Products Subject to Vermont's Labeling Law
Items that must be labeled
The Vermont Labeling
Law 10 V.S.A. §6621d 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)
- Medical instrument
- Scientific instrument
- Electric relay
- Electrical device
- 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
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
- 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)). 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.