The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union ("EU") have recently adopted a recast of the Regulation concerning the export and import of dangerous chemicals. The recast Regulation revises Regulation 689/2008 (the "PIC Regulation") and includes such changes as the harmonising of the PIC Regulation with REACH, granting extra administrative, technical and scientific responsibility to European Chemicals Agency ("ECHA") under the PIC Regulation and enabling a company to export toxic chemicals where a destination country has not responded with its request for prior informed consent.
The PIC Regulation relates to chemicals at EU level, as well as certain chemicals and pesticides which are already banned or severely restricted under the Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure (the "Convention") which entered into force in 2004. The PIC Regulation implements the Convention's "prior informed consent" procedure for certain hazardous chemicals and pesticides in international trade. The prior informed consent procedure stipulates that an entity exporting certain toxic chemicals must obtain the destination country's explicit "consent to import". This requirement applies to all destination countries.
The principal objective of the PIC Regulation is to ensure a high level of protection for human health and for the environment against toxic substances for importing countries. The PIC Regulation not only applies to chemicals which are banned or severely restricted under the Convention, but also extends to other chemicals which are banned or restricted at EU level. The PIC Regulation requires that export notifications should be submitted irrespective of the intended use of the substance or whether the substance was banned or severely restricted in the EU.
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