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Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Introduction


The Rotterdam Convention promotes

shared responsibility and cooperative

efforts among Parties in the international

trade of certain hazardous chemicals

(such as pesticides and industrial

chemicals), in order to protect human

health and the environment from

potential harm and contributes to their

environmentally sound use.

Page 3: Introduction

Unit ObjectivesUnit Objectives1. Explain the scope and intention of the

Rotterdam convention

2. Acquire knowledge about the Prior Informed Consent or PIC procedure and information exchange

3. Locate the chemicals subject to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure

4. Determine the Role of Customs in implementing the Rotterdam

Page 4: Introduction



Scope of Rotterdam Convention

Prior Informed Consent ( PIC )


Role of Customs & Border Control


Page 5: Introduction

Status of RatificationStatus of Ratification

Entry into force: - 24 February 2004

Parties: 148 including All CARIFORUM countries are parties except Bahamas, Grenada, Haiti and St. Kitts/Nevis.

* Refer to document on Caribbean MEAs Ratification Status.

Page 6: Introduction

Scope of the ConventionScope of the ConventionThe Rotterdam Convention

applies to: Industrial chemicals and

pesticides that have been banned or severely restricted for human health or environmental concerns.

Severely hazardous pesticide formulations (SHPF) - causing problems under the conditions of use in developing countries or countries with economies in transition.

Page 7: Introduction

The Convention does not The Convention does not apply toapply to

• Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances• Radioactive materials• Wastes• Chemical weapons• Pharmaceuticals, including human and

veterinary drugs• Chemicals used as food additives• Food• Chemicals in quantities not likely to affect

human health or the environment for the purpose of research or analysis or by an individual for personal use

Page 8: Introduction

Chemicals listed in Annex III of the Chemicals listed in Annex III of the ConventionConvention

Annex III of the Convention contains a list of chemicals which are subject to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.

40 chemicals are currently included in Annex III, including (see www.pic.int):

25 pesticides4 severely hazardous

pesticide formulations11 industrial chemicals

Page 9: Introduction

Trade RegulationsTrade Regulations

The Rotterdam Convention contains two key provisions relevant to trade:

Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure : mechanism for providing a national decision-making process on import of hazardous chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention and for ensuring compliance with these decisions by exporting Parties.

Information exchange : mechanism for the exchange of information among Parties on a broad range of potentially hazardous chemicals.

Page 10: Introduction

PIC ProcedurePIC Procedure

Decision guidance document on a chemical listed in Annex III is circulated to inform Parties (Article 10);

Decisions (“import responses”) made by Parties to allow, ban or restrict future imports of this chemical;

Exporters must comply with these import responses (Article 11);

Without an import response, export of a chemical is only allowed with explicit consent from the importing Party, or when the chemical is already registered or used in the importing Party (Article 11).

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The PIC procedure does not provide for a global ban or restriction on chemicals. Instead it requires exporters to obtain the prior informed consent of the countries to which they wish to export before proceeding with trade.

Also requires labelling on potential health andenvironmental impacts of traded chemicals

PIC ProcedurePIC Procedure

Page 12: Introduction

Export notification required for banned or restricted chemicals to importing Party (Article 12);

Export of banned or restricted chemicals is subject to labelling and information on risks and hazards to human health and environment (Article 13);

Each Party facilitates exchange of scientific, technical, economic and legal information, including toxicological and safety information (Article 14).

PIC ProcedurePIC Procedure

Page 13: Introduction

Information ExchangeInformation Exchange

Information exchange applies to:

Industrial chemicals and pesticides that have been banned or severely restricted for human health or environmental concerns (incl. chemicals in Annex III);

Severely hazardous pesticide formulations causing problems under the conditions of use in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

Page 14: Introduction

Implementation of the Implementation of the ConventionConvention

Each Party must designate a national authority as the contact point to ensure implementation at national and regional level.

The Convention establishes a Conference of the Parties which oversees the operation of the Convention, incl. the approval of amendments.

The Chemical Review Committee is responsible for analyzing and assessing chemicals.

The Secretariat (FAO & UNEP) is mainly responsible for coordination and administrative arrangements.

The key players in ensuring the implementation of the Convention are the Designated National Authorities and the Customs Officers.

Page 15: Introduction

National/Regional National/Regional MeasuresMeasures

Pesticides usually require an import or export permit issued by a Pesticide Control Board.

Board normally comprise of representatives from Agriculture, Health, Sustainable Development and Customs.

Permits must be issued before goods are allowed to enter or leave the state.

Page 16: Introduction

A Jamaica ExampleA Jamaica Example

Pesticide Control Authority (PCA) as a statutory board within the Ministry of Health

Pesticides Act 1975 requires a license to import pesticides

Functions of PCA : - to register pesticides; - to license persons to import or manufacture

registered pesticides.

Schedules for Prohibited and Restricted Pesticides


Page 17: Introduction

Role of Customs OfficersRole of Customs Officers

Custom officers play a key role in the implementation of the Convention and in protecting their countries from unwanted trade in hazardous chemicals.

They are the “gate keepers or guardians” of the Convention since they are likely to encounter these chemicals during their daily work.

Page 18: Introduction

Harmonized System (HS) CodesHarmonized System (HS) Codes

The World Customs Organization (WCO) assigns customs codes to the chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention.

The harmonized system (HS) Codes are published by the WCO and on the RotterdamConvention website (www.pic.int)

Page 19: Introduction

Example - AldrinExample - AldrinHS Codes: - 2903.52 (Pure substance)- 3808.50 (Mixtures, preparations containing

substance)Full Name- 1,2,3,4,10,10-Hexachloro-1,4,4a,5,8,8a-

hexahydro-- 1,4:5,8-dimethanonaphthaleneTrade NamesAldrec; Aldrex; Aldrine; Aldrite; Aldrosol; Altox;Bangald; Compound 118; Drinox; HHDN; Octalene;Rasayaldrin; Seedrin Liquid.

Page 20: Introduction

Customs Inspections - ImportsCustoms Inspections - Imports

Verify whether the chemical is included in Annex III or in a schedule of prohibited or restricted imports ;

Keep up-to-date regarding any import decision your Government has taken with respect to the chemical;

Is the chemical adequately labeled and accompanied by adequate information?

Is a safety data sheet included if the chemical is used for occupational purposes?

Is the information on labels and safety data sheets provided, when possible, in the language of the importing Party?

In case of any doubts regarding the above, contact the DNA(s) for further information and clarification.

Page 21: Introduction

Customs Inspections - ExportsCustoms Inspections - Exports

• Verify if the chemical is listed under Annex III of the Convention;

• Check if the specific Harmonized System (HS) codes assigned to the chemical is included in the shipping documents;

• If the chemical is included in Annex III, check before exporting whether the importing country has made an import decision relating to the chemical in question (i.e., whether it has provided its prior informed consent to import), or not;

Page 22: Introduction

Customs inspections - exportsCustoms inspections - exports

If the exported chemical is listed in Annex III or is prohibited or severely restricted in your country :

Does the chemical meet the labeling requirements for risks/hazards to human health and the environment?

For chemicals that are to be used for occupational purposes, ensure that the safety data sheet, following an internationally recognized format, setting out the most up-to-date information available, is sent to each importer.

Are any corresponding requirements under national legislation relevant to this chemical or group of chemicals?

In case of any doubts regarding the above, contact the DNA(s) for further information and clarification.

Page 23: Introduction

National Collaboration National Collaboration & Communication& Communication

Customs officers should contact DNAs when they have questions about the applicability of the Convention (see www.pic.int for list of DNAs and their contact details).

Good communication is essential between customs department, other regulatory agencies, border control agencies and DNAs.

Page 24: Introduction


Any Questions?

Review Main Points

Link to Next Unit on Cartagena Protocol