Czech Republic Non-lead Ammunition
The EU restrictions on lead in ammunition will have a significant impact on the Czech hunting market.
The EU restrictions on lead in ammunition for hunting and fishing used in close distance to wetlands came in force on January 25, 2021. Shortly thereafter, a proposal for further restrictions was published by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) on February 3, 2021. With more than 900,000 registered firearms and 305,452 individual firearms license holders in the Czech Republic, these restrictions will have a significant impact on the recreational ammunition market. The EU Member States have two to three-year transition periods to integrate and implement these restrictions in their national regulations.
The defense sector has taken a different approach. The Czech Minister of Defense (MoD) proposes a national defense exception to the regulation to remain in effect until 2050. MoD supports regular re-evaluation to be conducted to check whether economically and especially technically adequate replacements for the currently used types of ammunition are available. MoD also warns that if local ammunition manufacturers are banned to produce lead ammunition in the EU, they will have to move outside of the EU, which could pose a vulnerability in the security supply chain. MoD assumes that manufacturing of lead ammunition would continue to be allowed for national defense and exports.