Six new chemicals were recommended to be added to the Rotterdam Convention list of hazardous substances subject to prior informed consent (PIC) proceedings before shipment. These recommendations were made by the Chemical Review Committee during meetings held in Rome on March 28-April 1. The PIC procedure provides all Parties with an opportunity to make informed decisions as to whether they will consent to future imports of the chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention.
The six chemicals recommended for listing include three pesticides (endosulfan, azinphos methyl, and Gramoxone Super) and three industrial chemicals (perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), its salts, and precursors; pentabromodiphenyl ether (penta-BDE) commercial mixtures; and octabromodiphenyl ether (octa-BDE) commercial mixtures). If approved by the conference of parties, the chemicals would be added to the Annex III list of controlled substances. The next conference of the parties to the Rotterdam Convention will be held in Geneva, Switzerland on June 20-24, 2011.
More information about the Rotterdam Convention can be found here.
As with other international agreements, the United States signed on to the agreement but has never ratified it. Thus the US is relegated to offering opinions as an observer but has no voting rights. Ironically, Jim Willis, the Chemical Control Division Director at EPA, is about to move to Geneva to take over as Executive Secretary for the Rotterdam, Stockholm and Basel Conventions.
The article here talks about how the Rotterdam Convention and Prior Informed Consent fits into recent discussions on TSCA chemical reform in the US.