authorities are:

  • the Environment Agency in England;
  • the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) in Scotland; and
  • Natural Resources Wales (NRW) in Wales.

Appropriate authorities are the Secretary of State and the Welsh and Scottish Ministers.

This Regulation is implemented in GB by The Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations 2007.


Various duties apply.



Annex I is amended to include Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS), its salts, and PFHxS-related compounds. From 16th November 2023, the manufacturing, use and sale of PFHxS are prohibited.

Exemptions apply where the substance is present as an unintentional trace contaminant, subject to the concentration limits specified in Article 2.


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