Rotterdam Convention expands the 'watch list'

A group of 31 experts in chemicals management and numerous observers will participate at the Seventh meeting of the Chemical Review Committee in Rome, from 28 March 2011 to 1 April 2011.

The main objective of this meeting is to review notifications and to propose the addition of new chemicals to Annex III, a type of “watch list”, of the Rotterdam Convention. The final decision on this remains with the Conference of the Parties. At the moment, 40 chemicals are listed that have been declared by the international community as hazardous for human health and for the environment.

The Committee will take into consideration actions taken by Benin, Burkina Faso, Canada, European Union, Japan, New Zealand and Syrian Arab Republic to ban or restrict the use of life-threatening and environmentally polluting chemicals. In particular the Committee will review a proposal to list a severely hazardous formulation including incident reports.

The chemicals in question are the pesticides amitraz, azinphos methyl, carbaryl, and endosulfan; the hazardous pesticide formulation gramoxone super and the industrial chemicals perfluoroctane sulfonate, pentabromodiphenyl ether, pentachlorobenzene and octabromodiphenyl ether.

Rotterdam Convention 'goes green'
The Seventh meeting of the Chemical Review Committee will be the first meeting of this size in FAO to be held completely paperless. All documents will be provided via the Convention website in electronic form only. A paperless meeting has the benefit of considerably reducing costs and the carbon footprint of the meeting. The paperless system makes it easier for meeting participants to obtain the latest versions of meeting documents and facilitates faster preparation and distribution of conference papers.

About the Rotterdam Convention
Jointly supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Rotterdam Convention prevents unwanted trade in the chemicals included in its “watch list” and subject to the legally binding prior informed consent (PIC) procedure. It enables member countries to alert each other to potential dangers by exchanging information on banned or severely restricted chemicals and to take informed decisions with regard to whether they want to import such chemicals in the future.  It makes the international trade in hazardous chemicals more transparent and less vulnerable to abuse through its export notification provisions and by encouraging harmonized labeling of chemicals.

To have further information please consult the Convention web site ( or contact the Secretariat (


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