Chromium is a controversial element, since it has been classified as essential trace element, to chemically and biologically inert compound, to potent intoxicator. Concerns have been risen for chromium effects on human and aquatic life because chromium has been accused for genotoxicity and carcinogenesis. Metals and their ions or complexes (and thus chromium substances) are included in the indicative list of main pollutants (Annex VIII of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC)). Biological effects of chromium are strongly depended on chromium speciation. No universal CrIII or CrVI discharge limits to the aquatic environment have been suggested by the EU. International bodies within the EU, such as the Helsinki Commission and the Oslo-Paris Convention, have issued recommendations on chromium discharge levels. National CrVI and CrIII discharge limits vary in each EU Member State with respect to the receiving water body (marine water, lake, river, sewer system). The maximum discharge limit to the aquatic environment in EU is 1 and 5 mg L-1 for CrVI and Crtotal, respectively. The present work summarizes EU legislation, with respect to the discharge limits to the aquatic environment for CrVI and CrIII. EU national limits that are currently effective are presented and compared to the limits in other parts of the world, such as Australia, Asia, USA, Latin America and South Africa. It is wise that future perspective of chromium policy should differentiate between CrIII and CrVI discharge limits to the aquatic environment, as analytical techniques become more sensitive and chromium speciation specific, and environmental awareness rises. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.