Bethlehem Apparatus

Environmentally Responsible, Experienced & Safe

2013 Export Ban on Mercury

By federal law, it will be illegal to export elemental mercury from the United States after 2012. The Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008 (PDF) also has provisions for the long-term mercury management and storage of elemental mercury. Currently, mercury is exported from the U.S. to foreign countries where it has various uses, including for use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining. The use of mercury in artisanal gold mining not only adversely affect the health of millions of artisanal miners and their communities, but is also a major cause of global mercury pollution.

The Act's Three Main Provisions Are:

  • Export of elemental mercury is prohibited from the U.S. beginning January 1, 2013.
  • Federal agencies are prohibited from conveying, selling or distributing elemental mercury that is under their control or jurisdiction. This includes stockpiles held by the Departments of Energy and Defense.
  • The Department of Energy (DOE) must designate one or more DOE facilities for long-term management and storage of elemental mercury generated within the U.S.

To help the public understand and comply with the Act, EPA has provided "Questions and Answers about the Mercury Export Ban Act of 2008."

For more information, visit EPA's Mercury Laws and Regulations page.

2013 Export Ban on Mercury
Ban on Mercury Exports is effective January 1, 2013