User's Guide for the PIC Circular

A user's guide has been developed to assist in the consultation, understanding and use of the PIC Circular.

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The PIC Circular is a key document in the implementation of the Rotterdam Convention, both for the operation of the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure and as a mechanism for the exchange of information on hazardous chemicals. It is published in middle June and December in English, French and Spanish.

The Circular provides Parties with the information which must be circulated by the Secretariat in line with Articles 4, 5, 6, 10, 11 and 14 of the Convention. It consists of an introduction and six appendices.

The introduction describes the operation of the Prior Informed Consent procedure and information exchange for each of the relevant Articles of the Convention. It also provides information on any decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties and affecting the operation of the PIC procedure, such as the addition of new chemicals to Annex III of the Convention.

The introduction also provides other types of information such as: information on domestic regulatory actions taken by Parties that substantially restrict one or more uses of a chemical, requests for information by Parties on the transit movements of Annex III chemicals through their territory, status of ratification of the Convention and documents available under the Convention to support its implementation.

Appendices I and II of the Circular provide summaries of the notifications of final regulatory actions to ban or severely restrict chemicals and of incidents involving pesticide formulations causing problems under the conditions of use, received by the Secretariat.

Appendix III provides a list of the chemicals contained in Annex III to the Convention and subject to the Prior Informed Consent procedure.

Appendix IV provides Parties with a compilation of all the import responses submitted by Parties for each of the chemicals listed in Annex III. It also includes a list of those Parties that have failed to submit an import response for each chemical. The PIC Circular is the official mechanism for transmitting the import decisions for chemicals in Annex III to Parties and is a key reference for exporting Parties in meeting their obligations under Article 11. A list of the contact details for DNAs is circulated with the PIC Circular in order to facilitate contacts between individual DNAs.

Appendix V of the PIC Circular includes a comprehensive list of every notification of final regulatory action found to meet the information requirements of Annex I received by the Secretariat since September 1998. This comprehensive list indicates which chemicals have been banned or severely restricted by Parties for human health or environmental reasons, and is therefore a helpful source of information to other Parties. Interested Parties may contact the DNA of the country that submitted the notification of final regulatory action for additional information on the individual chemicals or final regulatory action. They can also use this information for their submissions in the context of bridging provision of the Convention.

Appendix VI facilitates information exchange on chemicals recommended for listing in Annex III of the Convention by the Chemical Review Committee but for which the Conference of the Parties has yet to take a final decision. This appendix provides a reference to the information submitted by Parties to the Secretariat in line with decisions RC.3/3 RC.4/4 and RC.4/6 of the Conference of the Parties and paragraph 1 of Article 14 of the Convention.