Swedish rules on ammunition containing lead

Sweden has had a ban on the use of lead shot ammunition for hunting in wetlands since 2006. The EU has introduced a similar ban that is more extensive than the national rules. The aim of the ban is to reduce the presence of lead in the environment throughout the EU.

New EU rules on lead in gunshot in or around wetlands

From 16 February 2023, the use of lead in gunshot for shooting in wetlands will be banned in the EU. The new rules mean that it is prohibited

  • to discharge gunshot containing a concentration of lead (expressed as metal) equal to or greater than 1% by weight within wetlands or within 100 metres of a wetland
  • carry such gunshot when shooting in wetlands or on the way to or from shooting in wetlands.

The definition of what constitutes a wetland is more extensive in the new EU ban than in the Swedish provisions.

The EU rules replace the Swedish regulation on hunting with lead in gunshot in wetlands.

Read more about the new EU rules on lead in gunshot ammunition (in Swedish only).

National rules on ammunition containing lead

In Sweden there are additional ammunition containing lead. These rules prohibit the use of lead shot in non-hunting shooting, such as sport shooting. However, there are excemptions to the ban in 14 c § of the Ordinance (1998:944) if there are no acceptable lead-free alternatives for use, for example in shooting tests for hunters' exams.

Read about the prohibition in the Prohibitions in Certain Cases in Connection with the Handling, Import and Export of Chemical Products Ordinance (1998:944), 14 a-d §§ (in Swedish only). External link.

Lead shot may also be used in certain international shooting disciplines, according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's regulations.

The exemption for certain international shooting disciplines is contained in the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's regulations NFS 2010:9, § 21 a (in Swedish only). External link.

Purpose of the ban on lead in ammunition

Lead is a metal that can cause injury to the nervous system and result in impaired intellectual development and performance. Lead can cause injury even in very small doses, especially to the brain during fetal development and to infants. There are also significant environmental risks when lead is released into the environment, such as when hunting with the use of lead ammunition. Since sea birds can easily ingest shot, there are strong environmental reasons for not having lead in ammunition that is used in wetlands.

Last published 12 September 2023