Rotterdam Convention on Prior Informed Consent
Growth in chemical production and trade has raised concerns about potential risks posed by hazardous chemicals and pesticides to human health and the environment. In response, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), co-sponsored negotiations that resulted in the 1998 Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade. Its objectives are: to promote shared responsibility and cooperative efforts among parties in the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals to protect human health and the environment from potential harm; and to contribute to the environmentally sound use of those hazardous chemicals.
The PIC Procedure is a mechanism for obtaining and disseminating the decisions of importing parties on whether they wish to receive future shipments of certain chemicals, and for ensuring compliance with these decisions by exporting parties. The Procedure applies to chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention, which includes pesticides, industrial chemicals, and severely hazardous pesticide formulations.