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Experiences on implementation of the Rotterdam Convention from six countries in Asia

Introduction

The sub-regional consultation among Designated National Authorities (DNAs) to the Rotterdam Convention was held from 18-22 February 2008 in Phuket, Thailand. The overall objective of this meeting was to foster cooperation and facilitate a dialogue among Designated National Authorities (DNAs) in the region on the challenges faced in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and to share experiences and promote cooperation in addressing these challenges. The meeting enabled the DNAs to gain a better understanding of the information available under the Convention and how it might be used to strengthen the chemicals management decision-making in their own countries.

The meeting provides the participants with an opportunity to learn more about the work of the Conference of Parties, the Chemical Review Committee, and other international activities such as the Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM), the Ad-hoc Working Group on Synergies, and the Stockholm Convention. The meeting also gives an opportunity to strengthen links with such activities as a means for coordinating activities at the national level.

The meeting consisted of a series of plenary sessions and breakout groups in order to allow experience sharing and practical working sessions.

The meeting involved 15 DNAs and representatives from seven Parties in Asia, including India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. They were from Ministries of Agriculture, Environment or Industry, representing high level policy making and enforcement agencies.

The meeting addressed three general areas: PIC procedure (Articles 5, 6 and 10 of the Rotterdam Convention), information exchange (Articles 11, 12, 13 and 14) and opportunities to promote cooperation at the national, sub-regional and regional levels.

In order to ensure effectiveness of the meeting, each Party was requested to prepare a brief report on the status of implementation of the Rotterdam Convention, how chemicals were managed in their country, and the key challenges.

The meeting aimed at addressing the principal concerns of DNAs in a given region/sub-region. During their deliberations, the participants were invited to identify their priorities and further issues that they wished to consider, through a series of plenary and breakout group discussions.

As the output of the meeting, the participants gained a clear understanding of the main provisions of the Rotterdam Convention and the role of the DNAs. They identified and discussed common challenges in the implementation of the Convention and exchanged their experiences in addressing these challenges.

The participants also had opportunities to share their experiences and information with respect to the basis for import responses for chemicals in Annex III of the Convention and for national actions to ban or severely restrict chemicals that had to be notified to the Secretariat.

The participants better understood how information available under the Convention could be used to strengthen national decision-making on chemicals. The meeting also facilitated identification of opportunities for future cooperation at the national level and at the regional level.

The participants recognized the added value of the Convention to the national decision-making process. Importantly, the implementation of the Convention was not seen as extra work but as support to governments in carrying out their tasks of chemicals management.

Key outcomes

Country status of chemicals management

The country reports submitted by the delegates are included in Appendix I.

Review of key obligations of the Convention

Within the working groups, the participants discussed ways to identify major challenges associated with implementation of those key obligations of the Convention at the national level as well as possible options to overcome the situation and the way forward.

Import responses for chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention

Submission of import decisions of Annex III chemicals to the Secretariat is one of the key provisions that enables the Convention to prevent unwanted exports into a country. Therefore, the timely submission of import responses is the key to achieving effective protection provided by the Convention.

Some of the associated aspects were discussed and clarified at the meeting, including:

Sharing their experience, the Malaysian delegates described the operational mechanism in place in their country for submitting import responses and enforcement of the decision at a local level.

It was noted that, in addition to the customs clearance procedures, Malaysia posted a set of Plant Protection Officers at the port responsible for monitoring of importing of chemicals.

In reaching decisions on future imports, Malaysia will not grant consent for imports if the chemicals are no longer registered or used in the country or pose hazards to health and the environment or if alternatives are available and unlikely to cause an economic impact in case the imports are prohibited.

Thailand also shared information on the national process of reaching import decisions for industrial chemicals. (Refer to Appendix II for the full presentation.)

Status

According to the information of the RC Secretariat, the current status of import response for the 39 Annex III chemicals was as follows:

Status of Import Response
Pesticides Industrial Chemicals
India 28 11
Iran, Islamic Republic of 26 5
Malaysia 28 11
Nepal 11 0
Pakistan 28 0
Sri Lanka 22 1
Thailand 28 11

Challenges and issues

In general, taking import decisions for industrial chemicals is more challenging than that of pesticides. Two countries (Thailand and Malaysia) have a process in place for reviewing of industrial chemicals and for decision-making with the assistance of Decision Guidance Documents (DGDs). However, three countries (Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan) are facing serious problems with industrial chemicals due to the lack of a basic industrial chemicals regulation system.

Recommended actions and next step

1.   Complete the outstanding import responses.

2.   Review the existing laws and administrative measures for import decisions and efficient implementation.

2.1 If covered, reach a decision to "consent", "consent subject to conditions", or "no consent" for future imports.

2.2 If not adequately covered,

As a next step, Nepal and Sri Lanka proposed to take immediate actions for submission of import responses for three industrial chemicals (PCB/PCT/PBB) which were already reviewed under the Stockholm Convention. The two countries committed to initiate a process for other outstanding chemicals by following the above process.

The DNA(IC) of Nepal would convey the outcome from this meeting to the DNA(P) for immediate attention, as the regulation system for management of pesticides was already in place.

Sri Lanka planned to submit all remaining import responses for industrial chemicals of Annex III within the next three years.

Enforcement of import decisions

Notification of final regulatory actions to ban or severely restrict chemicals

Under Article 5 of the Convention, the Party that has adopted a final regulatory action to ban or severely restrict a chemical has the obligation to notify such an action to the Secretariat. In recent years, with the exception of Thailand, most countries in the region were not effective in submitting notifications.

Status

  Status of Notification
(since year 2000)
India 1             
Iran, Islamic Republic of 6             
Malaysia 2             
Nepal 0             
Pakistan 0             
Sri Lanka 0             
Thailand 53             
Maldives 0             

Challenges and issues

Recommended actions and next step

As the next step, DNAs will fill up the Form of Final Regulatory Actions and submit to the Secretariat those identified outstanding notifications of pesticides and industrial chemicals.

Sri Lanka will notify the final regulatory actions on paraquat as soon as possible.

Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulations (SHPF)

SHPFs are chemicals formulated for use as pesticides that produce severe health or environmental effects observable within a short period of time after single or multiple exposures, under conditions of use.

This is an opportunity provided in the Convention for developing countries and those with economies in transition to propose a list of SHPFs in Annex III, which cause severe problems under the prevailing conditions.

Certain pesticide formulations that can be used safely in developed countries may cause health and environmental problems in developing countries, because of the existence of handling or applicator restrictions may not be reasonably or widely applied due to climatic conditions and lack of necessary infrastructure. In some cases, common or recognized uses in developing countries would not appear on labels or in extension guides leading to unacceptable level of risk. However, intentional misuse such as suicide is not an adequate reason.

Information to be submitted by a party in a proposal is stated in Annex IV, part A of the Convention. It is basically the identity of the formulation, common and recognized patterns of use in the country, and a clear description of incidents related to the problem.

Status

There was no proposal for SHPFs in the sub-region made to the Secretariat.

Challenges and issues

Recommended actions and possible process

Immediate/short term actions:

Medium/long term actions and those may require additional resources:

It was reported that Thailand already included the Ministry of Health in the National Rotterdam Convention Committee, following the recommendations of the National Action Plan meeting held in 2007. Thailand also requested the Secretariat to consider a thematic meeting or project on SHPFs.

Export notification and accompanied information

The Group mostly consisted importing parties and, hence, the discussion was mainly focused on the issues and benefits in relation to receiving the export notification and taking subsequent actions. It was noted that export notifications were mostly received from the EU countries. However, the participants were informed that acknowledgement of the Export Notifications received from the EU countries was reported as very low.

The participants identified challenges and misunderstandings related to export notification and experience exchange, including:

The group also shared the experiences in making use of information provided by the export notification in improving the chemicals management at the country level. The following aspects were discussed and highlighted:

The participants expressed appreciation on the initiative by the Secretariat in developing a standard export notification form, of which a test version was presented. Comments on the proposed form were given to the Secretariat for consideration and requested that the Secretariat should encourage or urge exporting parties to use the standardized form in export notifications under the Convention.

Role of Conference of Parties and its subsidiary bodies

The Secretariat provided a brief introduction on the role of Conference of the Parties (COP) and the Chemicals Review Committee (CRC), highlighting the key issues at the last COP and CRC meetings. Mr Halimi Mahmud of Malaysia shared his experience in working with CRC.

The session provided the DNAs with a good insight into the process of inclusion of chemicals into Annex III, the role of COP and CRC respectively.

Information available under the Convention

The sources of information embedded in the Convention are originated from a few different roots. Notifications of final regulatory actions, proposals of SHPFs, and export notification provide vital information of the chemicals as well as regulatory actions taken by certain parties and serve as useful information exchange mechanisms.

The tools of information exchange include the PIC Circular, the DGDs, and the Convention website (www.pic.int). These tools may provide very important information for a party in reviewing and regulating chemicals with a wider range of related information.

The entire Resource Kit and all the documents related to COP, CRC as well as regional, sub-regional and national meetings and workshops are posted on the website which serves as useful additional resources of information for the parties. The website also provides links to other international chemicals management instruments and initiatives such as International Code of Conduct on Distribution and Use of Pesticides, Green Customs, WHO hazard classification, and International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS).

During the discussion, it was noted that most of the participating countries had their RC-related information posted on the agency website or developed an exclusive website to share the information among the relevant stakeholders.

The Group highlighted the importance of providing information to the national stakeholders including producers and end-users in a user-friendly manner and possibly in local languages.

It was also noted that the Convention website is used by newly recruited staff to gain in-depth knowledge about the Rotterdam Convention to facilitate their activities in the efficient implementation of the convention.

As a learning tool of the convention and its operational elements, the newly developed e-learning facility introduced by the Secretariat was considered by the group as very powerful, yet user-friendly due to ready accessibility.

Integration with activities of other Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and SAICM

The group was briefed by the Secretariat of commonalities and key areas of focus where the three conventions (RC, SC and BC) complement to each other. While the RC acts as the first line of defense in developing countries in management of hazardous chemicals while SC deals with persistent organic pollutants among the chemicals in phasing out their use and BC is dealing with hazardous wastes which include the waste arising from chemicals and their use.

In January 2007, the World Customs Organization (WCO) introduced specific HS Codes for a number of chemicals in the Annex III that provided useful information to facilitate management of imports and exports of the chemicals through the local customs and border control. With the technical support of the RC Secretariat, the Green Customs initiatives included the Rotterdam Convention in their training programmes.

The group agreed on the following aspects as important opportunities for improvement of coherence in chemicals management at the national level.

Cooperation at the sub-regional level with the Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission

The Asia and Pacific Plant Protection Commission (APPPC) is the official entity for implementing the Plant Protection Agreement in Asia and Pacific Region. APPPC has a Standing Committee on Pesticides which discusses and initiates action in the area of pesticide management.

During the 25th meeting of the above Commission held in August 2007, the following actions were recommended with respect to pesticides management. Ratification and effective implementation of the Rotterdam Convention were included in the programme of work of the Commission.

The Commission also recommended a roadmap to achieve the above goals by the member countries and agreed to initiate action on the recommendation.

MEA enforcement-regional cooperation and networking

The representative of UNEP at the meeting shared the experiences and information on key elements related to the projects on Ozone Regional Enforcement Network and MEA Regional Enforcement Network.

The Ozone Regional Enforcement Network focuses on the enforcement of Montreal Protocol with regard to transboundary movement of Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) among 24 countries in the Asia and Pacific region. The main activities comprise cross-border cooperation, information/intelligence exchange, data on transboundary movements of ODS, development of management tool for border control and collaboration with regional enforcement agencies.

The MEA Regional Enforcement Networking aimed at integration of the MEA work with regard to control of transboundary movement of related chemicals by integrating control strategies to optimize the use of resources within the country and learn from experience within the different MEAs. Its goals are to improve control of illegal trade and gain better control over import and export of the items under control.

The participant were of the view that the initiatives by the above programmes improve the capacity for efficient management of imports and exports of concerned chemicals at the national level and complement with enforcement of the RC, especially with respect to coordination and cooperation with the Customs authorities in the country.

Conclusion

During the concluding session, all participating DNAs expressed their utmost satisfaction about the outcomes of the meeting which included a clearer understanding about the objectives of different elements of the Convention and the tasks of the DNAs. The meeting was considered as educational in many aspects, including how the similar situations were effectively addressed by neighbouring countries. The meeting well served as a forum for learning from each other and discussions were open and participatory.

Participants recognized the added value of the Convention to the national decision-making process. Implementation of the RC was not seen as extra work but as support to Governments in carrying out their tasks of chemicals management. All DNAs committed to take immediate action where appropriate to address the outstanding issues. It was the consensus that the meeting was well planned, substantive and well arranged.

Sub-regional Consultation among Designated National Authorities (DNAs) to the Rotterdam Convention (18-22 February 2008 in Phuket, Thailand)

List of participants

India

Mr V.K. Yadava
Director, Integrated Pest Management (IPM)
Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine
and Storage
N.H. IV, Faridabad, Haryana, 121001, India
Tel: 0019112 9241 3023
Fax: 0019112 9241 2125
E-mail: [email protected] or
            [email protected]

Islamic Republic of Iran

Mrs Maryam Meschi
Head of Pesticide Division
Secretary of Pesticide
Supervision Board
Plant Protection Organization
Ministry of Jihad-e-Agriculture
2, Yemen St., Tehran
Iran (Islamic Republic of)
Tel: +98 21 22402712
Fax: +98 21 22403197
E-mail: [email protected]

Malaysia

Ms Siti Zaleha Ibrahim
Principal Assistant Director
Hazardous Substances Division
Department of Environment
Level 1-4, Podium Block 2&3
Wisma Sumber Asli, Persiaran Perdana, Presint 4
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62574 Putrajaya, Malaysia
Tel: 6 03-8871 2134
Fax: 6 03-8888 6120
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Halimi Mahmud
Pesticides Board
Department of Agriculture
Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry
Jalan Sultan Sallahuddin
Kuala Lumpur 50632, Malaysia
Tel: +603 2030 1480
Fax: +603 2691 7551
E-mail: [email protected] or
            [email protected]

Nepal

Dr Sitaram Joshi
Acting Director General
Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology
Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies
P.O. Box 985
Singhdurbar
Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel: +977 1 4356810
Fax: +97712 1 4350689
E-mail: [email protected]

Pakistan

Mr Sajjad Ahmad
Joint Secretary (IC)
Ministry of Environment
4th floor, Local Government Building G-5/2
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +92 51 924 5523
Fax: +92 51 920 5411
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Allah Rakha Asi
Adviser and Director General
Department of Plant Protection
Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
Jinnah Avenue Malir Halt
Karachi 75100, Pakistan
Tel: +92 21 9248607
Fax: +92 21 9248673
E-mail: [email protected]

Sri Lanka

Ms Shyamani Priyanka Periyapperuma
Assistant Director
Central Environmental Authority
“Parisara Piyasa”
104 Denzil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha
Battaramulla, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 11 2872278
Fax: +94 11 2872347
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Gamini Manuweera
Registrar of Pesticides
Pesticides Registration Office
Getambe
P.O. Box 49
Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka
Tel: +94 812 388 076
Fax: +94 812 388 135
E-mail: [email protected]

Thailand

Ms Bongkoch Kittisompun
Senior Scientist
Department of Industrial Works
Ministry of Industry
75/6 Rama VI Road
Ratchathewi
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 662 202 4104
Fax: 662 202 4015
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Soodsakorn Putho
Director of Treaties and International
Strategies Bureau
Department of Industrial Works
Ministry of Industry
75/6 Rama VI Road
Ratchathewi
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 662 202 4123
Fax: 662 202 4015
E-mail: [email protected]

Ms Pornpimon Chareonsong
Senior Environmental Scientist
Waste and Hazardous Substance
Management Bureau
Pollution Control Department
Ministry of Natural Resources and
Environment
92 Soi Phaholyothin 7
Phaholyothin Road, Phayathai
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 662 298 2457, 662 298 2766
Fax: 662 298 2425, 662 298 2765
E-mail: [email protected] or
            [email protected]

Ms Pattanan Tarin
Environmental Scientist
Waste and Hazardous Substance
Management Bureau
Pollution Control Department
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment
92 Soi Phaholyothin 7
Phaholyothin Road, Phayathai
Bangkok 10400, Thailand
Tel: 662 298 2766
Fax: 662 298 2765
E-mail: [email protected]

Mrs Supanon Sirichuaychoo
Senior Agricultural Scientist
Pesticides Regulatory Sub-division
Licensing and Registration Division
Office of Agricultural Regulation
Department of Agriculture
Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Tel: 662 579 7986
Fax: 662 579 7988
E-mail: [email protected]

Ms Sivaporn Sakulthiengtrong
Research Scientist
Pesticide Research Group
Agricultural Production Science Research and
Development Office
Department of Agriculture
Chatuchak
Bangkok 10900, Thailand
Tel: 662 579 3577-8, 940 5442 ext. 1106-7
Fax: 662 561 4695
E-mail: [email protected] or
            [email protected]

UNEP

Ms Ludgarde Coppens
Policy and Enforcement Officer
United Nations Environment Programme
UNEP/ROAP
United Nations Building
Rajdamnern Avenue
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: 662 288 1679
Fax: 662 288 3041
E-mail: [email protected]

FAO
Dr Yun Zhou
Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention
Plant Production and Protection Division
Food and Agriculture Organization of the
United Nations
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
00100 Rome, Italy
Tel: 39 06 570 54160
Fax: 39 06 570 53224
E-mail: [email protected]

Mr Piao Yongfan
Plant Protection Officer
FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Maliwan Mansion
39 Phra Atit Road
Bangkok 10200, Thailand
Tel: 662 697 4268
Fax: 662 697 4445
E-mail: [email protected]

Appendix 1.1: Experience on implementation of
the Rotterdam Convention: the Islamic Republic of Iran

by Maryam Meschi
Plant Protection Organization

Introduction

Regulating the use of the pesticides and use of other chemicals is one of the ways through which pesticides/chemicals risks to human health and the environment can be adequately managed. The control through legislation and guidelines as minimum requirements to be observed in handling, use, storage, production, import, export and disposal are basics to their sound management with effective adherence to their enforcement.

Legislation represents a national policy on how chemicals and pesticides are controlled. It consists of an administrative framework and procedures for managing pesticides and chemicals. It places obligations on production, formulation, import, export, storage, transportation, sale, distribution and use of pesticides and chemicals.

Pesticides management in the Islamic Republic of Iran

Laws and regulations

The Plant Protection Act of 1968 has provisions on pesticides usage and handling. This Act includes 25 articles and four chapters with 59 articles as the Implementation Regulation covering pesticide regulations.

Under Sections 3 and 4 of this Act, the import, production, formulation, packaging, transportation, and sale of pesticides are controlled through a registration scheme. The scheme involves evaluation of comprehensive socio–economic and scientific data on pesticides.

Pursuant to the Article 33 of the Implementation Regulation, the Pesticides Supervision Board (PSB) was established with representatives from the health and environmental administrations and research departments. By this law it is forbidden to deal with pesticides without authorization from the Plant Protection Organization (PPO) as the administrative body and PSB as the responsible authority one for national pesticide registration (conventional pesticide and biological control agents), banning and or limiting the usage of registered pesticides approval of labelling, production licensing (synthesis and formulation) and import licensing.

PSB is also responsible for approval and reconsideration of a recommended list of pesticides, chemical formulae, type of formulation, maximum weight and volume of packaging as well as type of containers.

PSB is composed of a representative from the Plant Protection Organization as chairman and also includes qualified representatives from Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection (IRIPP), Department of Environment, the Iranian Veterinary Organization, the Health Research Institute, the Forensic Medicine Department, the Nutrition Institute, and two experts in pest control nominated by Jihade-agriculture Minister.

PPO is responsible for issuing orders and technical guidelines on pesticides use with a view to preventing damage to human health and animal health (Article 23 of the Plant Protection Regulation).

The Board is tasked with evaluation of the technical recommendations proposed by PPO on pesticides (Article 35 of the Regulation). Two technical sub-committees established under the Board which assist it in the enforcement of pesticides regulations:

Pesticide registration applications are required to be accompanied by the latest investigations carried out by international organizations such as:

Information to be submitted is in line with the International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides.

Decision to be finally made after making a risk benefit analysis is based on all the data available to the Board. The Board shall either:

The registration or re-registration of pesticides is valid for the time period specified in the Board decision.

The provisionally registered pesticides are then examined and used in a small-scale and quality control, efficacy in different climate condition and health matters are investigated during the provisional registration with results again submitted to PSB which decides to reregister or refuse the registration. It must be demonstrated that a given pesticide is effective for the intended use and hazardless to human health and the environment.

Under the amendment to pesticides regulation (2006), in emergency cases importation of limited quantities of unregistered pesticide is allowed for two cultivation seasons only with permission of PSB.

Registered pesticides may only be imported by a holder of the Pesticides Import Licence. Each shipment of a registered pesticide must be accompanied by an import permit issued under the Pant Protection Act.

According to Article 28 of Regulations of the Plant Protection Act, regional departments of the Ministry of Health are to monitor pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables and other food stuffs as determined by IRPPI (Note of Article 28 of the Regulation). Due to lack of professionals and facilities to form a qualified body in Ministry of Health to undertake this duty, a routine procedure is not in place.

Iran pesticides management policy

(1) Iran is a vast country with varied climates that necessitate the use of different pesticides aimed at high efficacy and least pest resistance. However, a glance at the list of authorized pesticides reveals lack of diversity. Besides, some of the pesticides on the list were registered a long time ago.

According to a new policy adopted by PPO, highly hazardous pesticides of extensive use will be scheduled for replacement with less hazardous pesticides. Other control methods are also used to help the replacement in the context of IPM.

Pesticides with priority for replacement are those:

Agricultural research bodies such as Iranian Research Institute of Plant Protection (IRIPP), universities and research institute, which usually manage the use or research of a particular commodity, are tasked with finding suitable replacements.

(2) Since most farmers are mainly concerned with protecting their crop, they prefer toxic and highly persistent pesticides without much concern for harmful effect of pesticides. Therefore, local education and training on safe use of pesticides are necessary after a product is registered.

This year, the Ministry of Jihade-Agriculture decided to establish an effective network of extension officers through training 4,000 university graduates majoring in plant protection. Through a face-to-face teaching approach, they would learn about appropriate practices for pesticide use to prevent hazards posed by the pesticides. As a result, the graduates would be able to recommend replacement methods to farmers and help them realize the benefits of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP).

(3) Pursuant to paragraph B under Article 61 of the 4th Five Year Plan, the Government was tasked with finding instruments for greater use of compost fertilizers and biological control agents to prevent the unreasonable use of pest control chemicals and artificial fertilizers.

Based on the provisions of the above Article, PPO prepared a draft guideline on biological control agent scheme which was adopted by PSB.

Production of biological control agents and mass rearing of useful insects which are undertaken by the private sector are on the rise.

(4) With the gradual removal of insecticide and pesticide subsidies, the privatization began in 2004. It was extended to all type of pesticides during the current year. The privatization has greatly benefited the pesticide management since the government will channel the subsidies to Good Laboratory Practices (GLP), IPM, biological and non-chemical control practices, training, establishment of plant protection clinics and equipment for pesticides residue labs.

(5) Since some important issues are not covered in the current pesticides legislations, a new draft of Plant Protection Act has been prepared.

Implementation of the Rotterdam Convention in Iran

1998 – Convention was signed in Rotterdam

2004 – Convention was adopted by Islamic Consultative Assembly of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Nine months later, Iran became a member to the Convention.

At present, the enforcement of Rotterdam Convention on pesticides is undertaken at a relatively satisfactory level in light of existing pesticides regulations and PSB.

Designated National Authorities

According to the country's adherence to the Rotterdam Convention adopted in 2004, the following bodies are focal points for enforcement of the Convention:

Information from the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat on PIC procedure

As a developing with no risk assessment mechanisms in place, Iran has made good use of the information given in the Decision Guidance Documents (DGDs) on making import decisions about future imports or exports of pesticides. The information given by Notifications is also quite useful.

Both DNAs receive the DGDs, export notifications and notifications of control actions from exporting countries and from the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat. However, for better communication between DNAs and relevant governmental agencies dealing with hazardous chemicals, the Technical Advisory Committee has been established since 2006. The functions of the Committee are:

The Committee consisted of members from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Jihade–Agriculture (PPO), the Ministry of Oil, the Ministry of Industry and Mining, the Department of Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Iranian Customs.

Decision-Making Process (Import Responses)

Procedure for DNA to make a country import response:

The National Import Decision is enforced under the Regulation of Plant Protection Act 1968 (Articles 31 and 32):

Article 31: Import, formulation and change of the package of chemicals, plant hormone and herbicides shall require a permit from PPO.

Article 32: PPO compiles an annual list of authorized chemicals, plant hormone and herbicides which have been approved by PSB. This list will be utilized by importers and formulators.

PPO has an agreement with the Iranian Customs to prohibit the entry or export of pesticides subject to PIC treaty unless a permit is issued to allow import or export.

PPO as DNA for Pesticides has responded to the Secretariat on the PIC pesticides, except for Parathion as no record is kept for the regulatory decision of the use and trade of this substance.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has submitted 6 notifications and many are outstanding.

Over 100 pesticides have been removed from the List of Authorized Pesticides over the years, but Iran has failed to submit notifications for them, due to lack of a documentation system.

All PIC listed pesticides are banned for agriculture uses. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) pesticides have also been prohibited for many years, long before any treaty came into force. However, illegal transboundary movement of some of these pesticides is not prevented yet.

Information on pesticides poisoning

No matter how carefully the precautions for use of the pesticide products are written or how clearly they appear on approved labels, there are still cases of pesticide misuses that may result in poisoning.

Monitoring these pesticides poisoning cases will provide not only useful information regarding the effectiveness of the registration system but also information on hazards posed by pesticide under field conditions. Proper and accurate monitoring of pesticides poisoning cases can form a strong basis for appropriate policy decisions and control measures on pesticide use in the country.

Iran has been able to establish poisons information centres which provides information on poisons and advice on poisoning cases. However, this service does not conduct a systematic education and prevention programmes. As well, there is no collection and organization of data monitoring and network for incidents reporting in place. It means that in the Ministry of Health there is no organized system available for proper record keeping and reporting incidents. There is a need for training physicians on poisoning treatment and reporting.

Therefore, it is difficult for Iran to fulfil the requirements of Article 6 and Annex IV of the Convention.

Problems related to pesticides management and implementation of PIC procedure:

Appendix 1.2: Experience on
implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: Malaysia

by Siti Zaleha Ibrahim and Halimi Mahmud

Introduction

Malaysia has been very active in supporting international organizations to promote environmentally sound management of chemicals at international level including the implementation of Rotterdam Convention which aimed at promoting shared responsibility and cooperation among parties in the international trade of hazardous chemical in protecting human health and the environment.

Malaysia became party to the Rotterdam Convention on 4 September 2002. Malaysia has participated in many meetings both during the negotiations of the Rotterdam Convention and after the Convention came into force on 24 February 2004. Malaysia has also served in the Interim Chemical Review Committee (ICRC) and the Chemical Review Committee (CRC).

Overview of chemicals management

Chemical laws and regulations

Presently, there are several laws in operation in the country for the control of chemicals and pesticides. A summary of the responsibilities of the governmental bodies responsible for chemicals management are shown in Appendix 1.2.1.

Pesticides regulatory authority

The authority responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the Pesticides Act 1974 is the Pesticides Board, which comprises 14 members from related government agencies. The Secretariat for the Pesticides Board is the Pesticides Control Division, Department of Agriculture.

The Pesticides Board is responsible for the implementation and enforcement of various rules and regulations under the Pesticides Act 1974, including those related to the registration of pesticides. Only those pesticides that are registered with the Board may be imported, manufactured, used, distributed and sold in country.

In fulfilling national obligations under the Rotterdam Convention, the following Acts/Regulations are being used:

Pesticides Act 1974

Custom import and export prohibition orders

Industrial chemical regulatory authority

The focal point for implementing and managing of environmentally hazardous substances (EHS) which include hazardous chemicals and pesticides is the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (NRE). However, other ministries are also involved in the management of EHS.

At the ministerial level, the think tank for the direction, policy and implementation of the management, is the National EHS Steering Committee under the coordination of NRE.

The Division of Conservation and Environmental Management (DOCEM), a division from the ministry, is the policy and decision-making body in this issue, while the Department of Environment (DOE), a subordinate agency under the ministry, is the Designated National Authority (DNA) for industrial chemicals and the Pesticides Control Division, Ministry of Agriculture, is the DNA for pesticides under the Rotterdam Convention. The organization structure for the Steering Committee is shown in Appendix 1.2.2.

The Secretary General from the NRE acts as the chairman of the Steering Committee, while DOCEM acts as the Secretariat. The Steering Committee can be seen as an inter-ministerial group, where coordination and cooperation between ministries can be carried out. Besides, it acts as a mediator between the public and the private sectors, where both parties have the opportunity to put forward their views, in order to achieve the best solution for certain issues.

The status of use, production, import and export of Annex III pesticides in Malaysia

Out of the 28 pesticides listed in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, only two pesticides are currently registered and still in use in Malaysia, i.e. monocrotophos and methamidophos. These 2 pesticides are currently registered for bagworm control in oil palms by mean of trunk injection and they are categorized as highly toxic pesticides which are subject to the Pesticides (Highly Toxic Pesticides Regulations) 1996.

Role of the DNA in chemicals management activities in the country

Pesticides Board Malaysia

The Pesticides Board of Malaysia is the DNA for pesticides, while the Department of Environment is the DNA for industrial chemical. Both agencies are responsible for the overall chemicals management in the country.

To facilitate consultation in chemicals management including in fulfilling Malaysia's obligations under the Rotterdam Convention, an inter-ministerial committee has been established. The Pesticides Technical Committee under the Pesticides Board has been established to discuss matters related to the pesticides registration including decision to make notification on final regulatory action and import response under the Rotterdam Convention. Currently, the members of the Pesticides Technical Committee consist of representatives from Ministry of Health, Department of Agriculture, Department of Environment, Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Department of Chemistry and related Research Institutes. This Committee meets every month to consider applications for pesticides registration.

In addition to the Pesticides Technical Committee whose members are from government agencies, the Pesticides Board has also established the Pesticides Consultative Body in which the industry and NGOs are also represented.

Department of Environment, Malaysia

The administration and coordination of import responses and export notifications under the Rotterdam Convention for industrial chemicals are the responsibility of the Department of Environment (DOE) as DNA for industrial chemicals. The number of export notifications received by the Department of Environment from the year 2004 to 2007 is shown in Table 1. The flowchart for the import response decision for an industrial chemical is shown in Appendix 1.2.3.

Table 1.2.1 Malaysia: Number of Export Notifications Received for Industrial Chemicals, 2004-2007

Year Number of export
notifications received
2004 23
2005 11
2006 26
2007 25

Status of implementation of the Rotterdam Convention

Import responses (Articles 10 and 11)

Malaysia has fulfilled its obligation in providing the status of 28 pesticides in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention under import response requirement. Out of the total, only 2 pesticides (monocrotophos and methamidophos) are permitted to be manufactured and imported into Malaysia under the Rotterdam Convention provided they are registered under the Pesticides Act 1974.

Malaysia has also provided the response of not permitting the import of 26 other pesticides in the Annex III of the Convention as they are no longer registered for use in the country. Malaysia has also taken the action not to allow those pesticides to be manufactured in the country even solely for export purposes.

Before import response forms are sent to the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat, related government agencies will be consulted. For pesticides, the Pesticides Technical Committee will be consulted. In addition to the government agencies, comments and views are also sought from the industries and NGOs through Pesticides Consultative Body.

One of the legal frames used in preventing unauthorized exportation of Annex III chemicals and pesticides which might be in violation of the decision of the importing country is by making it mandatory under the Customs Export Prohibition Order for all the exporters to obtain permission from the DNA if they wish to export chemicals/pesticides in the Annex III of the Convention. Industries have also been informed on the requirement for them to obtain a letter of consent from the DNA if they wish to export those pesticides/chemicals.

Notification of final regulatory actions (Article 5)

So far Malaysia has submitted 4 notifications on pesticides as a result of the final regulatory actions taken by the regulatory authority, but later withdrew one of them.

Among the challenges faced in reporting notifications of the final regulatory actions is lack of documentation in support of the notifications, especially regulatory actions taken before the Rotterdam Convention came into force. In most cases, the reason for the banning or restricting was not based on risk or hazard evaluations.

SHPF (Article 6)

Up to now, Malaysia has not encountered any incidents of human or environmental poisonings as a result of exposure to severely hazardous pesticides formulations (SHPF).

The mechanism for collecting information regarding poisoning due to pesticides is already in place, where the Poisoning Case Report Form is provided to the relevant Department of Agriculture staff at district level. Collected information on poisoning will be sent to the DNA office for analysis in order to determine if such poisoning are due to pesticides exposure. In addition, information on pesticides poisoning is also collected from Government Hospital and further investigation is carried out, if necessary.

Information exchange provision (Article 14)

PIC Circular

PIC Circular published every 6 months serves as one of the sources of reference by the DNA for the pesticides on the status of pesticides in other countries. However, the use of such information for similar regulatory action is rather limited at the moment due to lack of detailed information.

Export notification (Article 12)

Malaysia has been receiving export notifications from European Union requesting for consent to export pesticides that are banned or restricted in the EU to Malaysia. The export notifications come in the form of letters or e-mails.

In replying, the DNA for pesticides gave the necessary information to the DNA of the exporting country whether to consent or not to consent the export. The information given to DNA of the importing country includes the registration status in Malaysia, the registrant and the registration validity period.

Malaysia has also been rejecting the import of some Annex III pesticides because the exportation was contrary to the import response of Malaysia.

Rotterdam Convention website

The Rotterdam Convention website is one of the important sources of information pertaining to the implementation and operation of the Convention. It provides information on the notifications of regulatory actions taken by parties, DGD, PIC Circulars and contact persons and addresses of DNAs.

One of the information referred to is on the upcoming meeting of the CRC and the COP as well as the new candidate chemicals for inclusion in Annex III.

Conclusion

Malaysia is very supportive of the Rotterdam Convention even well before it comes into force. In fulfilling its obligations as a party to this Convention, Malaysia has nominated 2 Designated National Authorities (DNA), one for pesticides (Pesticides Board of Malaysia) and one for industrial chemical (Department of Environment, Malaysia). Malaysia has provided the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat on the status of 44 pesticides/industrial chemicals in Malaysia as listed in Annex III of the Convention and taken steps to notify the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat on the regulatory actions taken on pesticides/industrial chemicals based on health and environmental reasons. Malaysia has benefited tremendously from being a party to this Convention, particularly in the information exchange mechanisms and participates in giving additional information and comments to the Secretariat on issues related to the implementation of the Convention as well as in ensuring that all activities related to pesticides/industrial chemicals are consistent with the requirements of the Convention.

Appendix 1.2.1

A Summary of Responsibilities of Governmental Ministries, Agencies and other
Institutions According to the Legislation and Subsidiary Legislation

Stages

Government Ministries, Agencies and
Other Institution

Relevant Legislation &
Subsidiary Legislation

Import

The Royal Malaysian Customs Department

Custom Act, 1967

Pesticides

Pesticides Board

Pesticides Act 1974

  • Pesticides (Registration Rules) 1976
  • Pesticides (Importation for Education and Research Purposes) Rules 1981

Industrial chemicals

Ministry of International Trade and Industry Department of Environment

Customs Act, 1967

  • Customs (Prohibition of Imports) Order

Consumer chemicals

Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs

Consumer Protection Act, 1999

Drugs

Ministry of Health

Sale of Drugs Act 1952 (Revised 1989)

Food

Ministry of Health

Food Act, 1983

Design and Planning

Fire and Rescue Department & Local Authority

By–Law Uniformed Building 1984

Building

Fire and Rescue Department & Local Authority

Street, Drainage & Building Act, 1974

Foodstuff

Ministry of Health

Food Act, 1983

Production

Emissions to air and water

Department of Environment

Environmental Quality Act 1974

Workers health and safety

Department of Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994

Food industry

Ministry of Health

Food Act, 1983

Transport of Hazardous Goods

Ministry of Transport

Road Transport Act, 1987

By road

Road Transport Department

By railroad

Ministry of Transport

At sea

Ministry of Transport

By aeroplane

Ministry of Transport, Department of Civil Aviation

Civil Aviation Act, 1969

Use/Handling

Pesticides

Ministry of Agriculture Pesticides Board

Pesticides Act, 1974

Cosmetics

Ministry of Health

Sale of Drugs Act, 1952 (Revised 1989) Control of Drugs and Cosmetics Regulations, 1984

Chemicals hazardous to health

Ministry of Human Resource, Department of Occupational Safety and Health

Occupational Safety and Health Act, 1994

Inflammable chemicals

Fire and Rescue Department

By–Law Uniformed Building 1984

Explosive

Fire and Rescue Department

By–Law Uniformed Building 1984

Drugs

Ministry of Health

Sale of Drugs Act, 1952 (Revised 1989)

Food additives

Ministry of Health

Food Act, 1983

Disposal

Department of Environmental

Environmental Quality Act, 1974

Environmental Quality (Scheduled Wastes) Regulations 2005

Environmental Quality (Prescribed Premises) (Scheduled Wastes Treatment and Disposal Facilities) Order, 1989

Appendix 1.2.2

Malaysia: Organization of National EHS Steering Committee

CHAIRMAN
(Secretary General of Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment)

SECRETARIAT
(Division of Conservation and Environmental Management, DOCEM)

MEMBERS

  1. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  2. Ministry of International Trade and Industry
  3. Ministry of Health
  4. Ministry of Agriculture
  5. Ministry of Transport
  6. Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs
  7. Economic Planning Unit, Prime Minister's Department
  8. Attorney General Chamber's of Malaysia
  9. Department of Occupational Safety and Health
  10. Royal Customs Department, Malaysia
  11. Department of Chemistry
  12. Pesticides Board
  13. Department of Environment
  14. National Poison Centre, University of Science Malaysia
  15. Chemical Industries Control of Malaysia (CICM)
  16. Malaysian Environmental NGOs
  17. Malaysian Institute of Chemistry

Appendix 1.2.3

Malaysia: Flow chart of import response decision in industrial chemicals

Appendix 1.3: Experience on
implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: Nepal

by Dr Sitaram Joshi and Dr Kanti Shrestha

Summary of the current status of the chemicals management

The need for chemicals control

How many chemicals exist in the market?

Chemicals being used in Nepal

No. Categories Chemicals
1 Agriculture DDT, pesticides, fungicides, and fertilizers, etc.
2 Medicine Antibiotics, Anabolic steroids, morphine, adenosine, and radioactive materials, etc.
3 Household Mosquito repellants, rat killer, Bagon sprays, hair dyes, and air freshener, etc.
4 Industries Sulphur, KClO3, phosphorus, organic solvents, polymers, plastics, and antibiotics, etc.
5 Laboratories Conc.H2SO4, acetic anhydride, CCl4, and CHCl3, etc.
6 Defense Tear gases, sulphur, nitroglycerine, chloropicrin, and explosives, etc.
7 Riot control Tear gases
8 Plant Quarantine Methyl bromide, etc.

Household chemicals

UN Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, 1988, which include the following:

N-acetylanthranilic acid Acetic anhydride
Ephedrine Acetone
Ergometrine Anthranilic acid
Ergotamine Ethyl ether
Isosafrole Hydrochloric acid
Lysergic acid Methyl ethyl ketone
3, 4-methylenedioxyphenyl-2-propanone Phenylacetic acid
1-phenyl-2-propanone Piperidine
Piperonal Potassium permanganate
Pseudoephedrine Sulphuric acid
Safrole Toluene
Norephedrine  

Management of chemicals in Nepal

Hazardous chemicals

Banned chemicals

Triethanol amine

Agricultural chemicals

Chemical weapons agents (Schedules 1, 2, and 3)

Industrial chemicals

Other relevant factors

  1. Trends in chemical production
  2. – Very few industries, e.g. pharmaceutical companies (42) and pesticide formulators (5).
    – Imported raw materials.

  3. Knowledge about effects of chemicals
  4. – Unavailability of database.
    – Less research work.
    – Unreported mild effects of chemicals.
    – Lack of knowledge and general awareness, e.g. Hg used in gold plating in an open place.

  5. Negative effect of chemicals on some groups
  6. – Poor labours and males.

  7. General awareness among the companies and stakeholders:
  8. – Lack of awareness and knowledge about the risks of chemicals.

  9. Main driving forces for better chemical control
  10. – International conventions and agreements, e.g. WTO obligations.
    – Export of agricultural products.
    – Increasing awareness level of consumer health.

Need for chemicals control (five reasons)

  1. Due to signatory of various international conventions.
  2. Being a member of WTO.
  3. Due to negative effect on human and animal health.
  4. Environment degradation (biodiversity).
  5. Illegal trade due to open borders, e.g. availability of banned chemicals (DDT).

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) molecule

Legislation and institutions in the area of chemicals management

Table 1.3.1: Nepal is a signatory of different environment-related international conventions on distributions and use of
                     hazardous chemicals

No. International Conventions Starting Date Ratification Date Focal Points
1 Stockholm Convention 22 May 2001 5 April 2002 MOEST*
2 Basel Convention 22 March 1989 15 August 1996 MOEST
3 Rotterdam Convention for PIC 11 September 1998 MOEST
4 Chemical Weapons Convention 12 January 1993 18 November 1997 MOFA**
5 Montreal Protocol 2 May 1994 6 Jully 1994 MOEST
6 SAICM 6 February 2006 MOEST

Note:*  Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology (MOEST)
          ** Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).

Table 1.3.2: Different acts and regulations related with chemicals

No. Different Acts Acts Regulation Implementing
institutes*
1 Pesticide 1991 1993 MOAC (DOA)
2 Environmental Protection 1997 1997 MOEST (EPC)
3 Food 1966 1970 MOAC (DFTQC)
4 Arms Control 1961 1962 MOD
5 Drug 1978 1995 (Policy) MOH (DDA)
6 Industrial Enterprises 1992 MOICS (DOI)
7 Plant Quarantine MOAC (DOA)
8 Veterinary Quarantine 1997 MOAC (DOAHS)
9 Narcotic Drug Control 1986 1988 HM
10 Nepal Consumer Protection 1998 MOC
11 Nepal Labour 1992 1993 MOLT
12 Cosmetics, Devices 1980

* Notes:

Objectives

Expected outputs

Main issues addressing the development of chemicals management

Tentative ideas for a development of chemicals management system in Nepal

How to address the issues?

Conclusions

Appendix 1.4: Experience on implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: Pakistan

by Mr Sajjad Ahmad and Mr Allah Rakha Asi
Ministry of Environment, Government of Pakistan

The summary on the status of the Rotterdam Convention implementation in Pakistan is as follows:

Brief introduction of the organization

Ministry of Environment

The Ministry is responsible for the national environment policy, planning and international environment coordination.

Status of the environment in Pakistan

Pakistan took a number of steps for the protection and conservation of environment during the past couple of decades. These included various institutional arrangements as follows:

Pakistan and Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)

In line with the global commitments for environment protection, Pakistan has ratified/signed and actively participating in chemicals related conventions as follows:

Pakistan has also ratified almost a dozen other multi-lateral environment agreements, which are being successfully implemented. These include, among others, the following:

Government policy and legal framework regarding environment

National environment policy

The objectives of the national environment policy are as follows:

Legal framework regarding the environment:

The Pakistan Environmental Protection Act was enacted by the Parliament on 6 December 1997 to provide for the following:

The Act particularly focuses on the following:

Operationalization of Act

On the enactment of the law, Ministry of Environment sets its priorities to operationalize its provisions. The following rules and regulations have so far been finalized in consultation with the stakeholders:

Overview of chemical industry

The chemical industry is collection of large number of industries including but not limited to chemicals and material industry, agrochemical industry, pharmaceutical industry, plastic, rubber and polymer industry, petrochemical industry, paints and coating industry, paper and pulp industry, and fertilizer industry.

The chemical units are widespread throughout the country. These include the following:

Chemical management in Pakistan

National Disaster Management Authority

At present, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) is focal point for Emergency Coordination in case of chemical disaster in the country. NDMA is being assisted by the Ministry of Industries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Commerce, and the Central Board of Revenue (CBR) which is responsible for managing import/Export control system related to different chemicals.

The matters related to pesticides industry are being managed by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.

Some projects

Pakistan and the Rotterdam Convention

Benefits

Issues and suggestions

Appendix 1.5: Experience on implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: Sri Lanka

Introduction

In Sri Lanka the industrial, agriculture, medical, research, education, services and household sectors use chemicals widely for different purposes.

Industrial sector has emerged as an important component in Sri Lanka economy after liberalization of economic policy. Major manufacturing industries are in the textile, leather, apparel and chemical-based sectors. These sectors have contributed to the overall growth of the private sector industries.

As at present, it is estimated that close to a thousands varieties of chemicals are brought into the country. It is widely believed that improper usage of chemicals is possibly one reason for the increase of incidences of cancer in the country.

According to medical sources, the rate of increase of cancer over the past 20 years is about 3.8 percent although it has not been statistically co-related to chemical pollution. However, there is evidence to show that unwise use of fertilizer has resulted in the increase of nitrate content in ground water in the North and North Western parts of the country that could be reliably correlated with the increase of various diseases such as blue baby syndrome.

Sri Lanka has implemented the Convention on a voluntary basis as part of the interim Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure and acceded to the Convention in 2006 with a view to improve chemicals management in the country. The procedure was implemented through the Designated National Authorities (DNAs), namely the Registrar of Pesticides (ROP) of the Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) representing pesticides and industrial chemicals respectively.

Chemicals management infrastructure

The Management Infrastructure of chemical in Sri Lanka could broadly classified under pesticides and industrial chemicals.

While, pesticides are comprehensively regulated by an Act of Parliament, the other chemicals are regulated based on concerns associated with their life cycle of use. Environmental pollutions, occupational health, consumer safety are some of those aspects under which some of those chemicals regulated to achieve desired objectives of the disciplines.

Chemicals management in Sri Lanka includes international instruments of the Stockholm Convention, the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the Chemical Weapon Convention. While the environment pollution related aspects of the chemicals are regulated by the Central Environmental Act, the exposure to the chemicals through food items are regulated by the Food Act implemented by the Health Ministry. Enforcement of the laws related to the pesticides is mandated to the Ministry of Agriculture.

For the purpose of implementation of Rotterdam Convention, an Inter-Ministerial Coordination Committee has been established under the Ministry of Agriculture.

For the purpose of implementation, the Registrar of Pesticides has been identified as the officer who is responsible for enforcement of the Control of Pesticides Act.

Legislative control

Pesticides

The Control of Pesticides Act No. 33 of 1980 [Annex 1: The Act] is the main framework of legal instrument that provides the required provisions for the management of pesticides including all other types of pesticides in the Country. The Act No. 6 of 1994 brought amendments to certain legal provisions of the original Act and strengthened some of the management aspects. The Act regulates import, formulation, re-packing, labeling, storage, transport, sale, and use of pesticide-treated crops through registration of products.

The Registrar of Pesticides (ROP) is the licensing authority. An inter-ministerial Technical Advisory Committee which is established according to the legal provisions of the Act advises the ROP on all related activities pertaining to efficient management of pesticides in the country. The Committee also formulates necessary policy guidelines. The office of the ROP is functioning under the Department of Agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Pesticide Technical and Advisory Committee

Ten ex-officio members:

  • Director General of Agriculture (Chairperson)
  • Registrar of Pesticides (Secretary)
  • Director General – Health Services
  • Director General – Central Environmental Authority
  • Director General – Standards Institute
  • Government Analyst
  • Heads of Tea, Coconut and Rubber Research Institutes
  • Deputy Commissioner General of Labour (Occupational Health)
  • Five experts from University, Customs, Attorney Generals Department and Two Scientists in related fields

There are few aspects in pesticide management that are covered by other regulatory mechanisms. Table 1.5.1. indicates the regulatory instruments addressing all the key management elements of pesticides in the country.

Table 1.5.1: Regulatory instruments of key management elements of pesticides

Element of Pesticide Management

Legal instrument

relevantarticles/provisions

Enforcement Agency

Registration

Control of Pesticides Act

Distribution and use/Section 6

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Importation

Control of Pesticides Act

Requirement of import of registered products/ Section 17

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Customs Ordinance and Import and Export Control Act No. 01 of 1969

Import control licensing provisions/Sections 4(3), 14 and 20

Dept. of Customs, Dept. of Import and Export Control

Formulation and repackaging

Control of Pesticides Act

Requirement of registration of the product/Section 14

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Factories Ordinance No. 45 of 1942 together with the amendment to the legislation in 19

The amending Act. No. 54 of 1961, the Law No. 12 of 1976, and the regulations made there under, provides provisions to ensure the safety, health and welfare of workers in factories

Division of Occupational Health

Environmental Act No. 47

Environmental protection related to effluents and emissions/Section 23 A

Central Environmental Authority

Storage and transport

Control of Pesticides Act

Prevention of contamination of Food items, unwarranted exposure/Section 16 and 19

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Distribution

Control of Pesticides Act

Assurance of legitimate use/Section 14

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Waste management, including disposal of pesticide container

Environmental Act No. 47

Environmental protection related to effluents and emissions/Section 23 A

Central Environmental Authority

Licensing

Control of Pesticides Act

Requirement of registration of the product

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Control of labeling

Control of Pesticides Act

Safe and proper use/Section 8

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Control of unauthorized use of pesticides

None

Not applicable

Not applicable

Control of advertisements

Control of Pesticides Act

Judicious use/Section 18

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Control of professional pest control operator

Control of Pesticides Act

Authorization for use of restricted pesticides/ Section 7

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Control of quality pesticides

Control of Pesticides Act

Requirement of registration of the product/Section 6

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Monitoring of pesticide residues in food and the environment

Control of Pesticides Act

Harvesting of treated crops/Section 20

Office of the Registrar of Pesticides

Food Act No. 26 of 1980

Residues in food (MRLs)/ Section 30

The Food Control Administration

Industrial chemicals

Legal instruments/regulations, policies and/or non-regulatory mechanism

Industrial chemicals are governed under a multitude of statutes. These statues carve out certain classes of industrial chemicals for regulation. They have been formulated for a variety of purposes such as health, public interest, maintenance of professional standards, particularly in the medical and related professions. As a result, there is no uniform approach to management of all industrial chemicals.

Legal instruments/regulations relating to import of industrial chemicals

On import of the industrial chemicals alone, there are eleven acts passed by the parliament and implemented by eleven organizations. Two examples are listed below:

Legislations relating to processing, storage, disposal of industrial chemicals

There are 7 more legislations that cover this area. Two examples are as follows:

Legislations relating to transport of industrial chemicals

There are three important legislations regarding the transport of industrial chemicals in Sri Lanka. These include Motor Traffic Act implemented by the Department of Motor Traffic where there is no specific regulations relating to the transport of chemicals, as well as Atomic Energy Authority Act No. 19 of 1969 (Supra) and Explosives Act No. 21 of 1956 (Supra) which stipulate conditions for the transport of specific categories of chemicals.

Other legislations

There are four other relevant legislations that apply to Industrial Chemicals Management Factories Ordinance No. 45. Workmen's Compensation Act No. 19 the Code of Criminal Procedure under whose public nuisance provisions the public is given the right to institute proceedings against a party causing a nuisance to normal public life.

Non-regulatory mechanisms

In addition there are non-regulatory mechanisms such as industrial practices (e.g. where pharmaceutical traders are reluctant to accept chemicals, which have not been registered with the Cosmetics Devices and Drugs Authority). There are also quality assurance and awareness programmes that educate sections of Community, and " Watchdog" groups who are ever vigilant on the industries that violate safety laws. However such voluntary mechanisms are not very strong.

Relevant ministries and agencies

There are many agencies in the public sector, some semi-government agencies, and a few private sector organizations that have an important role to play within the management framework of the industrial chemicals in Sri Lanka. Under these categories, 24 ministries and agencies are listed along with their functions related to the industrial chemical management. Some examples are as follows:

Name of the Institution

Main Function(s) executed in relation to industrial
chemical management

Sri Lanka Ports Authority
  • Unloading of chemical containers from ships and temporary storage
Sri Lanka Customs Department
  • Enforcement of import control regulations for chemicals
  • Identification of the chemicals mainly for collection of taxes
  • Verification of Authenticity of documents and physical examination of cargo.
Department of Import and Export Control
  • Control of import of restricted industrial chemicals by issuing licenses.

Status of use, production, import and export of Annex III chemicals

Annex III chemicals are not produced in the country and, therefore, the country has no experience of exporting them.

None of the pesticides listed in the Annex III are currently imported into Sri Lanka and, hence, no consent has been sought. Some of the industrial chemicals, where the regulatory infrastructure does not provide satisfactory control over their import, require consent. The country status in relation to the industrial chemicals in the recent past is as follows:

Year

Number of Cases

Number of Consents

2004

3

3

2005

2

2

2006

1

1

2007

3

3

In-country uses of the above chemicals:

Chemicals imported based on the PIC procedure;

Role of the DNA in chemicals management activities

There are two DNAs functioning in Sri Lanka covering pesticides and industrial chemicals separately. The agencies mandated for the two functions are:

The DNA(P), by law, is responsible for management of pesticides through the entire lifecycle from import, and manufacture to use, disposal and health safety. Thus all the elements of implementation of the Rotterdam Convention are embodied in the regular mandates of the DNA(P) in Sri Lanka. The inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination is achieved through the technical advisory committee functioning under the enforcement of the control of Pesticides Act.

Technical Advisory Committee for the Management of Industrial Chemicals (TACMIC) in Sri Lanka has been established to advise the CEA for effective and efficient implementation of the obligations assigned to the CEA as the DNA of the RC.

Agencies involved

CEA, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Industries, the Department of Import and Export Control, the Department of Industries, the Department of Customs, the Board of Investment, the Ministry of Health, the Ports Authority, and the Registrar of Pesticides (ROP).

Current legal infrastructure and administrative procedure with respect to the Rotterdam Convention

An inter-ministerial steering committee co-chaired by the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment is responsible for the administrative implementation of the Rotterdam Convention. The other agencies involved in the steering committee are the Controller of Import and Export, the Department of Customs, the Ministry of Industries and the two DNAs.

The technical aspects of the implementation of the elements of the Convention are carried out by the two DNAs in consultation with their respective technical advisory committees.

The Control of Pesticides Act provides most of the key provisions on pesticides for the purpose of the Rotterdam Convention. Listed below are the key legal instruments in implementation of the provisions of the Convention with respect to the industrial chemicals.

The National Environmental Act is being amended to make provisions for management (transport, storage, formulation, use and disposal) of the industrial chemicals.

Status of implementation of the Rotterdam Convention

With respect to pesticides under the PIC procedure, 22 out of the total of 30 pesticides including the Severely Hazardous Pesticide Formulations (SHPF) in the Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention have either been banned or not used in the country. Some of the formulations such as monocrotophos and methamidophos which posed unacceptable risk under the conditions prevailing in developing countries were banned as far back in 1995. There are 26 pesticides formally declared in the gazette as banned. Many others have been denied acceptance for registration based on technical reasons including hazards.

The importing country responses for 23 chemicals in Annex III have been reported. Asbestos (Crocidolite) is the only industrial chemical notified so far. A Technical Advisory Committee has been established for industrial chemical management. DNA(IC) in consultation with the committee will make the final decision on the importing country status.

Challenges in implementing the Rotterdam Convention

Key issues to be addressed through the ratification of the Convention in Sri Lanka

Suggested actions to implement the Convention in Sri Lanka

Appendix 1.6: Experience on implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: Thailand

1. How chemicals are managed in Thailand

(a) Overview of chemicals management infrastructure in the country including both pesticides and industrial chemicals

Thailand regulates pesticides and industrial chemicals under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992) in all activities including the production, import, export, or having in possession. The hazardous substance is classified according to the needs for control as follows:

The Committee on Hazardous Substances plays a key role in reviewing hazardous chemicals for inclusion in the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992). The committee consists of members from relevant government agencies at the levels of Permanent Secretary or Director General, with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Industry as the chairman and the Director General of the Department of Industrial Works as secretary. Those government agencies are the Department of Internal Trade, the Department of Medical Services, the Department of Public Works, the Police Department, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Agricultural Extension, the Food and Drug Administration, the Office of Atom for Peace, the Thai Industrial Standards Institute, the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The committee also has the support of experts and technical advisors on chemical management issues.

The regulatory actions taken to ban or severely restrict chemicals within the country are generally based on hazard review and risk assessment (ref. the guideline for risk analysis of the Chemical Hazard Screening Sub-committee under the Hazardous Substances Committee).

The criteria taken into consideration in both cases include human health and environmental monitoring. Alternatives, costs/benefits and/or supporting information from other reliable sources are also taken into consideration when submitted by relevant agencies. However, the levels of risk assessment vary from chemicals to chemicals.

The chemicals listed in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention (RC) are enlisted in the ministerial regulations issued under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992). The control status of Annex III chemicals are summarized in Tables 1.6.1, 1.6.2 and 1.6.3 below.

Table 1.6.1: Control status of Annex III pesticides under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992)

Pesticides (24)

Control Status*

2, 4, 5-T and its salts and esters Type 4 (DOA)
aldrin Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
binapacryl Type 4 (DOA)
captafol Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
chlordane Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
chlordimeform Type 4 (DOA)
chlorobenzilate Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
DDT Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
dieldrin Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
dinitro-ortho-cresol (DNOC) and its salt (such as ammonium salt, potassium salt and sodium salt) Type 4 (DOA)
dinoseb and its salts and ester Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
1, 2 dibromoethane, (EDB) Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
ethylene dichloride Type 3 (DIW)/Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
ethylene oxide Type 3 (DIW)/Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
fluoroacetamide Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
HCH (mixed isomers) Type 4 (DIW)
heptachlor Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
hexachlorobenzene Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
lindane Type 4 (DIW/DOA)
mercury compounds, including inorganic mercury compounds, alkyl mercury compounds and alkyloxyalkyl and aryl mercury compounds Type 3 (DIW)
Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
monocrotophos Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
parathion Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
pentachlorophenol Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
toxaphene Type 4 (FDA/DOA)

* DIW: Department of Industrial Works; DOA: Department of Agriculture; FDA: Food and Drug Administration

Table 1.6.2: Control status of Annex III SHPFs under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992)

SHPFs (4)

Control Status

dustable powder formulations containing a combination of;  
  • benomyl at or above 7%
  • carbofuran at or above 10%
thiram at or above 15%
Type 3 (DOA)

Type 3 (DOA)

Type 3 (DIW/DOA)
methamidophos (soluble liquid formulations of the substance that exceed 600 g active ingredient/l) Type 4 (FDA/DOA/DIW)
phosphamidon (soluble liquid formulations of the substance that exceed 1000 g active ingredient/l) Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
methyl parathion (emulsifiable concentrates (EC)
at or above 19.5% active ingredient and dusts at or above 1.5% active ingredient)
Type 4 (FDA/DOA)
Type 3 (DIW)

Table 1.6.3: Control status of Annex III industrial chemicals under the
                     Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992)

Industrial Chemicals (11)

Control Status

asbestos-crocidolite Type 4
asbestos-actinolite Type 4*
asbestos-anthophyllite Type 4*
asbestos-amosite Type 4
asbestos-tremolite Type 4*
polybrominated biphenyls (PBB) Type 4
polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) Type 4
polychlorinated terphenyls (PCT) Type 4
tetraethyl lead** Type 3 (DIW)
tetramethyl lead** Type 3 (DIW)
tris (2, 3 dibromopropyl) phosphate** Type 3 (DIW)

*   Currently under the process of issuing the ministerial regulation.
** Type 4 under the DOA and FDA.

(b) Roles of DNAs in chemicals management activities in the country

Based on the chemicals to be controlled for different purposes under the Hazardous Substances Act B.E. 2535 (1992), Thailand has designated three Designated National Authorities (DNAs) for the implementation of the RC, namely the Department of Agriculture (DOA) as DNA for pesticides, the Department of Industrial Works (DIW) as DNA for industrial chemicals and the Pollution Control Department (PCD) as DNA for other chemicals and the official contact point.

The coordination and communication mechanism regarding the implementation of the RC is done through the establishment of the National Sub-Committee. The National Sub-Committee for the RC has been appointed under the National Environment Board on 8 August 2005 to provide support for the effective operation of the RC. The Sub-Committee, chaired by the scholar under the National Environment Board, comprises representatives from 12 departments related to chemical management and international trade (i.e. the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Industrial Works, the Pollution Control Department, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of International Organizations, the Customs Department, the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs, the Department of Foreign Trade, the Department of European Affairs, and the Port Authority of Thailand), 3 scholars, representatives from industries (i.e. the Federation of Thai Industries and the Chemical Business Association), with PCD performing duties of the secretariat. On 17 January 2008, the composition of the Sub-Committee has been amended with the inclusion of representatives from the Department of Health and the Department of Disease Control of the Ministry of Public Health. There have been 8 national sub-committee meetings since September 2005.

2. Status of implementation of the Rotterdam Convention

Thailand has been active throughout the development of the RC. It became a party on 19 February 2002 by accession. Three Designated National Authorities (DNAs) and the National Sub-Committee for the RC have been appointed to support the implementation of the RC as mentioned above. Based on the outcomes of the National Consultation on the Development of National Action Plan for the Implementation of the RC held in Bangkok from 2-5 April 2007, the current implementation of the RC in Thailand is in line with the obligations of the Convention.

(a) PIC procedure

i. Import response (Articles 10 and 11)

Thailand has submitted import responses for all 39 chemicals listed in Annex III. All import responses indicated "no consent" decisions, except those for tetraethyl lead and tetramethyl lead, which indicated "consent under conditions". The import decisions have been made based on the control status of the Annex III chemicals as reported in Tables 1.6.1, 1.6.2 and 1.6.3. The import decisions are enforced simultaneously through the national regulation system as imports of Type 3 hazardous substances require registration and permission and imports of Type 4 hazardous substances are prohibited, except in a small quantity for use as laboratory standards and researches. With regard to import responses from other parties, the information is communicated to business sectors via internet publishing and through contact with industrial representatives in the National Sub-Committee.

ii. Notification of final regulatory actions (Article 5)

Thailand has submitted 53 Notifications of Final Regulatory Actions (FRAs) for banned or severely restricted chemicals to the Secretariat of the Rotterdam Convention. Notifications of FRAs have been submitted for all banned pesticides. At present, all pesticides and chemicals listed in Annex III to the RC have been either banned or severely restricted in Thailand.

iii. Severely hazardous pesticide formulations (Article 6)

There are infrastructures available within the country for reporting pesticide-poisoning incidents, including poison centres, occupational health clinics as well as the mandate for community hospitals to report pesticide-poisoning incidents. The information has been used by DOA to restrict pesticide formulations. However, Thailand has never submitted any proposal for severely hazardous pesticide formulations (SHPFs), as the types of data collected are insufficient to fulfill the criteria set out in the Convention.

(b) Information exchange provisions (Article 14)

Exchange of information under the RC is very useful to an importing country which has limited expertise and resources to conduct extensive researches on toxicology, persistency, residue limits, impact of pesticides on human and the environment. In the past, control measure, especially pesticide banning, is mostly based on PIC information.

For example, DOA used the information on Decision Guidance Documents (DGDs) for banning of chlorobenzilate, lindane, mevinphos and monocrotophos. The information available under the Convention is advantageous not only to the government but also to the agrochemical business.

i. PIC circulars

PIC circulars are published on the DNAs website and available to the public access. Thailand used the information on final regulatory actions for banned/severely restricted chemicals available on PIC circulars when it regulated the chemicals and when it made import decisions on such chemicals.

ii. Export notifications (Article 12)

Thailand acknowledges all export notifications received and utilizes the information of export notifications to regulate the chemicals. The sending of export notification indicates that such a chemical has been banned in the exporting country. The information and the reasons for banning are attached.

The information is useful for the Pesticide Surveillance Working Group because the banning action in a developed country is one of the criteria for consideration.

The export notification also gives us an opportunity to consent or not consent to import such a pesticide. In general, if a pesticide is registered for use in our country, the consent to import will be given to the pesticide.

In the case of nonylphenol ethoxylate which is used as emulsifier in pesticide formulation, the export notification shows that this chemical has an adverse impact on the environment. As a result, DOA advises the importers of the chemical to seek other substitute chemicals.

On the other hand, Thailand does not send any export notification because exports of banned pesticides and industrial chemicals are prohibited.

iii. Information to accompany export (Article 13)

The Harmonized System Customs Codes for Chemicals in Annex III have been used by the Customs Department. Thailand is currently developing a regulation on the implementation of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).

iv. Rotterdam Convention website

DNAs consult the Convention website for all relevant information. They are also aware of the section on the technical assistance.

3. Challenges in implementing the Rotterdam Convention

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