About Prior Informed Consent (PIC)
In 1999, the United Kingdom signed the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (PIC), which allows signatories to monitor and control the international trade of certain hazardous chemicals.
In the European Union, Regulation (EU) 649/2012 concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals implements the Rotterdam Convention and is the latest in a series of such regulations on international chemicals trade dating back to 1992.
It promotes shared responsibility and co-operation and allows countries that are importing certain hazardous chemicals to specify conditions that the imported chemicals must meet.
It aims to protect human health and the environment by providing developing countries with information on how to store, transport, use and dispose of hazardous chemicals safely.
This regulation also includes chemicals from the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS) the export of which is banned.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) are the Designated National Authorities for the UK. HSE provides information on Regulation (EU) 649/2012 on behalf of the UK Designated National Authorities.
What is the Designated National Authority?
Regulation (EU) 649/2012 requires that Member States designate an Authority to carry out the administrative functions of the regulation; and that has responsibility for controlling imports and exports of chemicals covered by the Regulation; and provide for appropriate sanctions in the event of infringements.
The Biocidal Products and Chemicals (Appointment of Authorities and Enforcement) Regulations 2013 establishes the Health and Safety Executive as the Designated National Authority for Great Britain.
- European Chemicals Agency (Understanding PIC) - source ECHA
- ePIC - Prior Informed Consent IT system - source ECHA
- Guidance on PIC - source ECHA
- Rotterdam convention website
- Stockholm convention website
- Regulation (EU) 649/2012 - source Office Journal of the European Union (pdf format)
- The Biocidal Products and Chemicals (Appointment of Authorities and Enforcement) Regulations 2013 - source legislation.gov.uk