> product labeling process flowchart
> products subject to Vermont's Labeling Law
> standard labeling requirements
> label visibility requirements
> product labeling guidelines
> alternative labeling
> Certified Labeling Plans
> Certified Labeling Plan Review
> Certified Labeling Plan & Alternative Request forms
> enforcement authority

Products Subject to Vermont's Labeling Law

Items that must be labeled

The Vermont Labeling Law 10 V.S.A. §6621d-- off-site link -- is referred to as the "Mercury-Added Consumer Products" law. According to Section 6-201 in the Mercury Management Rules:

"Mercury-Added Consumer Products means a device or material into which elemental mercury or mercury compounds are intentionally added during its formulations or manufacture and in which the continued presence of mercury is desired to provide a specific characteristic, appearance, or quality, or to perform a specific function."

The products covered under Vermont's labeling law are the following: (individually or as a part of another product)

  • Thermostat
  • Thermometer
  • Switch
  • Medical instrument
  • Scientific instrument
  • Electric relay
  • Electrical device
  • Lamp
  • Battery (other than button battery)

What is meant by the term "component"?

For the purposes of this guidance, a "component" is the mercury-added product that can be incorporated into a larger product, such as a switch or a lamp. Both the "component" and the "larger product that incorporates the component" have requirements under Vermont's labeling law

What is meant by "mercury-added consumer products" as intended by the law and rule?

Other state requirements may differentiate between consumer, industrial and commercial products. Vermont law and rule addresses the product and not the purchaser. Therefore, "mercury-added consumer products" are any mercury added products (listed in the law) which are sold for use in the state of Vermont to any purchaser.

What devices does the Agency interpret as being included in the category of "switches" under the rule and must be labeled?

A switch, by Agency interpretation, is any device, which may be referred to as a switch, sensor, valve, probe, control, or any other apparatus that directly regulates or controls the flow of electricity, gas or other compounds. The term "switch" is interpreted to include all components of the unit necessary to perform its flow-control function and must be labeled if mercury is added to any component of the switch.

Who is responsible?

Title 10 of the Vermont Statutes, Chapter 159, §6621d, states:

"A manufacturer or wholesaler may not sell at retail in this state, to a retailer in this state, or for use in this state, and a retailer may not knowingly sell, any of the following items at retail if they contain mercury added during manufacture, unless the item is labeled."

The law further adds:

"Primary responsibility for affixing labels required under this section shall be on the manufacturer, and not on the wholesaler or retailer."

The following have responsibility to label under Vermont law:

  • The manufacturer of a mercury-added component part (e.g. mercury switch, relay lamp, etc.) has primary responsibility to label their component mercury-added product.
  • Also a manufacturer who incorporates a mercury-added product (component) into a larger product also has responsibility under the law and primary responsibility for their product.
  • Each manufacturer, the component manufacturer and the manufacturer of the larger product that contains the mercury component are responsible to file a labeling plan and to label according to the requirements of the Vermont labeling law.
  • If a manufacturer incorporates a mercury-added component into a larger product and the larger product is sold for use in Vermont, the manufacturer of the larger product should make certain that the component part is labeled (See V.S.A. 10, Chapter 159 §6621(a)-- off-site link --). Manufacturers should advise their component suppliers of the labeling requirements if they find the product is not labeled. These efforts may be documented, (including the suppliers responses), and provided for the manufacturer's file. This information would provide documentation concerning their good-faith effort should a compliance issue be identified with the product.
  • The wholesaler, distributor and retailer of mercury-added products also have responsibility under the law to make certain that mercury-added products that are sold for use in the state of Vermont are labeled prior to sale. Should any of the parties knowingly sell unlabeled mercury-added products or larger products that incorporate mercury-added components, they would be subject to penalties under the law. It is suggested that wholesalers, distributors and retailers notify the manufacturers of mercury-added products for whom they sell in the state of Vermont so that all parties are aware of the requirements of the law and may be in compliance. Such notification would be evidence of a good-faith effort for compliance.

Mercury Education & Reduction Campaign    103 South Main Street    Waterbury, VT 05671    802-241-3455
MERC is a program of the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation

Vermont Agencies & Depts.  |  Access Government 24/7  |  About Vermont.Gov  |  Privacy Policy  |  Ask a ?
A Vermont Government Website Copyright © 2003 State of Vermont - All rights reserved