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International trade in hazardous chemicals

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International trade in hazardous chemicals


Council Decision 2006/730/EC — Prior informed consent procedure for trade in certain hazardous chemicals



It ensures the EU’s approval of, and participation in, the Rotterdam Convention after the Court of Justice of the European Union had annulled the original legislative decision on a point of law. The convention provides for a prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides traded internationally.


The convention:

regulates the import and export of some 47 hazardous chemicals and pesticides;

requires an importers prior consent for any of the chemicals it lists before they can be exported;

establishes a procedure for exchanging information on decisions taken by importing countries;

requires each signatory to the convention to appoint a national authority to ensure it is fully implemented;

asks each signatory whether or not it is prepared to accept imports of the chemicals and pesticides it lists;

requires exporting parties to ensure that the listed chemicals are not exported if the importing country has not given its formal approval;

requests parties that have banned or severely restricted a chemical to notify the convention’s secretariat of the decision;

provides for the exchange of scientific, technical, economic and legal information on the chemicals it covers and the possibility of technical assistance on chemical regulation for developing countries;

allows a signatory to withdraw from the convention 1 year after receiving notification of its intention to do so.

The convention does not cover narcotics, radioactive materials, waste, chemical weapons, food and food additives, genetically modified organisms or chemicals exported for research.


On 10 January 2006, the Court of Justice gave a judgment in Case C-94/03. The European Commission had brought the case against the Council asking the Court to annul Council Decision 2003/106/EC, which had approved the Rotterdam Convention on behalf of the European Union.

The Commission argued that the decision should have been based exclusively on the treaty article which related to common commercial policy (at the time, Article 133 of the Amsterdam Treaty), and not on the article used (Article 175 of the same treaty, which covered environment policy).

The Court ruled that both articles were required to provide the necessary legal base and annulled the original Council decision. The new decision, which took effect on the date its predecessor was adopted, ensures there is no legal void.


Council Decision 2006/730/EC of 25 September 2006 on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Community, of the Rotterdam Convention on the prior informed consent procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade (OJ L 299, 28.10.2006, pp. 23-25)


Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 concerning the export and import of hazardous chemicals (OJ L 201, 27.7.2012, pp. 60-106)

The successive amendments to Regulation (EU) No 649/2012 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated version is of documentary value only.

last update 05.10.2015