Rotterdam Convention Body Reviews Draft Guidance on Chemicals Ahead of COP-9
Photo courtesy of Graciela Metternicht
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CRC-14 set the stage for COP-9, which will take place back-to-back with Basel Convention COP-14 and Stockholm Convention COP-9 in April-May 2019.

Agenda items included draft decision guidance documents for acetochlor, HBCD and phorate.

Delegates agreed to recommend listing these chemicals in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention, and discussed the updated version of the Handbook of Working Procedures and Policy Guidance for the CRC.

13 September 2018: Governments have agreed to recommend listing several hazardous chemicals in an annex of the Rotterdam Convention to ensure they are subject to the Prior Informed Consent procedure (PIC). The recommendation is an outcome of the 14th meeting of the Chemical Review Committee (CRC-14) to the Rotterdam Convention on the PIC Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. The chemicals to be added to the PIC annex are: acetochlor, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) and phorate.

CRC-14 took place from 11-13 September 2018, in Rome, Italy. The CRC is a subsidiary body of the Rotterdam Convention established to review chemicals and pesticide formulations according to the criteria set out by the Convention in Annexes II and IV, respectively, and make recommendations to the Conference of the Parties (COP) for listing such chemicals in Annex III (Chemicals subject to the PIC procedure).

In discussing the listing for acetochlor, HBCD and phorate, the Committee considered draft decision guidance documents. The recommendation to list them in Annex III will be considered during Rotterdam Convention COP-9, which will take place back-to-back with Basel Convention COP-14 and Stockholm Convention COP-9, from 29 April-9 May 2019.

The Committee also discussed the updated version of the Handbook of Working Procedures and Policy Guidance for the Chemical Review Committee (CRC Handbook), and reviewed the notifications of final regulatory action for HBCD, methyl-parathion, and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), its salts and related compounds. On HBCD, delegates decided to take no further action on the notification submitted by Canada. On methyl-parathion, delegates determined that it had not met all the criteria for listing. On PFOA, its salts and related compounds, delegates established an intersessional drafting group to work on draft guidance.

Noting that the CRC meeting has set the stage for COP-9, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin summary reports that delegates at COP-9 delegates also will consider unresolved issues from COP-8, including on carbosulfan, chrysotile asbestos, paraquat and fenthion. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin notes that these four substances “have met with strident opposition to listing,” and that the Convention’s experiences on these substances “informed the thinking of many CRC delegates as they carried out their work in Rome,” with one CRC member emphasizing “the need to have transparent and robust discussions at the CRC to lay a solid scientific foundation for decision-making at the COP.” [IISD RS coverage of CRC-14]


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