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Interim Secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention
UNEP Chemicals
11-13 chemin des Anémones, Châtelaine
CH-1219 Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 8111 
Fax: +41 22 797 3460 
E-mail: pic @ unep.ch

Interim Secretariat for the Rotterdam Convention
Plant Protection Service, Plant Production and Protection Division, FAO
Viale delle Terme di Caracalla 
Rome 00100, Italy
Tel: +39 06 5705 3441 
Fax: +39 06 5705 6347 
E-mail: pic @ fao.org 

Internet http://www.pic.int/ 


The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade was adopted at a Conference of Plenipotentiaries in Rotterdam on 10 September 1998. Seventy-two States and the European Community have signed the Convention. It will enter into force once 50 States have ratified it. The Conference adopted a resolution on interim arrangements related to the Convention. 

A Chemical Review Committee (CRC) will be established by Article 18§6 of the Convention, but until the Convention enters into force an Interim CRC has been appointed. 

Organization and Dynamics

Mandate: The Interim CRC has the following functions and responsibilities:
- Making recommendations on the inclusion of banned and severely restricted chemicals: reviewing the information provided in notifications of final regulatory actions and, in accordance with the criteria set out in annex II of the Convention, recommending to the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) whether the chemical in question should be made subject to the interim PIC procedure;
- Making recommendations on the inclusion of severely hazardous pesticide formulations: reviewing the information provided in proposals for the inclusion of a severely hazardous pesticide formulation in the interim PIC procedure and, in accordance with the criteria set out in part 3 of annex IV of the Convention, recommending to the INC whether the chemical in question should be made subject to the interim PIC procedure;
- Preparing draft decision guidance documents: specifically, for each chemical that the Interim CRC has decided to recommend to be made subject to the interim PIC procedure, preparing a draft decision guidance document, which should, at a minimum, be based on the information specified in annex I of the Convention or, as the case may be, annex IV, and include information on uses of the chemical in a category other than the category for which the final regulatory action applies. 

Once established, the Chemical Review Committee (CRC) will also have a fourth responsibility “to make recommendations on the removal of chemicals from Annex III and the revision of decision guidance documents” in accordance with Article 9, paragraph 2 of the Convention. 

Membership: INC-6 (Rome, 12-16 July 1999), which established the Interim CRC, decided that it should comprise 29 government-designated experts in chemical management, appointed on the basis of equitable geographical distribution, ensuring a balance between developed and developing countries. 

The following governments from each of the seven PIC regions were nominated to designate experts to the Interim CRC (A list of the designated experts is to be found in UNEP/FAO/PIC/ICRC.1/INF/3 of 1 December 1999):
(a) Africa (6 Members): Cameroon, Ethiopia, Gambia, Mauritius, Morocco and South Africa;
(b) Asia (5 Members): China, India, Indonesia, Japan and Nepal;
(c) Europe (6 Members): Finland, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Russian Federation and Turkey;
(d) Latin America and the Caribbean (5 Members): Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador and El Salvador;
(e) Near East (3 Members): Egypt, Qatar and Sudan;
(f) North America (2 Members): Canada and United States of America; and 
(g) Southwest Pacific (2 Members): Australia and Samoa. 

The members of the Interim CRC will serve for a period of three years or until the first session of the Conference of the Parties, whichever occurs first. If, on the expiration of the three years, the Convention has not yet entered into force, the INC will take any necessary decisions regarding the extension of the term of office of its members or the appointment of new members. 

Work and Outputs

Meetings: INC-6 considered draft decision guidance documents for six chemicals: binapacryl, bromacil, ethylene dichloride, ethylene oxide, maleic hydrazide and toxaphene. It adopted decision guidance documents for binapacryl and toxaphene and referred the remaining four decision guidance documents (DGD) to the Interim CRC. 

At its first meeting, held in Geneva in February 2000, the Interim CRC decided to forward draft DGD for ethylene dichloride and ethylene oxide to the INC for consideration at its next meeting, scheduled to take place October 2000 in Geneva. The Interim CRC further recommended not to include bromacil and asked the INC to make further policy clarifications before deciding on maleic hydrazide. The Interim CRC also established a number of Task Groups to work inter-sessionally on various issues related to its operational procedures. These Groups will work informally using email and fax. 

Means of Conveying Information to Policymakers: To add or remove a chemical from Annex III of the Convention, the CRC submits a DGD to the COP, which decides whether to approve the DGD and add the chemical. 

Information Technology

The Interim Secretariat is currently working on an office automation project to improve the transfer of documents and increase general administrative efficiency. 


No specific arrangements exist at present with other international scientific advisory processes. 


Prepared by Jan-Stefan Fritz for the Second Report on International Scientific Advisory Processes on the Environment and Sustainable Development, 2000
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