Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent Procedure

The  Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade aims to provide an efficient method for exchanging information about industrial chemicals and pesticides that have been banned or severely restricted for health or environmental reasons by participating countries. It encourages environmentally sound management of these chemicals when their use is permitted and seeks to provide and share accurate information on their characteristics, potential dangers and safe handling and use.

The convention requires that export of an identified chemical can only take place with the prior informed consent of importing country. Prior Informed Consent aims to reduce accidents and to prevent the accumulation of stocks of obsolete or unwanted pesticides. Annex III of the Convention lists the industrial chemicals, pesticides and severely hazardous pesticide formulations subject to the procedure.

The Convention enables the world to monitor and control trade of certain hazardous chemicals. It is not a recommendation to ban the global trade or use of any specific chemical. It gives importing countries the power to exclude those they cannot safely manage. If trade does take place, requirements for labelling and providing information on potential health and environmental effects will promote the safe use of these chemicals.

Canada is a party to this convention. Parties are obliged to implement the agreement at the national level and to create enforcement mechanisms to control commercial exports and exporters. Health Canada's Pest Management Agency is responsible for implementing the Prior Informed Consent procedure for pesticides in Canada.

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