The Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism (MOIC) of the Kingdom of Bahrain has issued BHR/621, its “Draft Ministerial Order regarding banning single-use plastic bags with thickness less than 35 microns in the Bahraini market” (“Draft”). The Draft was published on 17 March 2022 in the Official Gazette. The only exemptions from this Draft at present will be certain bags used for medical purposes and bags manufactured to be exported from the Kingdom. Interestingly, the Draft does not contain a proposed entry-into-force date, so the timing of implementation is uncertain.
BHR/621 is merely two pages in length in its official Arabic form and contains only four Articles. Article 1 addresses single-use medical bags, one of the two types of bags to which the Draft applies, while Article 2 speaks to single-use plastic bags manufactured for the purpose of export. Article 3 directs that any fines to be assessed for violating the Draft (once it becomes Law) are governed by those penalties stipulated in Law No. (9) of 2016 “Concerning Specifications and Measurements”. Law No. (9) of 2016 consists of 22 articles and aims to ensure the health and safety of the consumers and protection of the environment by making sure that goods, products and services comply with technical regulations. Thus, the Draft does not add new penalties for non-compliance; rather, it directs regulators to an existing piece of legislation for determination. Finally, Article 4 is left “open” to include the implementation date once the Draft is passed in final form.