a) Developing or strengthening national legal or administrative infrastructure
i) International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides.
The FAO International Code of Conduct on the Distribution and Use of Pesticides (the Code) is an internationally recognized guidance document on pesticide management. The Code is designed to provide standards of conduct and to serve as a point of reference in relation to sound pesticide management practices, in particular for government authorities and the pesticide industry.
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FAO has developed a series of Guidelines on Pesticide Management in support of the implementation of the Code. These technical guidelines provide specific guidance and information covering various areas of pesticide management and include such topics as: registration and control of pesticides; legislation; personal protection for those working with pesticides; good labelling practices; pesticide storage and stock control; tender procedures for the procurement of pesticides; etc. These documents are frequently the basis for the development of policies and practices in countries looking to initiate or improve a pesticide management scheme.The relevant guidelines may be accessed at
A selection of the guidance documents (listed below) may be downloaded here:
- Guidelines on the initial introduction and subsequent development of a simple national pesticide registration and control scheme (FAO 1991)
These Guidelines are intended to provide assistance to those countries that do not yet have a pesticide registration and control scheme in operation. They discuss the need for controls and the scope of a simple scheme, and make the point that before controls can be put into place appropriate legislative powers are essential.
Guidelines on Introduction and Development of a National Pesticide Registration and Control Scheme (FAO 1991)
- Guidelines on compliance and enforcement of a pesticide regulatory programme (FAO 2006)
These guidelines are designed to provide a reasonably comprehensive source of compliance and enforcement guidance to support of a pesticide regulatory programme. The reference section of the guidelines contains information about a number of other publications that may be useful to countries seeking information on the implementation of pesticide compliance and enforcement programmes.
Guidelines on Compliance and Enforcement of a Pesticide Regulatory Programme 06
- Guidelines for Legislation on the Control of Pesticides (FAO)
These Guidelines are intended to provide assistance to Governments wishing to develop a legal framework for the control of pesticides or to review and possibly strengthen existing pesticide control legislation. Legislation must be designed to be able to deal effectively with specific problems existing in the country. Although a general framework can be suggested, as is done in these Guidelines, in the normal course of events good pesticide legislation must take account of the economic and social situation of the country as well as any specific technical requirements such as the crops grown, pest problems, dietary patterns, toxicity of the required pesticides, level of literacy, and climatic and environmental considerations.
Guidelines for Legislation on the Control of Pesticides (FAO) 1989
ii) Guide on the Development of National Laws to Implement the Rotterdam Convention
This Guide reviews possible actions by governments in developing the appropriate legal or administrative infrastructure for the implementation of the Convention in the context of existing national laws, and includes suggestions on ways to link such actions to other international instruments on chemicals in support of an integrated approach to their implementation at the national level.
Guide on the Development of National Laws to Implement the Rotterdam Convention
iii) Guidance for developing National Implementation Plans for the Stockholm Convention.
The Stockholm Convention requires countries to develop National Implementation Plans. The first meeting of the Conference of the Parties adopted guidance for assisting countries in the preparation of these plans. The guidance includes specific text relevant to the requirements of the Rotterdam Convention and has been developed as a means of encouraging integrated implementation of the two Conventions at the national level.
Guidance for developing National Implementation Plans for the Stockholm Convention
iv) Developing and sustaining an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals Management - Guidance document 2004 edition (UNITAR)
This document has been developed to assist countries in developing and implementing an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals Management. The document provides context and background on the importance of chemicals management and introduces the international policy framework for the sound management of chemicals. It also outlines the national framework for an integrated national programme for chemicals management, including the importance of inter-ministerial collaboration and developing a national policy on chemicals, and concludes by outlining a range of activities and practical suggestions for concrete action towards developing and sustaining an integrated national programme for the sound management of chemicals.
Developing and sustaining an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals Management - Guidance document-2004
The document is published with a companion document: Searching for Synergies: Linking Waste Management to an Integrated National Programme for Sound Chemicals Management (13 May 2004) which explores opportunities to link chemicals and waste management nationally.
Searching for Synergies-unitar-doc
v) Preparing a National Profile to Assess the National Infrastructure for Management of Chemicals: A Guidance Document (1996) (UNITAR)
This document has been developed to assist countries in preparing comprehensive National Profiles to assess their national infrastructure for the sound management of chemicals through a process which involves all interested parties. While the suggested approach is comprehensive, the document has been designed to provide flexibility to countries in order to ensure that National Profiles are prepared in accordance with country priorities and are consistent with available information and resources.
Guidance on National Profile preparation(2003)
vi) Preparing/Updating a National Profile as part of a Stockholm Convention National Implementation Plan (UNITAR 2003) (working draft)
This guidance note has been developed to assist countries in preparing Stockholm Convention-related information, as part of a National Profile process that involves all interested and affected parties at the country level. The development of a National Profile, or the updating of an existing National Profile in the manner suggested, can result in a useful tool to support the implementation of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). While the suggested approach is comprehensive, the document has been designed to provide flexibility to countries in order to ensure that efforts are undertaken in accordance with country priorities and are consistent with available information and resources.
The document is intended to serve as companion guidance to (and should be read in conjunction with the primary guidance provided by the 1996 document, Preparing a National Profile to Assess the National Infrastructure for Management of Chemicals: A Guidance Document.
Updating a National Profile as part of a Stockholm Convention NIP
vii) Guidance for "Developing a Capacity Assessment for the Sound Management of Chemicals and National SAICM Implementation"(UNITAR)
This guidance document has been prepared with the intention of assisting interested countries in preparing a national SAICM capacity assessment. The target audience for the document includes government ministries and agencies, working together with stakeholder groups such as industry, labour organizations, environmental and health NGOs, research and academia, etc., that have an interest and stake in chemicals management and SAICM implementation. It assumes that countries have prepared a National Profile and are interested in and committed to taking the next steps in assessing gaps and identifying priorities.
Developing Capacity Assessment for chemicals and SAICM implementation
b) Working with Customs Authorities - Import and Export Controls
i) Case Studies on customs-related implementation of the Rotterdam Convention
To all practical effects, customs officers are 'gate keepers' of the Convention since they are likely to encounter these chemicals during their daily work. The successful identification of chemicals covered by the Convention, as well as a clear understanding on where to seek more information on the provisions of the Convention, applicable national laws and chemicals listed under the Convention are key elements to the success of the work of customs officers. Recognizing that different countries may apply different approaches to the integration of customs officials in the implementation of the Convention at the national level, the experiences of Jamaica and Switzerland may provide useful working examples of the roles that customs officers can play in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention at the national level. The case studies are focused on procedures, information resources and key players at the national level.
Jamaica: In Jamaica the control of imports is achieved through a system of import permit or licence in collaboration with Customs Authorities at all ports. To improve the information exchange about the characteristics of chemicals banned for use or subject to severe restrictions, stakeholders have been involved in the implementation of the Convention.
Jamaica's experience with the customs-related implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: English | Spanish
Switzerland: Switzerland has implemented the Rotterdam Convention in its "Ordinance on the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Chemicals in International Trade (PIC Ordinance, ChemPICO)". The key players in ensuring the implementation of the Convention in Switzerland are the Designated National Authority (DNA, which is the Federal Office for the Environment - FOEN) and the Customs Offices. The Ordinance contains two parts: one part dealing with provisions for and obligations of exporters and importers and the other part with the obligations of the federal agencies.
Switzerland's experience with the customs-related implementation of the Rotterdam Convention: English | Spanish
ii) Harmonized System Codes assigned to chemicals in Annex III to the Rotterdam Convention
In line with Article 13 of the Convention, the World Customs Organization (WCO) has assigned specific Harmonized Customs Codes to certain of the individual chemicals or groups of chemicals in Annex III of the Convention. The process for assigning specific Harmonized System (HS) codes to the remaining chemicals listed in Annex III has been initiated. The inclusion of these HS codes in the shipping documentation for Annex III chemicals, as required by the Convention, should facilitate integration of the work on the Rotterdam Convention with that of customs authorities.
To facilitate their implementation a tabular summary of the HS codes has been prepared:
Harmonized System codes list
iii) Correlation between the product coverage of selected international conventions and the harmonized system of the World Customs Organization
This publication contains the correlations between the Harmonized System and selected international conventions as drawn by the WCO Secretariat in collaboration with the Secretariats of the organizations administering the conventions or agreements set out, in accordance with instructions received from the Harmonized System Committee.
Correlation between Product coverage of MEAs and the Harmonized System
iv) The Green Customs Initiative ( www.greencustoms.org/)
Green Customs offers information and training materials for customs officials on combating illegal trade in commodities of environmental concern. The Green Customs Initiative is an example of developing synergies between the Montreal Protocol and other multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) about a specific need expressed by developing countries and countries with economies in transition: building the capacity of customs officers in monitoring the trade of commodities controlled under MEAs.
The Green Customs Guide to Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs)
This guide is intended to help customs and border control officers in their work. Chapter 1 explains what MEAs are and the role of customs in the national implementation of such agreements. Chapter 2 provides an overview of the main international trade-related MEAs, explaining what they are, how they regulate trade, the role and responsibilities of Customs and other border authorities, specialized terminology, and where additional information and guidance may be found. Chapter 3 explores practical aspects of implementing MEA controls.
Green Customs Guide
c) Labelling of chemicals
The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is an internationally-agreed tool for chemical hazard communication, incorporating harmonized chemical hazard classification criteria and provisions for standardized labels and safety data sheets. Detailed information on the GHS may be found at
UNITAR has compiled a broad range of information relevant to the implementation of the GSH which is available via a special section of their website. The information available includes guidance and training materials, summaries and full texts of international, regional and national legislation, policies and guidelines, information on capacity building projects, reports from related meetings and workshops, as well as related websites.