ROTTERDAM CONVENTION

RELEVANCE – UPSC GS PRELIMS & GS MAINS-III

PRACTICE QUESTIONS

First go through the text (given after the questions) and then attempt the questions.

QUES 1 . Consider the following statements about  Rotterdam Convention

1 . It deals with Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.

2 . The Convention was adopted  in 1998 and entered into force in 2004.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

a . 1 only

b . 2 only

c . Both 1 and 2

d . Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – c

QUES 2 . Consider the following statements about Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure of  Rotterdam Convention-

1 . The Convention does not creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. 

2 . For chemicals listed in Annex III, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure must be followed.

Which among the above statements is/are correct?

a . 1 only

b . 2 only

c . Both 1 and 2

d . Neither 1 nor 2

Answer – b

ABOUT  ROTTERDAM  CONVENTION

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Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade is an international treaty promoting shared responsibility between exporting and importing countries in protecting human health and the environment from certain banned or restricted hazardous chemicals and pesticides, and providing a mechanism for the exchange of information about potentially hazardous chemicals.

The Convention was adopted on 10 September 1998 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and entered into force on 24 February 2004. More than 150 countries have ratified the convention.

Objectives of the Convention

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.

To contribute to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals, 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.

Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure

The Convention creates legally binding obligations for the implementation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure.

For chemicals listed in Annex III, the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure must be followed. Once a chemical is included in Annex III, a “decision guidance document” (DGD) containing information concerning the chemical and the regulatory decisions to ban or severely restrict the chemical for health or environmental reasons, is circulated to all Parties.

Parties have 9 months to prepare a response concerning the future import of the chemical. The import response can consist of either a final decision (to allow import of the chemical, not to allow import, or to allow import subject to specified conditions) or an interim response.

The import decisions are circulated via PIC circular every 6 months and exporting country Parties are obligated under the Convention to take appropriate measure to ensure that exporters within its jurisdiction comply with the decisions.

Major Provisions

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 Annex III of the Convention.

Severely hazardous pesticide formulations that present a risk under conditions of use in developing countries or countries with economies in transition may also be proposed for inclusion in Annex III.

Information Exchange

In addition to mandating the PIC procedure for Annex III chemicals, the Convention promotes the exchange of information on a very broad range of hazardous chemicals including those not included in Annex III yet. It calls on the exporters of those hazardous chemicals to make use of proper labelling, include directions on safe handling, and inform importers of any known restrictions or bans.

Impact of the Rotterdam Convention

The Rotterdam Convention mainly deals with the export and import of certain hazardous pesticides and industrial chemicals. Unlike Stockholm Convention, it does ban or restrict the use of a hazardous substance in products.

Countries that have ratified the Convention usually have their own regulations to restrict or ban the import and export of certain hazardous chemicals. Such hazardous chemicals are not limited to those listed on Annex III. Both exporters and importers shall check their own lists of banned or restricted chemicals and their national regulations implementing the Rotterdam Convention.