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Summary of Treaty

Official Title Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade
Type of Agreement Multilateral
Place of Signature Rotterdam
Date of Signature 10/09/1998
Date of Entry Into Force 24/02/2004
Duration Indefinite
Objective of Agreement To promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals in order to protect human health and the environment from potential harm and to contribute to their environmentally sound use, by facilitating information exchange about their characteristics, by providing for a national decision-making process on their import and export and by disseminating these decisions to parties.
Remarks Toxic pesticides and other hazardous chemicals kill or make seriously ill thousands of people every year. They also poison the natural environment and damage many wild animal species. Governments started to address this problem in the 1980s by establishing a voluntary Prior Informed Consent procedure (PIC). PIC required exporters trading in a list of hazardous substances to obtain the prior informed consent of importers before proceeding with the trade. In 1998, governments decided to strengthen the procedure by adopting the Rotterdam Convention, which makes PIC legally binding. The Convention establishes a first line of defence by giving importing countries the tools and information they need to identify potential hazards and exclude chemicals they cannot manage safely. If a country agrees to import chemicals, the Convention promotes their safe use through labelling standards, technical assistance, and other forms of support. It also ensures that exporters comply with the requirements. Main provisions of the Convention: - The Convention establishes the principle that export of a chemical covered by the Convention can only take place with the prior informed consent of the importing party. - The Convention establishes a "Prior Informed Consent procedure," a means for formally obtaining and disseminating the decisions of importing countries as to whether they wish to receive future shipments of specified chemicals and for ensuring compliance with these decisions by exporting countries. - The Convention also contains provisions for the exchange of information among parties about potentially hazardous chemicals that may be exported and imported. - The Convention covers pesticides and industrial chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by parties and which have been notified by parties for inclusion in the PIC procedure. - One notification from each of two specified regions triggers consideration of addition of a chemical to the list of products subject to the PIC procedure, these regions being determined by the Conference of Parties at its first meeting. - Severely hazardous pesticide formulations that present a hazard under conditions of use in developing countries or countries with economies in transition may also be nominated for the PIC procedure.
OJ Reference L63, 06/03/2003, p. 29
Depositary United Nations
Contracting Parties European Community, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Surinam, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen
Authentic Texts Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish
Subject Matters Chemical Products
UN convention
chemical product
dangerous substance
environmental protection
international trade
public health
Entry into force conditions Article 26 Convention
Ratification Conditions Article 25 Convention
Regional and International Organisation (REIO) Article 24 Convention
Settlement of disputes Article 20 Convention
Management Conference of the Parties
Other Links
Date of Signature 11/09/1998
Conclusion Date 20/12/2002
Ratification Status AC
Conclusion Decision Council Decision of 19 December 2002 concerning the approval, on behalf of the European Community, of the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade; OJ L 63 of 06/03/2003, p.27
Date of Entry Into Force 24/02/2004
Reserves A declaration of EU competence exists for this treaty. To consult the text click on "to load all the summary data of the treaty".
Competence Mixed
Voting Right(s)
EC exercises voting rights of its MS contracting parties (if EC votes MS no and vice-versa) Article 23 Convention
Legal Basis Treaty EC: Article 175

Last Update :   11/03/2009