Adopted in Rotterdam in 1998 and entered into force in 2004, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade focuses on the sharing of responsibility and cooperation between countries in the international trade of certain hazardous chemical products.
Principle and application of the Rotterdam Convention
This Convention, also simply called the Rotterdam Convention or PIC Convention (PIC is an abbreviation for Prior informed consent) institutes a fundamental principle for the trade of certain chemical substances. In fact, these substances can only be exported with the prior consent of the importing country, after it is informed.
The Rotterdam Convention thus facilitates the exchange of information on chemical products and establishes a process for national decision-making regarding the importation and exportation of substances that are potentially hazardous to human health and to the environment.
This legally binding convention therefore also provides a way to know and publicise the decisions made by a country concerning the chemical products in question. There were 40 products listed in Annex III in 2010. These include 29 pesticides (four of which are extremely dangerous) and 11 industrial products.
Some of these products were added to the Dirty Dozen list of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants in 2009.
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