In news: Rotterdam Convention


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Rotterdam convention, PIC

Mains level: Not Much

International trade of two new hazardous pesticides — Iprodione and Terbufos — has been recommended for “prior informed consent” (PIC) procedure under the Rotterdam convention.

Why in news?

  • In India, the use of these chemicals was permitted by the 2015 Anupam Verma committee report. The country is among the largest exporters of Terbufos.
  • The chemicals are dangerous for humans and aquatic animals.

Rotterdam Convention

  • The Rotterdam Convention is formally known as the Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade.
  • It is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to importation of hazardous chemicals.
  • The convention promotes open exchange of information and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labelling, include directions on safe handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans.
  • Signatory nations can decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty, and exporting countries are obliged to make sure that producers within their jurisdiction comply.
  • India is a party to the convention, with 161 other parties.

What is the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) procedure?

  • The PIC procedure is a mechanism for formally obtaining and disseminating the decisions of importing parties on their willingness to receive future shipments of hazardous chemicals.
  • The PIC procedure is a mechanism for formally obtaining and disseminating the decisions of importing Parties as to whether they wish to receive future shipments of those chemicals listed in the Convention.
  • For each of the chemicals listed in Annex III and subject to the PIC procedure a decision guidance document (DGD) is prepared and sent to all Parties.
  • All Parties are required to take a decision as to whether or not they will allow future import of each of the chemicals in Annex III of the Convention.
  • These decisions are known as import responses.

Which are the new chemicals listed?

  • Iprodione, a fungicide used on vines, fruits, trees and vegetables, has been classified as carcinogenic and toxic for reproduction.
  • Terbufos is a soil insecticide used commonly on sorghum, maize, beet and potatoes. It has also been found to pose risk to aquatic organisms due to its toxicity.
  • Both pesticides, which are used in agriculture, are known for their harmful impacts on human health and the environment.


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