On the 1st March 2014, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) became the responsible body for another Chemical Regulation in the EU. The Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation, EU 649/2012 is a recast of an existing piece of legislation that governs the export and import of certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in the EU.
This Regulation which entered into force on 1st March 2014 implements the requirements of the global Rotterdam Convention, which aims to protect human health and the environment from the most hazardous chemicals and pesticides currently in use in some parts of the world, particularly the Developing World. Chemicals such as Benzene, Chloroform and Asbestos are included in the Conventions. It aims to achieve this by imposing restrictions and conditions on the sale of these chemicals to countries or regions that have signed up to the Convention.
What does this mean in practice?
An EU company planning to export a chemical that is listed on this Regulation must check their obligations; as certain exports are banned while others are subject to a notification procedure. In other cases the explicit consent of the importing country must be sought in the first instance and the importing country must have given consent before the chemical can be exported to that country.
A company located outside to the EU planning to export a chemical listed on the Rotterdam Convention should check their obligations prior to export as similar obligations will apply to the EU as one region that has adopted the Rotterdam Convention.
ECHA assumed the administrative responsibility for the PIC regulation on 1st March 2014. Similar to REACH, CLP and Biocides it will provide support on the Regulation as well as maintain an online submission platform for notifications required under the Regulation.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the EU Commission which currently administers this function will cease to do so on 1st March.
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