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adopted 17 February 1982, having regard to Article 13, Paragraph b) of the Helsinki Convention




RECALLING Article 5 of the Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area, 1974, (Helsinki Convention), in which the Contracting Parties undertake to counteract the introduction of hazardous substances into the Baltic Sea Area,


RECALLING ALSO that Annex I of the Helsinki Convention defines polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB's) as hazardous substances under Article 5 of the Convention,


NOTING that PCB's, in spite of the concerted action of

the Contracting Parties, still enter the marine environment of the Baltic Sea Area, however, in decreasing amounts,


NOTING FURTHER that the Scientific-Technological Working Group (STWG) is in the process of formulating a programme for the elimination of the pollution by PCB's within the Baltic Sea Area,


BEING MINDFUL of accelerating the elimination of the pollution by PCB's within the Baltic Sea Area,


RECOMMENDS that the Governments of the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention:

a) should establish national regulations for total prohibition of introduction of new articles or other equipment containing PCB's within the national jurisdiction of the Contracting Parties. For some applications, such as in:

    (i)    transformers, resistors and inductors;

    (ii)   large capacitors;

    (iii) heat transmitting fluids in closed-circuit heat-transfer installations (except in installations for processing foodstuffs, feeding stuffs, pharmaceutical and veterinary products);

    (iv)  hydraulic fluids in underground mining equipment,

    (v)   primary and intermediate articles for further processing into products that do not contain PCB's; and

    (vi)   "research, development and analytical purposes",

however, an exemption could be granted;

b) should establish national regulations for reducing discharges from existing sources of PCB's;

c) should establish national programmes to find out and define diffuse sources regarding discharges of PCB's. The steps in such programmes should include i.a. the identification and labelling of PCB articles already in use and a possible substitution of such articles, and a timetable for the implementation of the programmes. The results achieved should be reported to the Commission; and

d) should establish national regulations regarding safe handling of PCB's, for instance in connection with the physical placing of transformers and large capacitors, and the destruction of waste containing PCB's,

RECOMMENDS FURTHER that the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention should investigate all possible means of substi­tuting PCB's and new technologies in the fields where PCB's are used at present, and that the STWG from time to time should review the scientific-technological development with respect to the cessation of the exemptions granted under paragraph a) above.