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Determined to implement the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution,

Aware  that nitrogen oxides, sulphur, volatile organic compounds and reduced nitrogen compounds have been associated with adverse effects on human health and the environment, 

Concerned that critical loads of acidification, critical loads of nutrient nitrogen and critical levels of ozone for human health and vegetation are still exceeded in many areas of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's region, 

Concerned also that emitted nitrogen oxides, sulphur and volatile organic compounds, as well as secondary pollutants such as ozone and the reaction products of ammonia, are transported in the atmosphere over long distances and may have adverse transboundary effects, 

Recognizing that emissions from Parties within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's region contribute to air pollution on the hemispheric and global scales, and recognizing the potential for transport between continents and the need for further study with regard to that potential,

Recognizing also that Canada and the United States of America are bilaterally negotiating reductions of emissions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds to address the transboundary ozone effect,

Recognizing furthermore that Canada will undertake further reductions of emissions of sulphur by 2010 through the implementation of the Canada-wide Acid Rain Strategy for Post-2000, and that the United States is committed to the implementation of a nitrogen oxides reduction programme in the eastern United States and to the reduction in emissions necessary to meet its national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter,

Resolved to apply a multi-effect, multi-pollutant approach to preventing or minimizing the exceedances of critical loads and levels,

Taking into account the emissions from certain existing activities and installations responsible for present air pollution levels and the development of future activities and installations,

Resolved to take measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize emissions of these substances, taking into account the application of the precautionary approach as set forth in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development,

Reaffirming that States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies, and the responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction,

Conscious of the need for a cost-effective regional approach to combating air pollution that takes account of the variations in effects and abatement costs between countries,

Noting the important contribution of the private and non-governmental sectors to knowledge of the effects associated with these substances and available abatement techniques, and their role in assisting in the reduction of emissions to the atmosphere,

Bearing in mind that measures taken to reduce emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on international competition and trade,

Taking into consideration best available scientific and technical knowledge and data on emissions, atmospheric processes and effects on human health and the environment of these substances, as well as on abatement costs, and acknowledging the need to improve this knowledge and to continue scientific and technical cooperation to further understanding of these issues,

Noting also that under the Protocol on Further Reduction of Sulphur Emissions, adopted at Oslo on 14 June 1994, there is already provision to reduce sulphur emissions in order to contribute to the abatement of acid deposition by diminishing the exceedances of critical sulphur depositions, which have been derived from critical loads of acidity according to the contribution of oxidized sulphur compounds to the total acid deposition in 1990,

Noting furthermore that this Protocol is the first agreement under the Convention to deal specifically with reduced nitrogen compounds,

Bearing in mind that reducing the emissions of these substances may provide additional benefits for the control of other pollutants, including in particular transboundary secondary particulate aerosols, which contribute to human health effects associated with exposure to airborne particulates,

Noting that measures taken to reduce the emissions of nitrogen oxides and ammonia should involve consideration of the full biogeochemical nitrogen cycle and, so far as possible, not increase emissions of reactive nitrogen including nitrous oxide which could aggravate other nitrogen-related problems,

Aware that methane and carbon monoxide emitted by human activities contribute, in the presence of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds, to the formation of tropospheric ozone, and

Aware also of the commitments that Parties have assumed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,

Have agreed as follows:

For the purposes of the present Protocol,

1. "Convention" means the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution, adopted at Geneva on 13 November 1979;

2. "EMEP" means the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe;

3. "Executive Body" means the Executive Body for the Convention constituted under article 10, paragraph 1, of the Convention;

4. "Commission" means the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe;

5. "Parties" means, unless the context otherwise requires, the Parties to the present Protocol;

6. "Geographical scope of EMEP" means the area defined in article 1, paragraph 4, of the Protocol to the 1979 Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution on Long-term Financing of the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP), adopted at Geneva on 28 September 1984;

7. "Emission" means the release of a substance from a point or diffuse source into the atmosphere;

8. "Nitrogen oxides" means nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, expressed as nitrogen dioxide (NO2);

9. "Reduced nitrogen compounds" means ammonia and its reaction products;

10. "Sulphur" means all sulphur compounds, expressed as sulphur dioxide (SO2);

11. "Volatile organic compounds", or "VOCs", means, unless otherwise specified, all organic compounds of an anthropogenic nature, other than methane, that are capable of producing photochemical oxidants by reaction with nitrogen oxides in the presence of sunlight;

12. "Critical load" means a quantitative estimate of an exposure to one or more pollutants below which significant harmful effects on specified sensitive elements of the environment do not occur, according to present knowledge;

13. "Critical levels" means concentrations of pollutants in the atmosphere above which direct adverse effects on receptors, such as human beings, plants, ecosystems or materials, may occur, according to present knowledge;

14. "Pollutant emissions management area", or "PEMA", means an area designated in annex III under the conditions laid down in article 3, paragraph 9;

15. "Stationary source" means any fixed building, structure, facility, installation or equipment that emits or may emit sulphur, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds or ammonia directly or indirectly into the atmosphere;

16. "New stationary source" means any stationary source of which the construction or substantial modification is commenced after the expiry of one year from the date of entry into force of the present Protocol. It shall be a matter for the competent national authorities to decide whether a modification is substantial or not, taking into account such factors as the environmental benefits of the modification.

The objective of the present Protocol is to control and reduce emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds that are caused by anthropogenic activities and are likely to cause adverse effects on human health, natural ecosystems, materials and crops, due to acidification, eutrophication or ground-level ozone as a result of long-range transboundary atmospheric transport, and to ensure, as far as possible, that in the long term and in a stepwise approach, taking into account advances in scientific knowledge, atmospheric depositions or concentrations do not exceed:

(a) For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP and Canada, the critical loads of acidity, as described in annex I;

(b) For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP, the critical loads of nutrient nitrogen, as described in annex I; and

(c) For ozone:

(i) For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP, the critical levels of ozone, as given in annex I;

(ii) For Canada, the Canada-wide Standard for ozone; and

(iii) For the United States of America, the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone.

Each Party having an emission ceiling in any table in annex II shall reduce and maintain the reduction in its annual emissions in accordance with that ceiling and the timescales specified in that annex. Each Party shall, as a minimum, control its annual emissions of polluting compounds in accordance with the obligations in annex II.

2. Each Party shall apply the limit values specified in annexes IV, V and VI to each new stationary source within a stationary source category as identified in those annexes, no later than the timescales specified in annex VII. As an alternative, a Party may apply different emission reduction strategies that achieve equivalent overall emission levels for all source categories together.

3. Each Party shall, in so far as it is technically and economically feasible and taking into consideration the costs and advantages, apply the limit values specified in annexes IV, V and VI to each existing stationary source within a stationary source category as identified in those annexes, no later than the timescales specified in annex VII. As an alternative, a Party may apply different emission reduction strategies that achieve equivalent overall emission levels for all source categories together or, for Parties outside the geographical scope of EMEP, that are necessary to achieve national or regional goals for acidification abatement and to meet national air quality standards

4. Limit values for new and existing boilers and process heaters with a rated thermal input exceeding 50 MWth and new heavy-duty vehicles shall be evaluated by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body with a view to amending annexes IV, V and VIII no later than two years after the date of entry into force of the present Protocol.

5. Each Party shall apply the limit values for the fuels and new mobile sources identified in annex VIII, no later than the timescales specified in annex VII.

6. Each Party should apply best available techniques to mobile sources and to each new or existing stationary source, taking into account guidance documents I to V adopted by the Executive Body at its seventeenth session (decision 1999/1) and any amendments thereto.

7. Each Party shall take appropriate measures based, inter alia, on scientific and economic criteria to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds associated with the use of products not included in annex VI or VIII. The Parties shall, no later than at the second session of the Executive Body after the entry into force of the present Protocol, consider with a view to adopting an annex on products, including criteria for the selection of such products, limit values for the volatile organic compound content of products not included in annex VI or VIII, as well as timescales for the application of the limit values.

8. Each Party shall, subject to paragraph 10:

(a) Apply, as a minimum, the ammonia control measures specified in annex IX; and

(b) Apply, where it considers it appropriate, best available techniques for preventing and reducing ammonia emissions, as listed in guidance document V adopted by the Executive Body at its seventeenth session (decision 1999/1) and any amendments thereto.

9. Paragraph 10 shall apply to any Party:

(a) Whose total land area is greater than 2 million square kilometres;

(b) Whose annual emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and/or volatile organic compounds contributing to acidification, eutrophication or ozone formation in areas under the jurisdiction of one or more other Parties originate predominantly from within an area under its jurisdiction that is listed as a PEMA in annex III, and which has presented documentation in accordance with subparagraph (c) to this effect;

(c) Which has submitted upon signature, ratification, acceptance or approval of, or accession to, the present Protocol a description of the geographical scope of one or more PEMAs for one or more pollutants, with supporting documentation, for inclusion in annex III; and

(d) Which has specified upon signature, ratification, acceptance or approval of, or accession to, the present Protocol its intention to act in accordance with this paragraph.

10. A Party to which this paragraph applies shall:

(a) If within the geographical scope of EMEP, be required to comply with the provisions of this article and annex II only within the relevant PEMA for each pollutant for which a PEMA within its jurisdiction is included in annex III; or

(b) If not within the geographical scope of EMEP, be required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7 and annex II, only within the relevant PEMA for each pollutant (nitrogen oxides, sulphur and/or volatile organic compounds) for which a PEMA within its jurisdiction is included in annex III, and shall not be required to comply with paragraph 8 anywhere within its jurisdiction.

11. Canada and the United States of America shall, upon their ratification, acceptance or approval of, or accession to, the present Protocol, submit to the Executive Body their respective emission reduction commitments with respect to sulphur, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds for automatic incorporation into annex II.

12. The Parties shall, subject to the outcome of the first review provided for under article 10, paragraph 2, and no later than one year after completion of that review, commence negotiations on further obligations to reduce emissions.

1. Each Party shall, in a manner consistent with its laws, regulations and practices and in accordance with its obligations in the present Protocol, create favourable conditions to facilitate the exchange of information, technologies and techniques, with the aim of reducing emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds by promoting inter alia:

(a) The development and updating of databases on best available techniques, including those that increase energy efficiency, low-emission burners and good environmental practice in agriculture;

(b) The exchange of information and experience in the development of less polluting transport systems;

(c) Direct industrial contacts and cooperation, including joint ventures; and

(d) The provision of technical assistance.

2. In promoting the activities specified in paragraph 1, each Party shall create favourable conditions for the facilitation of contacts and cooperation among appropriate organizations and individuals in the private and public sectors that are capable of providing technology, design and engineering services, equipment or finance.

1. Each Party shall, in a manner consistent with its laws, regulations and practices, promote the provision of information to the general public, including information on:

(a) National annual emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds and progress towards compliance with the national emission ceilings or other obligations referred to in article 3;

(b) Depositions and concentrations of the relevant pollutants and, where applicable, these depositions and concentrations in relation to critical loads and levels referred to in article 2;

(c) Levels of tropospheric ozone; and

(d) Strategies and measures applied or to be applied to reduce air pollution problems dealt with in the present Protocol and set out in article 6.

2. Furthermore, each Party may make information widely available to the public with a view to minimizing emissions, including information on:

(a) Less polluting fuels, renewable energy and energy efficiency, including their use in transport;

(b) Volatile organic compounds in products, including labelling;

(c) Management options for wastes containing volatile organic compounds that are generated by the public;

(d) Good agricultural practices to reduce emissions of ammonia;

(e) Health and environmental effects associated with the pollutants covered by the present Protocol; and

(f) Steps which individuals and industries may take to help reduce emissions of the pollutants covered by the present Protocol.

1. Each Party shall, as necessary and on the basis of sound scientific and economic criteria, in order to facilitate the implementation of its obligations under article 3:

(a) Adopt supporting strategies, policies and programmes without undue delay after the present Protocol enters into force for it;

(b) Apply measures to control and reduce its emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds;

(c) Apply measures to encourage the increase of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy;

(d) Apply measures to decrease the use of polluting fuels;

(e) Develop and introduce less polluting transport systems and promote traffic management systems to reduce overall emissions from road traffic;

(f) Apply measures to encourage the development and introduction of low-polluting processes and products, taking into account guidance documents I to V adopted by the Executive Body at its seventeenth session (decision 1999/1) and any amendments thereto;

(g) Encourage the implementation of management programmes to reduce emissions, including voluntary programmes, and the use of economic instruments, taking into account guidance document VI adopted by the Executive Body at its seventeenth session (decision 1999/1) and any amendments thereto;

(h) Implement and further elaborate policies and measures in accordance with its national circumstances, such as the progressive reduction or phasing-out of market imperfections, fiscal incentives, tax and duty exemptions and subsidies in all sectors that emit sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds which run counter to the objective of the Protocol, and apply market instruments; and

(i) Apply measures, where cost-effective, to reduce emissions from waste products containing volatile organic compounds.

2. Each Party shall collect and maintain information on:

(a) Actual levels of emissions of sulphur, nitrogen compounds and volatile organic compounds, and of ambient concentrations and depositions of these compounds and ozone, taking into account, for those Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP, the work plan of EMEP; and

(b) The effects of ambient concentrations and of the deposition of sulphur, nitrogen compounds, volatile organic compounds and ozone on human health, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and materials.

3. Any Party may take more stringent measures than those required by the present Protocol.

1. Subject to its laws and regulations and in accordance with its obligations under the present Protocol:

(a) Each Party shall report, through the Executive Secretary of the Commission, to the Executive Body, on a periodic basis as determined by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body, information on the measures that it has taken to implement the present Protocol. Moreover:

(i) Where a Party applies different emission reduction strategies under article 3, paragraphs 2 and 3, it shall document the strategies applied and its compliance with the requirements of those paragraphs;

(ii) Where a Party judges certain limit values, as specified in accordance with article 3, paragraph 3, not to be technically and economically feasible, taking into consideration the costs and advantages, it shall report and justify this;

(b) Each Party within the geographical scope of EMEP shall report, through the Executive Secretary of the Commission, to EMEP, on a periodic basis to be determined by the Steering Body of EMEP and approved by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body, the following information:

(i) Levels of emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds using, as a minimum, the methodologies and the temporal and spatial resolution specified by the Steering Body of EMEP;

(ii) Levels of emissions of each substance in the reference year (1990) using the same methodologies and temporal and spatial resolution;

(iii) Data on projected emissions and current reduction plans; and

(iv) Where it deems it appropriate, any exceptional circumstances justifying emissions that are temporarily higher than the ceilings established for it for one or more pollutants; and

(c) Parties in areas outside the geographical scope of EMEP shall make available information similar to that specified in subparagraph (b), if requested to do so by the Executive Body.

2. The information to be reported in accordance with paragraph 1 (a) shall be in conformity with a decision regarding format and content to be adopted by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body. The terms of this decision shall be reviewed as necessary to identify any additional elements regarding the format or the content of the information that is to be included in the reports.

3. In good time before each annual session of the Executive Body, EMEP shall provide information on:

(a) Ambient concentrations and depositions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds as well as, where available, ambient concentrations of volatile organic compounds and ozone; and

(b) Calculations of sulphur and oxidized and reduced nitrogen budgets and relevant information on the long-range transport of ozone and its precursors.

Parties in areas outside the geographical scope of EMEP shall make available similar information if requested to do so by the Executive Body.

4. The Executive Body shall, in accordance with article 10, paragraph 2 (b), of the Convention, arrange for the preparation of information on the effects of depositions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds and concentrations of ozone.

5. The Parties shall, at sessions of the Executive Body, arrange for the preparation, at regular intervals, of revised information on calculated and internationally optimized allocations of emission reductions for the States within the geographical scope of EMEP, using integrated assessment models, including atmospheric transport models, with a view to reducing further, for the purposes of article 3, paragraph 1, the difference between actual depositions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds and critical load values as well as the difference between actual ozone concentrations and the critical levels of ozone specified in annex I, or such alternative assessment methods as approved by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body.

The Parties shall encourage research, development, monitoring and cooperation related to:

(a) The international harmonization of methods for the calculation and assessment of the adverse effects associated with the substances addressed by the present Protocol for use in establishing critical loads and critical levels and, as appropriate, the elaboration of procedures for such harmonization;

(b) The improvement of emission databases, in particular those on ammonia and volatile organic compounds;

(c) The improvement of monitoring techniques and systems and of the modelling of transport, concentrations and depositions of sulphur, nitrogen compounds and volatile organic compounds, as well as of the formation of ozone and secondary particulate matter;

(d) The improvement of the scientific understanding of the long-term fate of emissions and their impact on the hemispheric background concentrations of sulphur, nitrogen, volatile organic compounds, ozone and particulate matter, focusing, in particular, on the chemistry of the free troposphere and the potential for intercontinental flow of pollutants;

(e) The further elaboration of an overall strategy to reduce the adverse effects of acidification, eutrophication and photochemical pollution, including synergisms and combined effects;

(f) Strategies for the further reduction of emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds based on critical loads and critical levels as well as on technical developments, and the improvement of integrated assessment modelling to calculate internationally optimized allocations of emission reductions taking into account the need to avoid excessive costs for any Party. Special emphasis should be given to emissions from agriculture and transport;

(g) The identification of trends over time and the scientific understanding of the wider effects of sulphur, nitrogen and volatile organic compounds and photochemical pollution on human health, including their contribution to concentrations of particulate matter, the environment, in particular acidification and eutrophication, and materials, especially historic and cultural monuments, taking into account the relationship between sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, ammonia, volatile organic compounds and tropospheric ozone;

(h) Emission abatement technologies, and technologies and techniques to improve energy efficiency, energy conservation and the use of renewable energy;

(i) The efficacy of ammonia control techniques for farms and their impact on local and regional deposition;

(j) The management of transport demand and the development and promotion of less polluting modes of transport;

(k) The quantification and, where possible, economic evaluation of benefits for the environment and human health resulting from the reduction of emissions of sulphur, nitrogen oxides, ammonia and volatile organic compounds; and

(l) The development of tools for making the methods and results of this work widely applicable and available.

Compliance by each Party with its obligations under the present Protocol shall be reviewed regularly. The Implementation Committee established by decision 1997/2 of the Executive Body at its fifteenth session shall carry out such reviews and report to the Parties at a session of the Executive Body in accordance with the terms of the annex to that decision, including any amendments thereto.

1. The Parties shall, at sessions of the Executive Body, pursuant to article 10, paragraph 2 (a), of the Convention, review the information supplied by the Parties, EMEP and subsidiary bodies of the Executive Body, the data on the effects of concentrations and depositions of sulphur and nitrogen compounds and of photochemical pollution as well as the reports of the Implementation Committee referred to in article 9 above.

2. (a) The Parties shall, at sessions of the Executive Body, keep under review the obligations set out in the present Protocol, including:

(i) Their obligations in relation to their calculated and internationally optimized allocations of emission reductions referred to in article 7, paragraph 5, above; and

(ii) The adequacy of the obligations and the progress made towards the achievement of the objective of the present Protocol;

(b) Reviews shall take into account the best available scientific information on the effects of acidification, eutrophication and photochemical pollution, including assessments of all relevant health effects, critical levels and loads, the development and refinement of integrated assessment models, technological developments, changing economic conditions, progress made on the databases on emissions and abatement techniques, especially related to ammonia and volatile organic compounds, and the fulfilment of the obligations on emission levels;

(c) The procedures, methods and timing for such reviews shall be specified by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body. The first such review shall commence no later than one year after the present Protocol enters into force.

1. In the event of a dispute between any two or more Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present Protocol, the parties concerned shall seek a settlement of the dispute through negotiation or any other peaceful means of their own choice. The parties to the dispute shall inform the Executive Body of their dispute.

2. When ratifying, accepting, approving or acceding to the present Protocol, or at any time thereafter, a Party which is not a regional economic integration organization may declare in a written instrument submitted to the Depositary that, in respect of any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of the Protocol, it recognizes one or both of the following means of dispute settlement as compulsory ipso facto and without special agreement, in relation to any Party accepting the same obligation:

(a) Submission of the dispute to the International Court of Justice;

(b) Arbitration in accordance with procedures to be adopted by the Parties at a session of the Executive Body, as soon as practicable, in an annex on arbitration.

A Party which is a regional economic integration organization may make a declaration with like effect in relation to arbitration in accordance with the procedures referred to in subparagraph (b).

3. A declaration made under paragraph 2 shall remain in force until it expires in accordance with its terms or until three months after written notice of its revocation has been deposited with the Depositary.

4. A new declaration, a notice of revocation or the expiry of a declaration shall not in any way affect proceedings pending before the International Court of Justice or the arbitral tribunal, unless the parties to the dispute agree otherwise.

5. Except in a case where the parties to a dispute have accepted the same means of dispute settlement under paragraph 2, if after twelve months following notification by one party to another that a dispute exists between them, the parties concerned have not been able to settle their dispute through the means mentioned in paragraph 1, the dispute shall be submitted, at the request of any of the parties to the dispute, to conciliation.

6. For the purpose of paragraph 5, a conciliation commission shall be created. The commission shall be composed of an equal number of members appointed by each party concerned or, where parties in conciliation share the same interest, by the group sharing that interest, and a chairperson chosen jointly by the members so appointed. The commission shall render a recommendatory award, which the parties to the dispute shall consider in good faith.

The annexes to the present Protocol shall form an integral part of the Protocol.

1. Any Party may propose amendments to the present Protocol. Any Party to the Convention may propose an adjustment to annex II to the present Protocol to add to it its name, together with emission levels, emission ceilings and percentage emission reductions.

2. Proposed amendments and adjustments shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Secretary of the Commission, who shall communicate them to all Parties. The Parties shall discuss the proposed amendments and adjustments at the next session of the Executive Body, provided that those proposals have been circulated by the Executive Secretary to the Parties at least ninety days in advance.

3. Amendments to the present Protocol, including amendments to annexes II to IX, shall be adopted by consensus of the Parties present at a session of the Executive Body, and shall enter into force for the Parties which have accepted them on the ninetieth day after the date on which two thirds of the Parties have deposited with the Depositary their instruments of acceptance thereof. Amendments shall enter into force for any other Party on the ninetieth day after the date on which that Party has deposited its instrument of acceptance thereof.

4. Amendments to the annexes to the present Protocol, other than to the annexes referred to in paragraph 3, shall be adopted by consensus of the Parties present at a session of the Executive Body. On the expiry of ninety days from the date of its communication to all Parties by the Executive Secretary of the Commission, an amendment to any such annex shall become effective for those Parties which have not submitted to the Depositary a notification in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 5, provided that at least sixteen Parties have not submitted such a notification.

5. Any Party that is unable to approve an amendment to an annex, other than to an annex referred to in paragraph 3, shall so notify the Depositary in writing within ninety days from the date of the communication of its adoption. The Depositary shall without delay notify all Parties of any such notification received. A Party may at any time substitute an acceptance for its previous notification and, upon deposit of an instrument of acceptance with the Depositary, the amendment to such an annex shall become effective for that Party.

1. The present Protocol shall be open for signature at Gothenburg (Sweden) on 30 November and 1 December 1999, then at United Nations Headquarters in New York until 30 May 2000, by States members of the Commission as well as States having consultative status with the Commission, pursuant to paragraph 8 of Economic and Social Council resolution 36 (IV) of 28 March 1947, and by regional economic integration organizations, constituted by sovereign States members of the Commission, which have competence in respect of the negotiation, conclusion and application of international agreements in matters covered by the Protocol, provided that the States and organizations concerned are Parties to the Convention and are listed in annex II.

2. In matters within their competence, such regional economic integration organizations shall, on their own behalf, exercise the rights and fulfil the responsibilities which the present Protocol attributes to their member States. In such cases, the member States of these organizations shall not be entitled to exercise such rights individually.

1. The present Protocol shall be subject to ratification, acceptance or approval by Signatories

2. The present Protocol shall be open for accession as from 31 May 2000 by the States and organizations that meet the requirements of article 14, paragraph 1.

3. The instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall be deposited with the Depositary.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations shall be the Depositary.

1. The present Protocol shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date on which the sixteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession has been deposited with the Depositary.

2. For each State and organization that meets the requirements of article 14, paragraph 1, which ratifies, accepts or approves the present Protocol or accedes thereto after the deposit of the sixteenth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, the Protocol shall enter into force on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit by such Party of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.

At any time after five years from the date on which the present Protocol has come into force with respect to a Party, that Party may withdraw from it by giving written notification to the Depositary. Any such withdrawal shall take effect on the ninetieth day following the date of its receipt by the Depositary, or on such later date as may be specified in the notification of the withdrawal.

The original of the present Protocol, of which the English, French and Russian texts are equally authentic, shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto, have signed the present Protocol.

DONE at Gothenburg (Sweden), this thirtieth day of November one thousand nine hundred and ninety-nine.

I. Critical loads of acidity

A. For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP

1. Critical loads (as defined in article 1) of acidity for ecosystems are determined in accordance with the Convention's Manual on Methodologies and Criteria for Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends. They are the maximum amount of acidifying deposition an ecosystem can tolerate in the long term without being damaged. Critical loads of acidity in terms of nitrogen take account of within-ecosystem nitrogen removal processes (e.g. uptake by plants). Critical loads of acidity in terms of sulphur are loads that — in the long term — will not cause adverse effects to the structure and functions of ecosystems, such as uptake by vegetation. A combined sulphur and nitrogen critical load of acidity considers nitrogen only when the nitrogen deposition is greater than the ecosystem nitrogen removal processes. All critical loads reported by Parties, and approved by the Executive Body, are summarized for use in the integrated assessment modelling employed to provide guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments in annex II.

B. For Parties in North America

2. In Canada, critical acid deposition loads and geographical areas where they are exceeded are determined and mapped for lakes and upland forest ecosystems using scientific methodologies and criteria similar to those in the Convention’s Manual on Methodologies and Criteria for Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends. Critical load values for total sulphur plus nitrogen and exceedance levels have been mapped across Canada (south of 60° N latitude) and are expressed in acid equivalents per hectare per year (eq/ha/yr) (2004 Canadian Acid Deposition Science Assessment; 2008 Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment). The province of Alberta has also adapted the generic critical load classification systems used for soils in Europe for potential acidity to define soils as highly sensitive, moderately sensitive and not sensitive to acidic deposition. Critical, target and monitoring loads are defined for each soil class and management actions are prescribed as per the Alberta Acid Deposition Management Framework, as appropriate. 

3. These loads and effects are used in integrated assessment activities, including providing data for international efforts to assess ecosystem response to loading of acidifying compounds, and provide guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments for Canada in annex II.

4. For the United States of America, the effects of acidification are evaluated through an assessment of the sensitivity and response of ecosystems to the loading of acidifying compounds, using peer-reviewed scientific methodologies and criteria, and accounting for the uncertainties associated with nitrogen cycling processes within ecosystems. Adverse impacts on vegetation and ecosystems are then considered in establishing secondary national ambient air quality standards for NOx and SO2. Integrated assessment modelling and the air quality standards are used in providing guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments for the United States of America in annex II.

II. Critical loads of nutrient nitrogen

A. For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP

5. Critical loads (as defined in article 1) of nutrient nitrogen (eutrophication) for ecosystems are determined in accordance with the Convention’s Manual on Methodologies and Criteria for Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends. They are the maximum amount of eutrophying nitrogen deposition that — in the long term — will not cause adverse effects to the structure and functions of ecosystems. All critical loads reported by Parties are summarized for use in the integrated assessment modelling employed to provide guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments in annex II.

B. For Parties in North America

5 bis. For the United States of America, the effects of nutrient nitrogen (eutrophication) for ecosystems are evaluated through an assessment of the sensitivity and response of ecosystems to the loading of nitrogen compounds, using peer-reviewed scientific methodologies and criteria, and accounting for uncertainties associated with nitrogen cycling within ecosystems. Adverse impacts on vegetation and ecosystems are then considered in establishing secondary national ambient air quality standards for NOx. Integrated assessment modelling and the air quality standards are used in providing guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments for the United States of America in annex II.

III. Critical levels of ozone

A. For Parties within the geographical scope of EMEP

6. Critical levels (as defined in article 1) of ozone are determined to protect plants in accordance with the Convention’s Manual on Methodologies and Criteria for Modelling and Mapping Critical Loads and Levels and Air Pollution Effects, Risks and Trends. They are expressed in terms of the cumulative value of either stomatal fluxes or concentrations at the top of the canopy. Critical levels are preferably based on stomatal fluxes, as these are considered more biologically relevant since they take into account the modifying effect of climate, soil and plant factors on the uptake of ozone by vegetation.

7. Critical levels of ozone have been derived for a number of species of crops, (semi-)natural vegetation and forest trees. The critical levels selected are related to the most important environmental effects, e.g., loss of security of food supplies, loss of carbon storage in the living biomass of trees and additional adverse effects on forest and (semi-)natural ecosystems.

8. The critical level of ozone for human health is determined in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) air quality guidelines to protect human health from a wide range of health effects, including increased risk of premature death and morbidity.

B. For Parties in North America

9. For Canada, it is understood that there is no lower threshold for human health effects from ozone. That is, adverse effects have been observed at all ozone concentrations experienced in Canada. The Canadian Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone was set to aid management efforts nationally, and by jurisdictions, to significantly reduce the effects on human health and the environment.

10. For the United States of America, critical levels are established in the form of primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards for ozone in order to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety and to protect public welfare, including vegetation, from any known or expected adverse effects. Integrated assessment modelling and the air quality standards are used in providing guidance for setting the emission reduction commitments for the United States of America in annex II. 

(AMENDED DECEMBER 2005)

The emission ceilings listed in the tables below relate to the provisions of article 3, paragraphs 1 and 10, of the present Protocol. The 1980 and 1990 emission levels and the percentage emission reductions listed are given for information purposes only.

Table 1. Emission ceilings for sulphur (thousands of tonnes of SO2 per year)

Party Emission levels Emission ceilings for 2010 Percentage emission reductions for 2010 (base year 1990)
1980 1990
Armenia 141 73 73 0%
Austria 400 91 39 -57%
Belarus 740 637 480 -25%
Belgium 828 372 106 -72%
Bulgaria 2050 2008 856 -57%
Canada national a/ 4643 3236    
PEMA (SOMA) 3135 1873    
Croatia 150 180 70 -61%
Cyprus d/ 28 46 39 -15%
Czech Republic 2257 1876 283 -85%
Denmark 450 182 55 -70%
Finland 584 260 116 -55%
France 3208 1269 400 -68%
Germany 7514 5313 550 -90%
Greece 400 509 546 7%
Hungary 1633 1010 550 -46%
Ireland 222 178 42 -76%
Italy 3757 1651 500 -70%
Latvia - 119 107 -10%
Liechtenstein 0.39 0.15 0.11 -27%
Lithuania 311 222 145 -35%
Luxembourg 24 15 4 -73%
Netherlands 490 202 50 -75%
Norway 137 53 22 -58%
Poland 4100 3210 1397 -56%
Portugal 266 362 170 -53%
Republic of Moldova 308 265 135 -49%
Romania 1055 1311 918 -30%
Russian Federation b/ 7161 4460    
PEMA 1062 1133 635 -44%
Slovakia 780 543 110 -80%
Slovenia 235 194 27 -86%
Spain b/ 2959 2182 774 -65%
Sweden 491 119 67 -44%
Switzerland 116 43 26 -40%
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia f/ - 139.7 110 -21%
Ukraine 3849 2782 1457 -48%
United Kingdom 4863 3731 625 -83%
United States of America c/ - 20875 d/ d/ d/
European Community 26456 16436 4059 -75%
 

The following PEMA is listed for the purpose of the present Protocol:

Russian Federation PEMA

This is the area of Murmansk oblast, the Republic of Karelia, Leningrad oblast (including St. Petersburg), Pskov oblast, Novgorod oblast and Kaliningrad oblast. The boundary of the PEMA coincides with the State and administrative boundaries of these constituent entities of the Russian Federation.

1. Section A applies to Parties other than Canada and the United States of America, section B applies to Canada and section C applies to the United States of America.

A. Parties other than Canada and the United States of America

2. For the purpose of section A, except table 2 and paragraphs 11 and 12, limit value means the quantity of a gaseous substance contained in the waste gases from an installation that is not to be exceeded. Unless otherwise specified, it shall be calculated in terms of mass of pollutant per volume of the waste gases (expressed as mg/m3), assuming standard conditions for temperature and pressure for dry gas (volume at 273.15 K, 101.3 kPa). With regard to the oxygen content of the exhaust gas, the values given in the tables below for each source category shall apply. Dilution for the purpose of lowering concentrations of pollutants in waste gases is not permitted. Start-up, shutdown and maintenance of equipment are excluded.

3. Emissions shall be monitored 1/in all cases. Compliance with limit values shall be verified. The methods of verification can include continuous or discontinuous measurements, type approval, or any other technically sound method.

4. Sampling and analysis of pollutants, as well as reference measurement methods to calibrate any measurement system, shall be carried out in accordance with the standards laid down by the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) or by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). While awaiting the development of CEN or ISO standards, national standards shall apply.

5. Measurements of emissions should be carried out continuously when emissions of SO2 exceed 75 kg/h.

6. In the case of continuous measurement for new plant, compliance with the emission standards is achieved if the calculated daily mean values do not exceed the limit value and if no hourly value exceeds the limit value by 100%.

7. In the case of continuous measurements for existing plant, compliance with the emission standards is achieved if (a) none of the monthly mean values exceeds the limit values; and (b) 97% of all the 48-hour mean values do not exceed 110% of the limit values.

8. In the case of discontinuous measurements, as a minimum requirement, compliance with the emission standards is achieved if the mean value based on an appropriate number of measurements under representative conditions does not exceed the value of the emission standard.

9. Boilers and process heaters with a rated thermal input exceeding 50 MWth:

  • Last updated: 08 Mar 2016