Ban on lead in ammunition proposed

Brussels, 3 February 2021 – Today, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has published its proposal for further restrictions on the use of lead in ammunition for hunting, outdoor sports shooting and fishing. Its report and annex conclude that restrictions would be justified based on risks to environment and human health. The European Commission (EC) requested ECHA to prepare these proposals back in July 2019.

With respect to lead sold and used in hunting, sports shooting and other outdoor shooting, ECHA proposed the following:

  • A ban on the sale and use of lead shot for hunting with a five-year transition period and the option for Member States to derogate for sports shooting when releases into the environment are minimised.
  • A ban on the use of lead in rifle bullets with transitional periods:
    • 18 months for any centre-fire calibre equal to and above 5.6mm
    • 5 years for calibres less than 5.6mm centrefire (and rimfire in general). Derogations for continued use, if releases to the environment are minimised, i.e. when sports shooting ranges are equipped with bullet traps.

Military and other non-civilian uses of lead ammunition – such as by police, security and customs forces – are not included in the scope of the investigation. Indoor uses of lead ammunition are also excluded.

Today’s proposals arrive just one week after the publishing of the lead shot over wetlands’ restriction under REACH, having only received support from 52% of Members of the European Parliament, with some opposition at Council level.

The European Federation for Hunting and Conservation (FACE) is assessing these new proposals carefully and will be following the decision-making process actively.

For more information including on the next steps, please see:

For more information on FACE’s work on ammunition, please see:

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