The legal acts on the extension of the exemptions for UV mercury lamps were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 24.02.22. This means that the exemptions 4f IV, which are important for UV special lamps for curing and disinfection, have a further validity of five years until 24 February 2027.

24 Febraury 2022 - Official Journal of the European Union | L 43/41


of 13 December 2021

amending, for the purposes of adapting to scientific and technical progress, Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards an exemption for the use of mercury in other discharge lamps for special purposes

(Text with EEA relevance)


Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Directive 2011/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (1), and in particular Article 5(1), point (a), thereof,


  1. Directive 2011/65/EU requires Member States to ensure that electrical and electronic equipment placed on the market does not contain the hazardous substances listed in Annex II to that Directive. That restriction does not apply to certain exempted applications listed in Annex III to that Directive.
  2. The categories of electrical and electronic equipment to which Directive 2011/65/EU applies are listed in Annex I to that Directive.
  3. Mercury is a restricted substance listed in Annex II to Directive 2011/65/EU.
  4. By Decision 2010/571/EU (2), the Commission granted, among other things, an exemption for the use of mercury in other discharge lamps for special purposes not specifically mentioned (‘the exemption’), which is now listed as exemption 4(f) in Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU. The exemption was to expire on 21 July 2016, in accordance with Article 5(2), second subparagraph, point (a), of that Directive.
  5. The function of mercury in gas discharge lamps for special purposes is related to the light generating process to convert electricity into light.
  6. On 15 January 2015, the Commission received several applications for renewal of the exemption (‘the renewal applications’) that is within the time limit laid down in Article 5(5) of Directive 2011/65/EU. In accordance with Article 5(5) of Directive 2011/65/EU, the exemption remains valid until a decision on the renewal application has been taken.
  7. The evaluation of the renewal applications, which took into account the availability of substitutes and the socioeconomic impact of substitution, concluded that the substitution or elimination of mercury in the applications concerned by the exemption is currently technically impracticable. Given the prospects of substitution limiting the exemption in future, it is however appropriate to grant the renewal of the exemption for a period of 3 years only. The evaluation also concluded that it is possible to further define the applications that qualify for a renewal of the exemption in accordance with the criteria set out in Article 5(1), point (a), of Directive 2011/65/EU because of their specific functionality and application area, namely high pressure mercury vapour lamps used in projectors, used for horticulture lighting and emitting light in the ultraviolet spectrum. For those specific applications, the exemption should be renewed for a maximum period of 5 years. The evaluation included stakeholder consultations in accordance with Article 5(7) of Directive 2011/65/EU. The comments received during those consultations were made publicly available on a dedicated website.
  8. The exemption is consistent with Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (3) and thus does not weaken the environmental and health protection afforded by it.
  9. In view of the results of the ongoing efforts to find a reliable substitution, the duration of the exemption is unlikely to have adverse impacts on innovation.
  10. Directive 2011/65/EU should therefore be amended accordingly,


Article 1

  • Annex III to Directive 2011/65/EU is amended as set out in the Annex to this Directive.

Article 2

  • (1)   Member States shall adopt and publish, by 30 September 2022 at the latest, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions.
    • They shall apply those provisions from 1 October 2022.
    • When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.
  • (2)   Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

Article 3

  • This Directive shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 4

  • This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at Brussels, 13 December 2021