|Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade|
The logo of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat
|Type||United Nations treaty|
|Signed||10 September 1998|
|Location||Rotterdam, The Netherlands|
|Effective||24 February 2004|
|Condition||Ninety days after the ratification by at least 50 signatory states|
|Depositary||Secretary-General of the United Nations|
|Languages||Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish|
The Rotterdam Convention (formally, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. The convention promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans. Signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty, and exporting countries are obliged to make sure that producers within their jurisdiction comply.
The sixth meeting of the Rotterdam Conference was held from 28 April to 10 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Substances covered under the Convention
- 2,4,5-T and its salts and esters
- Asbestos – Actinolite, Anthophyllite, Amosite, Crocidolite, and Tremolite only
- Benomyl (certain formulations)
- Carbofuran (certain formulations)
- Dinitro-ortho-cresol (DNOC) and its salts
- Dinoseb and its salts and esters
- 1,2-dibromoethane (EDB)
- Ethylene dichloride
- Ethylene oxide
- Hexachlorocyclohexane (mixed isomers)
- Mercury compounds including inorganic and organometallic mercury compounds
- Methamidophos (certain formulations)
- Methyl parathion (certain formulations)
- Pentachlorophenol and its salts and esters
- Phosphamidon (certain formulations)
- Polybrominated biphenyls (PBB)
- Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)
- Polychlorinated terphenyls (PCT)
- Tetraethyl lead
- Tetramethyl lead
- Thiram (certain formulations)
- Tributyl tin compounds
- Tris (2,3-dibromopropyl) phosphate (TRIS)
Substances proposed for addition to the Convention
The Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention decided in October 2012 to recommend to the Conference of the parties meeting in April/May 2013 that it consider the listing of the following chemicals, including a severely hazardous pesticide formulation, in Annex III to the Convention:
- Azinphos-methyl (pesticide).
- Pentabromodiphenyl ether and pentabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures (industrial chemical).
- Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid, perfluorooctanesulfonates, perfluorooctanesulfonamides and perfluorooctanesulfonyls (industrial chemical).
- Octabromodiphenyl ether commercial mixtures (industrial chemical).
- Liquid formulations (emulsifiable concentrate and soluble concentrate) containing paraquat dichloride at or above 276 g/L, corresponding to paraquat ion at or above 200 g/L (severely hazardous pesticide formulation).
- Chrysotile asbestos (discussion deferred from the previous meeting of the Conference of the Parties).
Canada's controversial stand on chrysotile in 2011
At the 2011 meeting of the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva, the Canadian delegation surprised many with a refusal to allow the addition of chrysotile asbestos fibers to the Rotterdam Convention. Hearings are scheduled in the EU in the near future to evaluate the position of Canada and decide on the possibility of a punitive course of action.
In continuing its objection, Canada is the only G8 country objecting to the listing. Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine also objected. Vietnam had also raised an objection, but missed a follow-up meeting on the issue. In taking its position, the Canadian Government contrasted with India, which withdrew its long-standing objection to the addition of chrysotile to the list just prior to the 2011 conference.
- Chemicals recommended for listing in Annex III.
- Canadian Cancer Society Reacts to Conservative Harper Administration's Position on Chrysotile, 23 June 2011
- Canadian comedianne fails to see humor in Canadian position on treaty
- UN Delegates Shocked at Canadian Stand on Chrysotile, 24 June 2011
- Canadian Physicians criticize own government
- O'Neil, Peter (2011-06-08). "European Parliament slams Canada's oilsands, asbestos, sealing industries". Canada.com. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "MEPs favour EU-Canada trade deal, but worry about seals, tar sand oil and asbestos". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2011-08-10.
- "UPDATE: European Parliament to be asked to take sanctions against Canada on asbestos, June 30". Council of Canadians. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- Canada Wins 2-year Stay on Potential Ban of Exports of Chrysotile Asbestos to India
- India: position advocating the addition of chrysotile to Rotterdam Convention, May 31, 2011
- Women In Europe for a Concerned Future criticize Canada's stance in 2011
- 2011 Rotterdam Convention Decision criticized by environmental groups
- Canadian Cancer Society denounces decision by Canadian Government
- International Ban Asbestos Secretariat issues statement critical of Canadian decision
- Indian Center for Science and Environment issues statement criticizing Canada
- "Canada won't oppose asbestos limits". CBC News. CBC/Radio-Canada. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 14 September 2012.