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Rotterdam Convention – Amendments to Annex III


The Rotterdam Convention is a vital international treaty that governs the use and trade of hazardous chemicals and pesticides. It aims to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade of hazardous chemicals. The recent amendments to Annex III of the Convention have significant implications for businesses involved in chemicals and pesticides. This blog provides an overview of these amendments, their key requirements and provisions, the impacts on businesses, and which types of businesses are most affected.

Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention lists chemicals and pesticides that are subject to the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure. The recent amendments include the addition of new chemicals and pesticides that have been identified as requiring stricter control measures to protect human health and the environment. These amendments are based on the recommendations made by the Chemical Review Committee, which assesses the toxicity and the severity of the effects associated with these substances.

Key requirements and provisions of the amendments include:

  • Expansion of Listed Chemicals and Pesticides: The amendments have expanded the list of chemicals and pesticides under Annex III. This means that any export or import of these newly listed substances requires explicit consent from the importing country before the shipment can proceed.
  • Prior Informed Consent Procedure: For any listed chemical, exporters must now provide detailed information about the nature of the chemical and its handling, along with obtaining explicit consent from the importing nation. This includes safety data sheets and regulatory information.
  • Notification of Export: Exporting countries are required to inform their own national authorities about the intention to export the chemicals, ensuring that all movements are well documented and regulated.
  • Obligations for Importing Countries: Importing countries must have the regulatory framework to assess the risks and decide whether to allow the import of such chemicals. They must communicate their consent decision, along with any conditions attached, back to the exporting country.

This amendment was published on the 14th of May 2024 and applies internationally.

Rotterdam Convention

Does this amendment affect my business?

The amendments to the Rotterdam Convention will have several affects on involved businesses and organisations:

  • Increased Regulatory Compliance: Businesses dealing in chemicals listed under Annex III will now need to ensure rigorous compliance with both national and international regulations when exporting or importing these substances. This may include adjusting business operations to accommodate the extra administrative burden of obtaining consents and providing comprehensive product information.
  • Enhanced Safety Measures: Companies will need to implement stricter safety measures to handle, store, and transport these chemicals. This includes training employees on new safety protocols and possibly investing in better safety equipment and facilities.
  • Supply Chain Scrutiny: Businesses must scrutinise their supply chains more carefully to ensure that all suppliers and logistics partners comply with the new regulations. This could involve audits, certifications, and regular compliance checks.
  • Cost Implications: The increased regulatory burden and enhanced safety measures could lead to higher operational costs. Companies may need to factor these costs into their pricing strategies or find ways to streamline operations to maintain profitability.

The amendments to Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention mark a significant step towards safer international trade practices for hazardous chemicals. While they bring about increased regulatory burdens for businesses, they also foster a safer and more transparent global trade environment. Businesses affected by these changes will need to adapt swiftly to remain compliant and competitive in the international marketplace.

Do I need this amendment in my ISO Compliance Register?

The types of businesses and organisations affected include:

  • Chemical Manufacturers and Exporters: Companies that produce or export chemicals listed in Annex III are directly affected, as they must comply with the PIC procedure.
  • Agricultural Sector: Many of the chemicals and pesticides used in agriculture are covered by the Rotterdam Convention. Farmers and agricultural businesses will need to be aware of changes in the availability and regulations of certain pesticides.
  • Import/Export Businesses: Companies that specialise in the trade of chemicals and agricultural products will need to adjust their operations to comply with the new amendments.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Firms: Businesses that provide consulting and compliance services in environmental health and safety may see increased demand for their services as companies seek to navigate the new requirements.

If this includes your business then we strongly recommend adding the recent amendment to your ISO Compliance Register.

Legislation related to the Rotterdam Convention

Legislation related to the Rotterdam Convention include:

  • Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants
  • Chemicals Act 2008
  • The Control of Pesticides Regulations 1986
  • The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH)

More information

Visit the recent amendments to Annex III article on the website.

Create an account in the ISO Compliance Register App and add this article to your Register.