Roles & Provisions

The role of Customs in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention

Customs authorities play a key role in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention and in protecting their countries from unwanted trade of hazardous chemicals. Governments will be able to enforce national decisions on the import/export of hazardous chemicals if effective coordination with their customs authorities takes place. Parties to the Convention are required to make import decisions on 47 hazardous chemicals listed in Annex III of the Convention.

Designated National Authorities (DNAs) for the Rotterdam Convention, often based within the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment and/or Health, distribute these decisions to customs authorities as well as to all national stakeholders (e.g. the industry sector) involved in the international trade of chemicals. Good cooperation and coordination between customs authorities and DNAs are essential for the effective implementation of the Convention.

The role of designated national authorities

Designated national authorities (DNAs) play a crucial role in implementing the Convention.
They serve as the focal points in their respective countries for submitting import responses and for disseminating information on the PIC procedure to the relevant government departments and exporting and importing industries, among others. Ideally, DNAs should keep customs officers up-to-date on any changes that might affect their work. A list of DNAs can be found on the Convention’s website.

Provisions of the Rotterdam Convention relevant to Customs activities

The Rotterdam Convention sets out provisions for the import and export between Parties of chemicals that are listed in Annex III of the Convention.

When exporting chemicals, customs authorities should be informed by their DNA(s) of the import responses from other countries relevant to Annex III chemicals (Articles 10-11), on any updates to the list of chemicals in Annex III (Articles 7 and Article 9) and, when importing, on the chemicals that have been banned or severely restricted at national level (Article 5).

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