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Adopted 13 March 1985, 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 (PCBs) and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs) as hazardous substances under Article 5 of the Convention.


NOTING the concerted actions initiated by the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention in accordance with HELCOM Recommendation 3/1 regarding the limitation of the use of PCBs,


NOTING ALSO that the present use of PCTs by the Contracting Parties to the Helsinki Convention is rather limited,


NOTING FURTHER that in spite of the actions already taken on a national level, PCBs and PCTs may still enter the marine environment of the Baltic Sea Area, however, in limited amounts,


BEING MINDFUL of accelerating the further elimination of the pollution by PCBs and PCTs within the Baltic Sea Area, and preventing a possible expanded future use of these substances,


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


a)         PCBs and PCTs be not produced from 1987;

b)         articles or other equipment containing PCBs and PCTs should not be marketed in the Baltic Sea States from 1987; and 

c)         for the use of articles and equipment marketed before 1987 the following guidelines should apply:

(i)         national programmes be established to identify and/or label PCB-containing articles already in use;

(ii)        national programmes be established to ensure a safe and controlled collection as well as a disposal or destruction of PCB-containing articles; and

(iii)       equipment containing PCBs/PCTs be disposed of or destructed corresponding to the existing technical means ensuring that man and the environment are not thereby endangered in the following manner:


-           hydraulic fluids in underground mining equipment as soon as possible;

-           closed system electrical equipment: transformers, resistors and inductors, as well as large capacitors (> 1 kg total weight) as soon as possible and small capacitors at the latest when they reach the end of their service life,


Exceptions from sub-paragraphs a) and b) above could, however, be granted for research, development and analytical purposes.


RECOMMENDS FURTHER that national programmes drawn up and measures taken in accordance with Paragraph c) above should be reported to the Commission one year after the adoption of this Recommendation and thereafter every 3 years.