Little Pro on 2016-01-07
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is an international treaty promoting shared responsibility between exporting and importing countries in protecting human health and the environment from certain banned or restricted hazardous chemicals and pesticides, and providing a mechanism for the exchange of information about potentially hazardous chemicals.
The Convention was adopted on 10 September 1998 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and entered into force on 24 February 2004. More than 150 countries have ratified the convention. The table below gives you an overview of the Convention.
The chemicals listed in Annex III include pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by two or more Parties. They are subject to Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure.
There are a total of 53 chemicals listed in Annex III, 36 are pesticides (including 5 severely hazardous pesticide formulations) and 15 industrial chemicals.
It shall be noted that a mixture containing above annex III chemicals may also be regarded as listed in Annex III. You need to consult the HS code of the mixture to determine whether it is restricted or banned. To download the complete list of Annex III chemicals with CAS numbers and HS codes, please click here.
Annex III is not a static list. The following chemicals are recommended for further listings in the Annex III:
Parties to the Convention have their own lists of hazardous chemicals banned or restricted from import and export. Such lists usually contain more chemicals than those listed in Annex III. For a hazardous chemical that is not listed on Annex III but is banned or restricted in exporting party, certain information must be exchanged between the exporting and importing party. Pease refer to information exchange part for more info.
For chemicals listed in Annex III, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure must be followed. Once a chemical is included in Annex III, a "decision guidance document" (DGD) containing information concerning the chemical and the regulatory decisions to ban or severely restrict the chemical for health or environmental reasons, is circulated to all Parties.
Parties have 9 months to prepare a response concerning the future import of the chemical. The import response can consist of either a final decision (to allow import of the chemical, not to allow import, or to allow import subject to specified conditions) or an interim response.
The import decisions are circulated via PIC circular every 6 months and exporting country Parties are obligated under the Convention to take appropriate measure to ensure that exporters within its jurisdiction comply with the decisions.
The import decisions for each Annex III chemical by each party can be found here.
In addition to mandating the PIC procedure for Annex III chemicals, the Convention promotes the exchange of information on a very broad range of hazardous chemicals including those not included in Annex III yet. It calls on the exporters of those hazardous chemicals to make use of proper labelling, include directions on safe handling, and inform importers of any known restrictions or bans.
It does so through:
The Rotterdam Convention mainly deals with the export and import of certain hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals. Unlike Stockholm Convention, it does ban or restrict the use of a hazardous substance in products.
Countries that have ratified the Convention usually have their own regulations to restrict or ban the import and export of certain hazardous chemicals. Such hazardous chemicals are not limited to those listed on Annex III. Both exporters and importers shall check their own lists of banned or restricted chemicals and their national regulations implementing the Rotterdam Convention.
Example 1: EU Prior Informed Consent Regulation (PIC, Regulation (EU) 649/2012) places notification obligations on companies who wish to export certain hazardous chemicals to non-EU countries. Exporters have to notify the European Chemicals Agency (EHCA) of their intentions to export certain chemicals to a country outside the EU. Read more...
Example 2: China MEP Order 22 requires that companies who intend to export or import toxic chemicals on the List of toxic chemicals severely restricted to be imported into or exported from China apply for registration certificates or custom clearance notification from the Solid Waste and Chemical Management Center of China MEP (MEP-SCC) prior to export and import.
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