Rotterdam Convention

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Not to be confused with the Rotterdam Rules.
Rotterdam Convention
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
Signatories 72
Parties 154
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[1] was held from 28 April to 10 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.

Substances covered under the Convention[edit]

Substances proposed for addition to the Convention[edit]

The Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention decided in October 2012[2] 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:

State parties[edit]

As of September 2013, the convention had 154 parties, which includes 153 states and the European Union. Non-member states include the United States, Turkey, Tunisia, Iraq, and Angola.

Canada's controversial stand on chrysotile in 2011[edit]

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.[3][4][5][6] 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.[7][8][9]

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.[10] 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.[11]

Numerous non-governmental organizations have publicly expressed criticism of Canada's decision to block this addition.[12][13][14][15][16]

In September 2012, Canadian Industry minister Christian Paradis announced the Canadian government would no longer oppose inclusion of chrysotile in the convention.[17]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]