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Introduction

Kiev Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers 

Entry into force

The Protocol became international law binding its Parties on 8 October 2009. The first session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol was held on 20-22 April 2010 in Geneva, Switzerland, the second session on 3-4 July 2014 in Maastricht, Netherlands.

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 of coherent, 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 significant downward pressure on levels of pollution, as no company will want to be identified as among the biggest polluters.

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 the United Nations to which their member States have transferred competence over matters governed by this Protocol (articles 24 and 26).

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.

As of 7 January 2014, the Protocol has been ratified by 32 countries and the European Union.

See also the history of the negotiation of the Protocol, including source documents.