Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers
Adoption and signature of the Kiev Protocol
The Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers was adopted at an extraordinary meeting of the Parties to the Aarhus Convention on 21 May 2003. The meeting took place in the framework of the fifth Ministerial Conference 'Environment for Europe', Kiev, 21-23 May 2003. Thirty-six member States and the European
Community signed the Protocol in Kiev.
As of 31 December 2003, the following 36 States had signed the Protocol: Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In addition, the European Community had signed the Protocol.
Following the declaration of independence of the Montenegro and its succession to the treaties to which the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro was a signatory, the number of Signatories to the Protocol rose to 38.
Slovakia acceded to the Protocol in 2008 and Albania acceded to the Protocol in 2009.
See also the history of the negotiation of the Protocol, including source documents.
Objective of the Protocol
The Protocol is the first legally binding international instrument on pollutant release and transfer registers. Its objective is "to enhance public access
to information through the establishment
nationwide pollutant release and transfer registers
(PRTRs)." PRTRs are inventories of pollution from industrial sites and other sources.
Although regulating information
on pollution, rather
than pollution directly, the
Protocol is expected to exert a
pressure on levels of pollution, as no
want to be identified as among the biggest
Open for accession
All States can participate in the Protocol, including those which not ratified the Aarhus Convention and those which are not members of the Economic Commission for Europe. It is by design an 'open' global protocol.
Although the period for signature of the Protocol closed on 31 December 2003, the Protocol is open for accession (from
1 January 2004) by States and regional economic integration
organizations constituted by sovereign States members of
United Nations to which their member States have transferred competence over matters governed by this Protocol (articles 24
Establishment of the Working Group
The adoption of the Protocol was accompanied by a resolution of the Signatures, which inter alia recommended the establishment of a Working Group on PRTRs to prepare for the entry into force of the Protocol under the auspices of the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention. The Meeting of the Parties confirmed the establishment of the Working Group along the lines indicated in the resolution.
Under its mandate, the Working Group is charged with identifying and carrying out activities that need to be undertaken pending the entry into force of the Protocol, in particular to prepare for the implementation of the Protocol through the preparation of guidance documents and the sharing of information and experience gained.
It further is charged with reporting periodically to the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on progress made in respect of the ratification of the Protocol and steps taken towards its implementation, and to prepare for the first session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol.
Pace of ratification
February 2006, Luxembourg became the first State to ratify the Protocol
and the European Community approved it, a step having
the force of ratification. The European Community's
approval followed adoption of a PRTR Regulation
by the Members States of the European Union which
will bring the provisions of the Protocol to
directly on those States.
Switzerland ratified the Protocol in April 2007, to be followed that year by Estonia (through approval) and Germany in August 2007, becoming the 3rd, 4th and 5th parties, respectively.
The Netherlands ratified the Protocol (through approval) in February 2008 and Slovakia (through accession) in February and April 2008, becoming 6th and 7th parties.
Latvia ratified the Protocol in May 2008, becoming the 8th Party and the last member State to do so before the third meeting of the Parties to the Convention (11-13 June 2008).
The Riga Meeting urged Signatories to ratify the Protocol as soon as possible.
After Riga, the pace of ratifications accelerated. Norway and Croatia ratified the Protocol in June and July 2008, respectively, becoming the 9th and 10th parties.
Denmark and Sweden ratified the Protocol in October 2008, making them the 11th and 12th parties.
Lithuania and Belgium ratified the Protocol in March 2009, becoming the 13th and 14th parties.
Albania became the 15th party in June.
France approved the Protocol on 10 July 2009, raising the number of parties over the threshold of 16 needed to bring about entry into force. It was quickly followed by followed by Hungary and the United Kingdom which ratified the instrument on 13 and 31 July 2009, respectively. Czech Republic ratified on 12 August and Romania on 26 August 2009.
Spain ratified the Protocol on 24 September 2009.
Portugal deposited its ratification on 8 October 2009, the day of the Protocol's entry into force.
Please see the online map displaying the Parties and Signatories of the Protocol.
Entry into force
The Protocol became international law binding its Parties on 8 October 2009.
The first meeting of the Parties to the Protocol is tentatively scheduled to be held from 20-22 April 2010 in Geneva.