A Designated National Authority (DNA) is the focal point in a country for the Rotterdam Convention. The DNAs plays a crucial role in the implementation of the Convention for the dissemination of information concerning the provisions of the Convention to the relevant government departments as well as to other partners such as export and importing industries and Customs officers. The DNA is also the key contact point for matters related to the Convention for other Parties and the Secretariat.
In line with the Convention, each Party must designate one or more national authorities to act on its behalf with regard to the performance of the administrative functions required by this Convention. The decision as to the number of DNAs is up to individual governments. Most Parties have nominated the authority regulating chemicals in their country as the DNA, while others have nominated authorities responsible for foreign affairs.
One important requirement is for Governments to ensure that their DNAs are provided with the necessary resources to effectively carry out their responsibilities. DNAs are also responsible for providing information to the Secretariat and to other participating countries as required by the Convention.
Article 4 of the Convention stipulates the role of a Designated National Authority in implementation of the Convention.
- Each Party shall designate one or more national authorities that shall be authorized to act on its behalf in the performance of the administrative functions required by this Convention.
- Each Party shall seek to ensure that such authority or authorities have sufficient resources to perform their tasks effectively.
- Each Party shall, no later than the date of the entry into force of this Convention for it, notify the name and address of such authority or authorities to the Secretariat. It shall forthwith notify the Secretariat of any changes in the name and address of such authority or authorities.
- The Secretariat shall forthwith inform the Parties of the notifications it receives under paragraph 3
The DNA for a Party has a number of responsibilities to undertake that are described in Article 5, 6, 10, and 12, 13, 14. These include:
Notifying the Secretariat of national final regulatory actions
In line with Article 5 of the Convention, when a country becomes a Party, the DNA is required to submit notifications of all final regulatory actions for all actions that have been taken by that country on its regulated chemicals.
The DNA has an ongoing obligation to notify the Secretariat when a final regulatory action has been taken to ban or severely restrict a chemical for human health or environmental reasons. The Secretariat then shares the information with all Parties through the PIC Circular.
The Secretariat has developed an online interactive form to assist DNAs with the submission of notifications of final regulatory action.
Submitting proposals for severely hazardous pesticide formulations
In line with Article 6 of the Convention, DNAs from developing countries or countries with an economy in transition are invited to submit proposals to the Secretariat for the listing of severely hazardous pesticide formulations in Annex III of the Convention if problems are experienced from the use of such formulations under local conditions.
In order to strengthen the information flow, the Secretariat and the Chemical Review Committee have developed forms for reporting incidents caused by the use of a severely hazardous pesticide formulation. One form is designed for incidents relating to human health and the second relating to environmental issues. When using these forms, cases of suspected pesticide poisonings or environmental incidents should be reported along with available evidence linking the pesticide formulation to the incident.
Each of the two forms consists of two parts. Part A is completed by the DNA and contains official information on the country. Part B of the form is designed to report on an individual incident with provision for information obtained in the field where the incident has taken place. DNAs are encouraged to make contact with Extension Services, NGOs and aid agencies to obtain relevant information on a particular incident to complete Part B. The DNA is to submit the proposal to the Secretariat with Parts A and B of the form completed.
Providing import responses to chemicals subject to the PIC procedure
Under Article 10, import responses are to be submitted for each chemical listed in Annex III and subject to the PIC procedure. Import responses indicate whether or not a Party will consent to the future import of the chemical.
The Secretariat has developed an online interactive form to assist DNAs with the submission of import decisions.
Communicating import responses to stakeholders in the country
DNAs are informed of all import responses from all countries that are Parties to the Convention through the PIC Circular every 6 months. DNAs are expected to disseminate this information to all relevant agencies that may be involved in the regulation, production and trade of chemicals in the country, e.g. government departments, manufacturers, export industries, etc. This is to enable those entities to take the appropriate actions to ensure that exports do not occur contrary to the import responses of other Parties.
Sending and acknowledging export notifications
When a Party has banned or severely restricted a chemical but continues to export it, the Convention requires that prior to the first shipment after the action or before the first shipment in a calendar year, the DNA must send an export notification to the DNA of the importing Party. The DNA of the importing Party must send an acknowledgement that it has received the export notification.
The Convention has a number of information exchange provisions, including information to accompany exported chemicals and general information exchange. The DNA receives information from the Secretariat and from Parties and is responsible for distributing the information nationally. The DNA also has the responsibility to respond to requests for information from the Secretariat or from other Parties.