Review and update of the national implementation plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Montenegro

POPs chemicals

POPs are organic compounds considered to be toxic for humans and other living organisms, bioaccumulative, persistent in the environment and able to travel long distances from their point of origin. In addition, it is the moderate volatility of POPs that enables their long-distance atmospheric transport. POPs have low water solubility and high lipid solubility and are therefore easily transported through phospholipids in biological membranes and later deposited in adipose tissue and other tissues with high lipid levels. All these characteristics cause POPs to be widespread in the environment, even in the regions where they have never been used. The above stated properties of POPs make the specified chemicals one of the most important topics within the field of environmental protection, representing the issue which requires global solution. Such global solution is defined in the Stockholm Convention which entered into force in 2004.

Stockholm Convention

Montenegro has been a state party to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (hereinafter referred to as POPs) since March 2011. The objective of the Stockholm Convention is to protect human health and the environment from POPs. POPs are chemical matters that resist degradation, may bio accumulate and are risky for human health and/or the environment. These pollutants are transported across international boundaries far from their place of release, even to the places where they have never been used or produced. Taking into account their potential to be transported across boundaries by air, water and products, a country cannot protect its citizens and the environment from POPs on its own. In order to reduce and eliminate the production, use and release of these matters, international cooperation is required.

The Stockholm Convention on POPS was formally adopted in May 2001 in Stockholm, Sweden, after the negotiations carried out under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Generic exemptions allowed by the Convention include the use of POPs for laboratory-scale research, or as a reference standard and the presence of trace contaminants in products. Import and export of intentionally produced POPs listed in Annex A and B are strictly banned by the Stockholm Convention. After the exemptions expire for all the substances, import and export will be allowed only for the purpose of depositing under strict conditions, in the way environmentally sound manner. The Stockholm Convention includes specific provisions for individual parties with prescribed assessment schemes. They need to test the existing chemicals to POPs characteristics and undertake prescribed measures as to prevent development, production and marketing of new substances exhibiting POPs characteristics.

Implementation of the Stockholm Convention in Montenegro

POPs compounds are regulated by the Law on Environment (OGM 48/08), the Law on Air Protection (OGM 25/10), the Law on Chemicals ( OGM 18/12 ), the Law on Plant Protection Products (OGM 40/11), the Law on Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (OGM 80/05), the Law on Waste Management (OGM 64/11), the Law on Waters (OGM 27/07), the Decree on the classification and categorization of surface and underground waters (OGM 02/07), the Decree on emission limit values of air pollutants from stationary sources (OGM 10/11), the Rulebook on waste classification and waste catalogue (OGM 35/12), the Rulebook on waste oil management (OGM 48/12), the Rulebook on handling of equipment and waste containing PCB (OGM 48/12), the Rulebook on the quality and sanitary and technical requirements for discharging wastewater into the recipient and public sewage, manner and procedure for testing wastewater quality, minimum number of tests and contents of the report on wastewater quality (OGM 45/08).

The Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, UNECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution – LRTAP and its Protocol on Persistent Organic Pollutants are interrelated international treaties. The Convention on LongRange Transboundary Air Pollution came into force in 1983, and the Protocol that was adopted in 1998 came into force in 2003. Montenegro confirmed the Protocol on 10 Persistent Organic Pollutants in June 2011 and passed an Action Plan for its implementation.

New POPs chemicals 

Procedure of inclusion of new POPs chemicals into Annexes of the Stockholm Convention is consisted of four stages:

Stage 1: Proposal of inclusion of new chemicals into Annexes of the Stockholm Convention;

Stage 2: Development of the risk assessment represented by chemicals proposed to be included into Annexes to the Convention;

Stage 3: Development of the risk assessment management;

Stage 4: Recommendation of the Committee for review of persistent organic pollutants (POPRC) on inclusion of new POPs chemicals which is forwarded to the Conference of Parties to the Stockholm Convention.

Having in mind that in period from 2010-2012 amendments to the Stockholm Convention came into force which extended the Annexes for 10 new POPs chemicals (chlordecone, hexabromobiphenyl (HBB), pentachlorobenzene, lindane (γ-HCH), alpha hexachlorocyclohexane (α-HCH), beta hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether, hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether – (PBDEs), perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, its salts and perfluorooctane sulfonyl fluoride (PFOS), including endosulfan and its related isomers, given in table 1, pursuant to Article 7 of this Convention, Montenegro is obliged to update NIP.

Table 1 Old and new POPs chemicals

Group of POPs 12 old POPs 10 new POPs
POPs pesticides aldrin, chlordane, DDT, dieldrin, endrin, heptachlor, hexachlorobenzene (HCB), mirex and toxaphene lindane (γ- HCH), chlordecone, pentachlorobenzene, α-HCH, β-HCH and endosulfan
Industrial POPs PCBs PFOS, hexabromobiphenyl PBDEs (tetrabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether; hexabromodiphenyl ether and heptabromodiphenyl ether)
un POPs PCDDs, PCDFs, PCBs and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) α-HCH, β-HCH and pentachlorobenzene

Enabling activities to review and update the National Implementation Plan for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Center for ecotoxicological research in cooperation with Ministry for sustainable development and tourism and United Nations Environmental Programme is implementing project „Review and update of the national implementation plan (NIP) for the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Montenegro”

Main objective of this project is to update old POPs inventory, development of new POPs inventory and development of action plans for reduction/elimination of risks and exposure to POPs, raising awareness of target groups on the risks of exposure to POPs and measures to reduce this risk

Duration of the project: September 2016 – September 2018

Realized activities


Photo gallery: Kick off meeting and inception workshop, 26-27 September 2016.

Link to news article.

After the kick off meeting and inception workshop, inception report was made which states working groups, their structure and future obligations.

First meeting of the work team was held on 15.11.2016. at CETI, and after that minutes of meeting was made.

First meeting of the project Steering Committee was held on 20.12.2016. at Ministry for sustainable development and tourism.