State Mercury-Added Product Ban & Phase-out Guidance

The purpose of restricting or completely banning the sale of certain mercury-added products is to eliminate non-essential uses of mercury in consumer, household, and commercial products, thereby reducing mercury releases to the environment associated with the production, use, and disposal of such products.

What Is the Difference Between a Product Ban and a Phase-Out?

Some exemptions may be allowed under a product phase-out and some phase-out laws contain statutory exceptions that exempt certain products from the statute without the need to apply for and obtain a written exemption. There are no exemptions allowed under a product sales ban. Product bans target a specific product. Product phase-out bans generally restrict categories of products based on their function or mercury content.

What Products Have Sales Bans and/or Phase-Outs?

What States Have Sales Bans and/or Phase-Outs?

To see what states restrict the sale and/or distribution of mercury-added products through product sales bans and/or phaseouts, browse by state.

How Can Manufacturers Apply for an Exemption to the States’ Phase-out Requirements?

If a company’s product(s) falls within one of the categories of products covered by the states’ sales phase-out requirements and they want to continue to sell their product in the applicable states, they may apply for an administrative exemption for their product or product category. Exemptions can be granted for up to a five-year period, depending on the state. However, the appropriate duration of an exemption is decided on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants for exemptions to the states’ sales phase-out should complete and sign a Mercury-Added Product Phase-out Exemption Application Form. Applications are generally due one year before the effective date for which they are seeking an exemption.

Decisions regarding approval of mercury-added product phase-out exemptions are made by each individual state environmental agency. Upon approval of a phase-out exemption application, the state sends a letter to the applicant detailing the approval, the period of time over which it applies, and the schedule for reporting on the effectiveness of the proposed collection system.

Use of the IMERC process is strongly encouraged to avoid duplication of effort by all concerned, but is not required. Companies may choose to submit exemption applications to individual states, and should do so if they wish to designate some or all of the application as confidential business information, since IMERC is not equipped to handle CBI submittals. Where more than one state receives an exemption request covering the same mercury-added products, the states can be expected to consult extensively with each other to achieve an appropriate level of consistency across jurisdictions.

If a company has concerns about confidential business information (CBI), they must submit a Mercury-added Product Phase-out Exemption Application, along with a written request for CBI consideration directly to the state agencies they are requesting an exemption from. IMERC cannot accept any CBI requests.



For more information about phase-outs and bans for mercury-added products, including information about phase-out exemptions, contact