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Rotterdam Convention

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Title: Rotterdam Convention  
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Rotterdam Convention

Rotterdam Convention
Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade
The logo of the Rotterdam Convention Secretariat
Type United Nations treaty
Signed 10 September 1998
Location Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Effective 24 February 2004
Condition Ninety days after the ratification by at least 50 signatory states
Signatories 72
Parties 154
Depositary Secretary-General of the United Nations
Languages Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish

The Rotterdam Convention (formally, the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade) is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals. The convention promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans. Signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty, and exporting countries are obliged to make sure that producers within their jurisdiction comply.

The sixth meeting of the Rotterdam Conference[1] was held from 28 April to 10 May 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.


  • Substances covered under the Convention 1
  • Substances proposed for addition to the Convention 2
  • State parties 3
  • Canada's controversial stand on chrysotile in 2011 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Substances covered under the Convention

Substances proposed for addition to the Convention

The Chemical Review Committee of the Rotterdam Convention decided in October 2012[2] to recommend to the Conference of the parties meeting in April/May 2013 that it consider the listing of the following chemicals, including a severely hazardous pesticide formulation, in Annex III to the Convention:

State parties

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

Canada's controversial stand on chrysotile in 2011

At the 2011 meeting of the Rotterdam Convention in Geneva, the Canadian delegation surprised many with a refusal to allow the addition of chrysotile asbestos fibers to the Rotterdam Convention.[3][4][5][6] Hearings are scheduled in the EU in the near future to evaluate the position of Canada and decide on the possibility of a punitive course of action.[7][8][9]

In continuing its objection, Canada is the only G8 country objecting to the listing. Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Ukraine also objected. Vietnam had also raised an objection, but missed a follow-up meeting on the issue.[10] In taking its position, the Canadian Government contrasted with India, which withdrew its long-standing objection to the addition of chrysotile to the list just prior to the 2011 conference.[11]

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

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

See also


  1. ^ [2]
  2. ^ Chemicals recommended for listing in Annex III.
  3. ^ Canadian Cancer Society Reacts to Conservative Harper Administration's Position on Chrysotile, 23 June 2011
  4. ^ Canadian comedianne fails to see humor in Canadian position on treaty
  5. ^ UN Delegates Shocked at Canadian Stand on Chrysotile, 24 June 2011
  6. ^ Canadian Physicians criticize own government
  7. ^ O'Neil, Peter (2011-06-08). "European Parliament slams Canada's oilsands, asbestos, sealing industries". Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  8. ^ "MEPs favour EU-Canada trade deal, but worry about seals, tar sand oil and asbestos". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  9. ^ "UPDATE: European Parliament to be asked to take sanctions against Canada on asbestos, June 30". Council of Canadians. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 10 August 2011. 
  10. ^ Canada Wins 2-year Stay on Potential Ban of Exports of Chrysotile Asbestos to India
  11. ^ India: position advocating the addition of chrysotile to Rotterdam Convention, May 31, 2011
  12. ^ Women In Europe for a Concerned Future criticize Canada's stance in 2011
  13. ^ 2011 Rotterdam Convention Decision criticized by environmental groups
  14. ^ Canadian Cancer Society denounces decision by Canadian Government
  15. ^ International Ban Asbestos Secretariat issues statement critical of Canadian decision
  16. ^ Indian Center for Science and Environment issues statement criticizing Canada
  17. ^ "Canada won't oppose asbestos limits". CBC News.  

External links

  • Official site of The Rotterdam Convention
  • Text of theConvention
  • Ratifications
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