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The EC is planning to introduce restrictions to the marketing and use of mercury in all measuring equipment for both consumer and professional uses. The draft legislation that could come into force in 2010 was widely reported to pose a serious threat to the trade in barometers, thermometers and other meters that use mercury or other dangerous chemicals.

However, an amendment to the proposals has been inserted in which antiques are designated as exceptions.

Paragraph 18 of the draft report states that “exemptions should apply to the rare cases of maintenance of traditional barometers, museum collections and industrial heritage.”