Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, 1998

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The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is a multilateral environmental agreement adopted in 1998. Its primary objective is to promote shared responsibilities and cooperative efforts among countries in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides.

The convention is named after the city of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, where the agreement was finalized and opened for signature. It entered into force on February 24, 2004. The convention provides a framework for the exchange of information and the implementation of a prior informed consent (PIC) procedure for the import and export of chemicals listed in its annexes.

Under the Rotterdam Convention, countries that have ratified the agreement are required to inform each other about their national decisions regarding the import and export of specific chemicals. This allows importing countries to make informed decisions about accepting shipments of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. The PIC procedure is designed to ensure that importing countries have the necessary information to protect human health and the environment from potential risks associated with these substances.

The convention also establishes a mechanism for countries to collaborate and share information on the hazards and safe handling of chemicals and pesticides. This includes the establishment of a Chemical Review Committee, which evaluates substances proposed for listing under the convention and provides recommendations for their inclusion.

Furthermore, the Rotterdam Convention encourages technical and financial assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, helping them to strengthen their capacities for implementing the PIC procedure and managing the risks associated with hazardous chemicals and pesticides.

The Rotterdam Convention operates in conjunction with other international agreements such as the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants and the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal, promoting synergies and cooperation among these instruments.

As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the Rotterdam Convention has been ratified by 166 parties, including the European Union and many individual countries. Parties to the convention meet regularly to discuss and evaluate its implementation and to consider the addition of new chemicals to its annexes.

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