The proposal proposes both total bans and restrictions on the use of lead bullets and gunshot in both hunting and shooting sports. The proposal also limits the use of lead fishing weights. The restriction proposal also contains partial prohibitions on the introduction of products to market.
According to the ECHA press release, the content of the restriction proposal is essentially as follows:
- Lead gunshot are completely banned, with a transition period of 5 years
- Large bullet calibres are banned, with a transition period of 18 months
- Small bullet calibres are banned, with a transition period of 5 years
The only areas currently excluded from the restriction proposal are the use of lead in official duties and on indoor shooting ranges. According to the proposal, use of lead would also be permitted under strictly controlled conditions in sporting events such as the Olympic Games and in shooting sports where bullet traps can be used.
The process is likely to last a number of years
The transition period is measured from when the restrictions have been approved by all EU institutions. The restriction process is likely to last a number of years The next step is that the restriction proposal will be reviewed by the Risk Assessment Committee (RAC) and the Socio-Economic Analysis Committee (SEAC). A public consultation lasting six months will then begin at the end of March.
Earlier last year, the European Commission adopted a proposal to ban the use of lead gunshot in wetlands. The entire process of banning the gunshot extended from 2015 to 2020. The ban on using lead gunshot in wetlands will enter into force in Finland either on 15 February 2023 or on 15 February 2024, depending on the decision taken at the national level. You can read here the Finnish Hunters' Association's latest news piece about this restriction. The restriction process that is now beginning is therefore a separate process and concerns the use of lead in all munitions.
The complexity of the restriction proposal and possible shortcomings of the assessment can be seen, among other things, by the fact that the European Chemicals Agency has given a very broad range in their assessment of the socio-economic impacts of the proposal. According to the proposal, the economic impact will be somewhere between EUR 260 million and EUR 10.5 billion over the next 20 years.
The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE), which is the umbrella organisation for European hunters, has carried out among hunters in EU Member States a socio-economic survey on the use of lead in munitions. Press release about the results here.
Hunting and Shooting Manager Jussi Partanen, tel. +358 40 845 1572, jussi.partanenmetsastajaliitto.fi
The restriction proposal can be viewed in English here https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/c223c794-69c0-869d-9b76-48bde881f7fa
The appendix to the restriction proposal can be viewed in English here https://echa.europa.eu/documents/10162/c223c794-69c0-869d-9b76-48bde881f7fa